A new PJ's
The longtime La Petite Maison spot at 1015 W. Colorado Ave., which most recently housed Le Bistro, won't be sitting vacant. Paul Jakubczyk, who closed PJ's Bistro at 819 Manitou Ave., at year's end, has signed a lease (with an option to buy) to relocate his eatery, which originally opened in 2002.
The name will stay PJ's Bistro and it will absorb the recently closed European Cafe, which had been operated by Jakubczyk's mom at 935 Manitou Ave. A plan to merge the two businesses has been on the table since 2013, when renderings were drawn to add a second story onto European Cafe's building; Jakubczyk says the fire-and-flood years contributed to a change of heart, and that property is now up for sale by the family.
Look for an opening at PJ's on Friday, March 13, with daily lunch and dinner hours thereafter and possibly breakfast service within a year. Jakubczyk plans to open with an "all-star" menu of favorites from over the years, executed by chef Joanna Barczynska. European and particularly Polish items such as pierogi will remain, while both lighter and more modern plates will be added, for a fresh, neighborhood bistro feel, he says.
"It's going to be a different pace," he says. "Creative, and not just a touristy Manitou menu. ... We're really excited to be in this part of town, near Brother Luck and 503W."
• Lofty Brewing Company (2935 N. Prospect St., #108), a distribution-only nanobrewery that never featured a tasting room, recently shut down. Brewer Matthew Tussey says that with his busy day job, he just didn't have time to maintain or make impactful growth with the business, so he'll return to humble homebrewing.
• The Inn at Palmer Divide (443 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake), which housed moZaic restaurant, ceased business operations on Feb. 15.
• Pho-N-Thai (125 N. Spruce St.) also shuttered after Valentine's Day weekend.
À la carte
It's time to procure tickets for two perennial and meaty food-and-drink events:
• The Colorado Restaurant Association Pikes Peak Chapter will host its 20th annual Food & Wine Expo from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 15, in The Broadmoor's Broadmoor Hall (1 Lake Ave., ppcra.com). Tickets are $45 to sample from more than 70 area eateries and purveyors, plus watch bartender and chef-media competitions.
• The Colorado Springs Chorale's 30th annual Chefs' Gala & Silent Auction kicks off at 5 p.m., Sunday, March 29, at the Antlers Hilton (4 S. Cascade Ave., cschorale.org). Tickets to sample from more than 20 top eateries in town are $95.