There are some bars and restaurants that we breeze into rather than just arrive, venues that invite a sense of whimsy and lightness allowing for the rest of the world to fall away so you can be in that present moment, surrounded by the beauty of right now. We feel that sensibility at The Bar at ALMAGRE, an ethereal space full of intention, with careful curation that stems from its gleaming cocktail bar with its illuminating wares to the chic minimalism of its subtle decor. Almagre invites patrons in with a glowed up energy that acts as a gorgeous backdrop for a sexy date, a well-deserved ladies night out or, as the modern canvas for your laid-back celebrations.
RMFR catches up with Grace Harrison, co-owner of The Bar at ALMAGRE, to find out how they plan to keep diversifying their menu, and why you should let them handle all of your meat and cheese needs for every occasion going forward.
“We’re trying to create,” says Harrison. “Trying to give people the full Almagre experience: cocktails, food, tastes of different regions. That’s the direction we’re headed.”
And they are indeed going places. Almagre’s newest food boards extend beyond the everyday parameters of traditional rows of salumi, cheese and some grapes, parlaying into more unique expressions inspired by the international travels of their staff and executive chef, Sean Price. The latest menu additions showcase “tastes we love from grand adventures,” says Harrison.
Almagre illustrates it best with the enticing Korean BBQ board, “just like one found on the streets of Euliro.” The Seoul sampler presents seared pieces of juicy, marinated pork belly with scallion pancakes, next to red leaf lettuce, kimchi and an assortment of veggies accompanied by ssamjang sauce, to make for an exotic street eats jaunt.
For a meal to match the chilly temps, the German board delivers with hearty pretzel bread, bratwurst and knockwurst sausages, obatzda (a spreadable blend of camembert, butter, wheat beer & spices), sauerkraut, fig mustard and horseradish sauce, circulating Oktoberfest feels year round. Additionally, the OG boards, that are still ripe for the picking, conceptualize pieces of France, Spain and Mexico to emulate an elegant Epcot visit all in one sitting.
“Our team has such fond memories of meals we’ve had while traveling,” says Harrison. “We believe there’s something special when gathered around a table to enjoy a meal. What’s even more special is when the meal tells a story, and that’s our goal at Almagre.”
Harrison acknowledges the noticeable uptick in the gastronomic side of their menu, but reaffirms that their drinks are still at the core of where their program blossoms. Almagre consistently offers barrel aged cocktails as well as standard but well-executed classics, a rotation of seasonal house libations and punch bowls that make for a fun and festive vibe when hunkering down with your crew.
“We’re providing really quality food and great service with the cocktails people have already grown accustomed to love,” says Harrison. “We’ve changed our menu but our emphasis hasn’t.”
Like most restaurants wrestled with in 2020, Almagre has had to evolve to stay afloat, responding accordingly by wisely incorporating a delivery service. The added convenience factor continues in 2021, bringing their special blend of hospitality direct to your door with a la carte options and specialty packages. The Winter Essentials & next up holiday grab–Valentine’s Day Essentials, includes charcuterie, your choice of a cocktail kit/wine duo and chocolates from Bonbon Bombardier. So you can unwind in the comfort of your own home while still entertaining a sophisticated Almagre affair, plus pajamas.
“Lots of creativity, updates to our menu, giving guests continually a new experience and pushing ourselves to be better,” is how Harrison describes Almagre’s perseverance. “We put together all of the ‘essentials’ for the perfect night in so you don’t have to worry about a thing.”
With savviness, Almagre withstands the storm and despite being away from the foot traffic of more urban vicinities, their cocktails shine as bright as any others being concocted downtown. A solid bar coupled with fanciful food, grows their brand into a cultural conglomeration that you really have to taste for yourself to fully understand.
“While we may be ‘off the beaten path’ for some, we love being right in the heart of Colorado Springs, and easily accessible to everyone throughout the city,” says Harrison. “We enjoy the opportunity to bring an elevated food and beverage experience to our neighborhood bar.”
So whether its been navigating the infancy of their business amidst a global pandemic, or the simple obstacle of its more suburban geography, Almagre continues to carve out its place as a food and beverage staple in the Springs, that Harrison says boils down to just two basic principles: “How we create and how we serve.”
All images courtesy of Devin Richter, Sun Chaser Studios