No Petite matter
After more than 30 years of offering French fine dining, chef Henri Chapéront is closing the doors to west side gem La Petite Maison (1015 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4887) on Jan. 1.
"I wish I could get even more support from Colorado Springs, but there's not enough business," Chapéront says. "I could be open another five years — renovate, change the concept — [but] I don't want to put in more money because I don't think I'll get my investment back."
After the closing, Chapéront plans to work as the executive chef at an as-yet-unopened downtown hotel. As for his old restaurant?
"Buy, rent or lease, I'm pretty open to any options. I don't like to see anything empty."
Heart will go on
"The Abukhdeir family is coming back to Manitou," says an excited Hussein Abukhdeir, family patriarch and owner of Heart of Jerusalem Café (4587 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., heartofjerusalemcafe.com).
Opening during the first week of January at 718 Manitou Ave. — the former spot of Charlie's Pit Bar-B-Que, which is combining operations with Yakibob's on East Fillmore Street — HOJ has seen its share of heartache in the past. Originally located in Manitou Springs, the first store closed due to complaints from neighbors and a lease dispute. Then came the move to Bijou Street, followed by the separation between Abukhdeir and partner Abdul Nasser, and finally another move to the current north location, which will remain open.
Abukhdeir says he'll cull from his current menu to offer limited selections in the beginning, then ramp up offerings as time passes.
According to founder John Dean, in 2010 Boulder-based instawine.com will become the largest Internet resource for spirits and wine, enabling users to shop from hundreds of wineries and stores, as well as place orders for same-day delivery from local wine and liquor outlets.
The site charges no surcharge for the service, but each seller sets his or her own delivery and shipping terms. For example, Vintages Wine & Spirits (9 S. Tejon St.) charges either $5 or $7 depending on your ZIP code, with a minimum order of $50.
Don't get any ideas, kids. ID must be presented upon delivery.
Dinner at the diner
The North End Diner (3005 N. Hancock Ave., northenddiner.com) recently began offering dinner service until 9 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays only. The diner, regarded for its breakfasts and lunches since 1958, also offers two-for-one drinks from a full bar daily, plus specials such as a Wednesday Ranch Foods Direct burger night (buy one get one for a nickel with a drink purchase).