Public Market's new home
In June 2012, we first reported on the hope for a Pike Place Market-inspired "Peak Public Market." What's since grown into the Colorado Springs Public Market (cspublicmarket.com) now has a projected opening date — 2016's second quarter. It also has a home — the historic Carter Payne building at 320 S. Weber St., which most recently housed Green Man Taproom.
But wait ... hadn't the CSPM board already announced plans to move into the old Gazette building at Pikes Peak Avenue and Prospect Street, working with Nor'wood Development Group as part of its vision for both the G and neighboring St. Francis building?
Yes, they did. In fact, organizers' link to that developer dates at least to early talk of moving into Nor'wood's vacant Crissey Fowler Lumber building at 117 W. Vermijo Ave.
The short story of what happened, according to board president Dave Anderson: "The timetable for development on Gazette-St. Francis was delayed, and we want to get our project underway — as fast as possible." Plus, addressing the different lease structures, he says, "If this really is the people's place, a true public market, it'll be owned by the people."
Anderson says Carter Payne building owner Lynn Schlemeyer has consented to a lease-to-own agreement, price-fixed, for a purchase as soon as two years out. The board announced a five-year, $5 million capital campaign to cover that purchase, renovations and a significant expansion. Anderson adds that the board will seek a city permit to control parking along Pueblo Avenue, which is deed-restricted as free parking.
"We think this is essential," he says. "Not just as an economic base, but to build connectivity downtown, to get the soul back in the city."
Nor'wood president Chris Jenkins sent a statement saying Project for Public Space (a New York-based nonprofit) advised the Public Market board to start smaller, "and we fully support that recommendation."
In late October 2014, Charlie's Pit BBQ and Yakibob's (1190 E. Fillmore St.) caught fire as the staff was locking up. They'd set a smoker for overnight, as always, but it malfunctioned, according to manager Julie Derenne.
Owner Amy Simmons always had planned to reopen after insurance payments were made, Derenne says. And that time should finally arrive sometime this week, pending final inspections.
Derenne says the whole place has seen an overhaul, from electrical and HVAC systems to dining room seating. The menu, however, remains the same, with hickory-smoked barbecue, Oklahoma-style house-made sauce, and the separate yakitori menu.
Reviewing the outfit's history, Derenne says Charlie Martin originally opened the shop in 1982 in Security, then moved it to Fillmore Street, then Manitou Springs, then back to Fillmore when the original Yakibob's was selling, around seven years ago. Simmons purchased the business from Martin three years ago.