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Sad day for Fanz fans

Will's Sports Pub owner Will Pelz expects to complete the sale of his bar this weekend. Good thing for him: "It became something I didn't want," he says. "I wanted more of a clubby feel, more of a geezers' hangout. It became more of a restaurant than a pub."

Bad thing for Joe Portillo and Andy Finkbeiner, the guys behind Fanz Sports Grill inside Will's: "Will sold his half and gave us 30 days to get out," says Portillo, adding that sales were still strong as Fanz looked to turning five years old in January. "We're pretty much going to have to hang it up for a while. I'd like to open it someplace else, but times are tight right now."

According to Pelz, the new Will's kitchen will likely serve more bar food than restaurant food, at lower prices than Fanz. As for why the new owners weren't interested in Fanz, Pelz says, "They just want to do their own thing."

Pelz, 69, can relate. When asked his future plans, he snickers. "I think I'm gonna be a slum lord or somethin'."

A new type of curry

Let me be first to say "Hallelujah!" More than a newbie downtown, we've got a first-of-its-kind, as far as we (and restaurant owners Lara Linander and Lana Hillstrom) know: Sri Lankan food.

The Curry Leaf Restaurant opened Monday at 26 S. Wahsatch Ave. (adjacent to the Triple Nickel Tavern), bringing "a cross between Thai and Indian food," in the words of Linander's husband, Lance. As stated at, Sri Lankan food owes its flavor to Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Malaysian influences. People find it similar to Thai because of its coconut milk-based curry. Call 447-0608.

Spreading fire

"It's kind of like the big ass burrito, but bigger."

This said by Dorothy Bach, co-owner of Flame Throwers Nuevo Mex Grill (517 W. Colorado Ave., inside Benny's), when describing the Cheech & Chonger Burrito on her new menu. Other new items since the restaurant's launch last October include Santa Fe grill tacos and menudo (yes, tripe stew). Bach says to expect a Flame Throwers breakfast cart outside as soon as she receives a permit. Call 634-9309.

Through the smoke

A little background on Firehouse Southern Style BBQ (817 W. Colorado Ave.), mentioned last week: Owners Joe and Kari Tresner, first-time restaurateurs from Winslow, Ariz., signed a lease on the building just days after visiting the Springs on vacation in early September.

Joe says he believes he's "providing a barbecue that Colorado Springs has been waiting for." A true, Southern, slow-smoked barbecue, served dry to be paired with daily-made sauces. He says his sweet sauce is in more of a St. Louis/Kansas City style, while his spicy sauce is a Southern style. He serves a sweet tea, and Kari delivers homemade pies daily.

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