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Side dish: Armour to revamp the Mission Bell



A new Mission

After nearly 50 years of continuous operation under the Masias family, the Mission Bell Inn (178 Crystal Park Road, Manitou Springs) was sold late last week, and will tentatively reopen in mid- to late April, after minor renovations, as the Crystal Park Cantina.

The new owners are Justin Armour, the former Denver Bronco turned Manitou High School football coach; his wife and mother; and David and Sue Pisaneschi, the original owners of Savelli's Pizza in Manitou.

Armour, who grew up around the Masias family, says the menu will change to something like a "Mexican version of Adam's [Mountain Café]," with fresh, natural ingredients and as much local food as possible, including sprouts and herbs from his own greenhouse.

Armour's mother, Anne, ran 3 Doors Down downtown in the late '90s as well as Sweet Annie's in Manitou Springs around a decade prior.

Mutts on the move

The local folks behind the BrewDogs of Colorado ( book and brand recently launched a four- to five-hour BrewDogs Brewery Tour, departing from The Broadmoor and visiting three area breweries from a growing list of participating brew houses.

Brian Bennett, book co-author and tour co-organizer, says that currently, Bristol, Trinity, Phantom Canyon, Rocky Mountain and Rock Bottom brewing companies are on board, as are BierWerks Brewery and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. Which three will be visited during a tour depends on variable factors, such as a brewery's production schedule.

A minimum of four and maximum of eight people are required to justify Bennett's rental of a tour van and payment of a guide. The $115 fee gets you informative lectures by the guide and brewery representatives, lunch at one of the breweries, and a total of about 3½ beers when you add up the multitude of two-ounce sample pours.

Contact for more details, or to make reservations at least a day in advance.

À la carte

• After only one year in business, Crepes Française International has closed at 321 N. Tejon St.

Flatiron's American Bar & Grill (2540 Tenderfoot Hill St., has named former MacKenzie's Chop House sous chef Reid Martin as the new head chef of the outfit. Expect a "fine-tuned" menu soon.

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