We’ll give you a Domenik Knuckle Sandwich. Photo credit: Front Range Foodies

Beasts and Brews opened on May 20, at 7 Spectrum Loop, in Northgate, with an in-house butcher shop featuring locally derived proteins; a 100-tap self-serve pour system that highlights independently owned, Colorado breweries; and an eclectic menu that executive chef Noah Siebenaller calls “unique and interesting.”

“It’s kind of a mashup of three different dreams,” says Siebenaller, noting he and “the butcher,” Jason Nauert, have been conjuring up this combined vision for nearly seven years.

The sprawling craft beer lineup impresses, and the plates at an early media preview far exceeded our expectations, with items ranging from a juicy PB&J burger to elk fajitas and whole Colorado trout.

“The best way I can describe it is elevated comfort food with a focus on family-style,” says Siebenaller. “I want people to share plates and experience the food and the menu together.”

WOXMN in Coffee. Photo credit: Nestaseya Baadani

Nestaseya Baadani, a current employee at Loyal Coffee Co. and recent Womxn in Coffee award winner (a local nod given at an industry-honoring Third Space Coffee event), plans to open Prism Coffee Co. this summer as a specialty coffee catering cart that she says is ideal for “any type of event that wants to add a little something to let people know they’re appreciated.”

Baadani will focus solely on coffee (no snacks) to ensure each cappuccino, cortado, Americano or latte is crafted with “the utmost care and excellence.”

The push cart, equipped with a La Marzocco espresso machine, will source a variety of roasts from a rotation of Colorado Springs java shops so that, Baadani says, “people can taste different coffees and support local and community.”

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.

The main dining room at the former Couture’s Bistro shows off everything from exposed original brick to swank new tables and booths. Photo credit: Matthew Schniper

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.”

*Header photo courtesy of Front Range Foodies

Content edited; originally published by the Colorado Springs Independent on May 22 & 29, 2019.