- Matthew Schniper
- The main dining room at the former Couture's Bistro shows off everything from exposed original brick to swank new tables and booths.
Crystal Byrd and Mike Thompson, co-owners of T-Byrds Tacos & Tequila at 26 E. Kiowa St. plan to simultaneously open Mood Tapas Bar, Bird Tree Cafe and District E11even, in late summer at 218 N. Tejon St., in the former Couture’s Bistro and Paris Crêpe space.
“Originally we just thought tapas, but when we looked at the space it just kept going and going,” says Thompson. “With a central kitchen it just made sense.”
Promising to provide diversity, Mood will bring in “upscale, modern, Spanish fusion,” with a strong South American wine portfolio, while Bird Tree Cafe captures a more casual vibe with a core menu that consists of sandwiches, soups and salads, a “focus on to-go and pickup,” and a solid coffee program.
“I’ve always wanted a café, something kind of light, where you can meet your friends, have a glass of wine, share a charcuterie board, and you can’t beat right across from the park,” says Byrd, referencing the outdoor patio.
In contrast, District E11even will lean “whiskey-centric,” with “two unique features” — whiskey lockers and a “Break Even” day that Thompson says allows access to “exclusive, hard-to-get bottles,” ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
On “Break Even” days patrons can experience high-end whiskeys at cost, sans upcharge, allowing patrons to sip rare spirits that’re typically off-limits wallet-wise.
The couple’s progressive food and beverage expansion plans began with their personal affinities for small plates, starting off solely with the idea for their “baby,” Mood Tapas Bar, going forward to ignite a larger push toward a multifaceted craft haven.
“It’s three very different concepts,” says Thompson. “They’re all very individual and something we hadn’t seen around Colorado Springs.”