Intelligentsia Coffee has courted pretty much the highest echelon of coffee nerd-dom. Its Venice, Calif. "slow bar" sounds like as much science experiment and show as sipping service.
And that nationally known outfit comes to mind when local roaster Kelly Bubach, formerly of the Acoustic Coffee Lounge, uses that same "slow bar" term to describe his new Urban Steam Coffee Bar (1025 S. Sierra Madre St., urbansteamcoffee.com).
"It's more interaction and talking coffee — a place to slow down, chill and try some great coffee that's not a gallon of milk with a dash of coffee flavor on the side," he says.
Bubach touts single-cup and small-pot pour-overs of direct-trade coffees from small farms with whom his importers have close relationships. Providing an example of a special tasting, he mentions an Indian farm that only produces five 130-pound bags of coffee annually; he says he was the sole person in the U.S. to procure one last year. Not all of his coffees are certified fair-trade and organic, due to the prohibitive certification expense for small farmers, he says, but most would technically qualify as both.
Back to the nerd-fodder: Bubach roasts on a Turkish drum roaster and makes shots on a manual, Italian Rancilio espresso machine, using Japanese ceramics for the pour-overs. Also look for a light food menu, including waffles, fruit bowls and pastries.
The former Amuzé Bistro space at 292 State Hwy. 105 in Palmer Lake now has a new occupant: The Parked Pierogi (210-7029). While it's open only from 8 a.m. to noon for breakfasts on Saturdays and Sundays, co-owner Julie Wetzel says that she and her friends/business partners Nicole Schoenfeld and Christopher Williamson aim to expand to lunch hours soon, and to full weekly service ideally by next spring.
Schoenfeld has largely designed the small menu, which includes Huevos Rancheros served with breakfast pierogi and breakfast sliders with a pork and bison bolognese, all house-made. The business' name hints at its original food-truck vision, but circumstances led the trio to launch this first, with potential to go mobile later. "We'll go with what's working," says Wetzel.
The Triple Nickel Tavern (26 S. Wahsatch Ave., 555nickel.com) is expanding to take over the former Curry Leaf space, which the tavern occupied until around four years ago. Owner JJ Grueter says he's constructing a second bar to fill the area, and is bringing back favorite food items from the past such as Reuben and pastrami sandwiches and the half-pound Triple Nickel Burger. He'll also offer hand-cut, homemade French fries and house chips, and seasonal specials like chili.
Grueter believes he can open the new room sometime in December, around the Nickel's seven-year anniversary.