Pancakes with panache
"I feel like hip, trendy fun in the Colorado Springs breakfast market has not been tapped yet," says Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group CEO Randy Price. Which largely explains RMRG's decision to close Slayton's Tejon Street Grill at 28 S. Tejon St. at June's end, and plan its replacement, Over Easy, a daytime eatery (rockymtnrg.com), for late August or early September.
Price has proven already that RMRG, parent to Salsa Brava and Sonterra grills, has the chutzpah to re-brand as the market shifts: In early 2010, the company killed its north-side Slayton's store and tried out an Italian concept, Piazza Wine Bar and Pizzeria. (It didn't work out, and was later sold to the folks who now run Wyatt's Pub & Grill.)
With Over Easy, Price is admittedly borrowing some thunder from Denver's highly popular Snooze, an A.M. Eatery (see Dine & Dash, Feb. 23), to the extent that he'll be offering sugary pancake flights with rich varieties like a Grand Marnier strawberry cheesecake flavor. He's also taking an eco-friendly angle, he says, with organic eggs, grass-fed beef burgers at lunch, locally sourced items, and a remodel that includes reclaimed beetle-kill wood and energy-efficient lighting.
Gluten-free options will run throughout the menu, plus items like stuffed French toast, fresh-squeezed juices and organic morning margaritas and mimosas at Hair of the Dog Happy Hours from 7 to 10 a.m. (Regular hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekends.)
Price says he's studied breakfast spots from Chicago to Phoenix over the last year and a half — it's not all a Snooze homage — to create a "blend of what we wanted to do with influences from other great operators. ... It's our food with our innovative twist."
Open, closed, happening
• Conway's Red Top closed its 3589 N. Carefree Circle and 1228 E. Fillmore St. locations this past weekend. The eatery plans to shutter its 390 N. Circle Drive location this upcoming weekend, according to the chain's Facebook page, ending a 60-plus-year run.
• Colorado Springs Food Tours (coloradospringsfoodtours.com) has launched a second downtown tour ($49) from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, beginning Aug. 4.
• Year-old Cupcake Girls Bakery and Luncheonette (cupcakegirls.co) celebrated a grand opening at its new "shabby chic" 302 E. Platte Ave. store on July 31; stop by for a variety of house-made baked goods plus teas and coffees.
• In beer news: Great American Beer Festival (greatamericanbeerfestival.com) tickets go on sale Thursday, Aug. 2; the 10th annual Craft Lager and Small Batch Festival (craftlagerfestival.com) will take place between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4, in Manitou Springs' Memorial Park; and the Springs Beer Fest (facebook.com/Springsbeerfest) is set for noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, in downtown's Antlers Park.