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Side Dish

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Consider yourself in the Loop
In an economy that's producing almost solely depressing business stories these days, here's a bright tale: Manitou Springs' The Loop (965 Manitou Ave.) is just killin' it, turning tacos and bustin' out burritos at a record pace. And for the second time in the past seven years, it's expanding.

According to Matthew Gray, owner of 18 years, the 1,500 square feet he's gained from commandeering what was previously Whispering Winds Metaphysical Shop now contains a new 10-person bar, 50 additional seats, a new set of bathrooms and expanded kitchen space.

"There are huge wait periods here all the time," says Gray, who adds that sales have been up 15 to 20 percent in the past couple months, mainly from loyal tourist traffic.

With the expansion, the Loop now takes reservations for parties of up to 50. Call 685-9344 for more.

Count your (un)lucky Stars
You may have heard recently about Starbucks' decision to close some 600 underperforming stores across the country. That list is out and does cite nine Colorado locations, but none are in Colorado Springs. Instead, three locations will close in Denver, two in Loveland and one each in Lakewood, Longmont, Conifer and Broomfield.

Corner out of the street
In Appetite last week, we mentioned that the Corner Caf (7 E. Vermijo Ave.) had been setting up a bangin'-good Saturday lunch cart outside Apex Sports at 327 S. Weber St. Unfortunately, after our review ran, the city noticed that purveyor Bob Smoot didn't have the proper licensing in place for such a stand.

So the Saturday cart is on hold until Smoot obtains a peddler's license from the City Clerk's Office and meets El Paso County Health Department requirements to operate a mobile cart. Smoot's also looking into a temporary event license that would facilitate setup at such places as farmers markets.

In speaking with the Health Department (whose eight people currently struggle to oversee 2,500 local retail food establishments), I was told its only concern is in preventing food-borne illness by making sure mobile vendors have proper sanitation in place.

Call the Corner Caf at 520-1843 for updates or more information.

Good moos
Colorado Steak Company All Natural Meat/Fish Market and Bistro (1645 Briargate Pkwy., #245) is now serving lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Buy one, get one free on lunch entres through Aug. 1. Call 599-0077 for more and visit to see the lunch menu. Compiled by Matthew Schniper

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