Next June 1, what majority owner Mitch Yellen calls “one of the largest restaurants in the state of Colorado” will open across from Life Time Fitness on Powers Boulevard.

TILL, whose motto is “farm-inspired, open kitchen and mercantile,” will be an almost 18,000-square-foot market, restaurant, bar and meeting space, expanding on services currently offered at spots like Yellen’s Garden of the Gods Gourmet Market & Cafe. It will be divided into four connected buildings, with an 80-foot open kitchen that can cook for up to 380 people at one time.

“I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dean & Deluca in New York, San Francisco,” but TILL will be like that, says Yellen in an interview with the Report. “There isn’t anywhere you can go to get farm-to-table in Colorado Springs. You can find aspects of it, but most places in town don’t even serve wild-caught salmon — it’s mostly farm-raised. …

“So, the mission of TILL is the combination of a mercantile market — where we have hundreds of items that are made fresh every day, the people come in and pick up their soups, their chicken pot pies, their dips, whatever it may be — that we make in-house, fresh every day; and products that we bring in from Colorado. Right now, I think we’re carrying maybe 120 products from farms in Colorado and 85 gluten-free products in our market.”

IMG_0188Market products include the aforementioned wild-caught salmon, house gluten-free pizza crusts, soups, lasagna, Petaluma Poultry, and some organic fruits and vegetables, though not on the scale of a grocery store. Plans include an “unparalleled” juice bar, designed for wellness and inspired by Yellen’s own juice habit which healed his acid reflux.

Then there’s the restaurant aspect, with an Italian wood-fired oven cranking out pizzas in 90 seconds, a gourmet sushi section, and a full bakery roughly three times the size of the one currently baking 200 wedding cakes a year for Yellen’s Pinery Enterprises. Breakfast prices run $10 to $12, he says, with a half-chicken for $28 at dinner.

The third building section is a high-end bar, comparable to the Broadmoor’s Ristorante del Lago, Yellen says. Weekends will bring live music, while cocktails come courtesy of consulting mixologists from Portland and Boulder.

Then the patio and private dining rooms in the fourth section complete the $11.5 million project, which was first reported by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

IMG_0189Yellen promises “we’ll be one of the best in the city” in terms of hospitality, thanks in part to rigorous training and a vice president of operations who formerly worked for several Broadmoor restaurants.

“I grew up in New York: Every eight to 10 blocks, everybody had a community they’d walk to,” Yellen says, noting the presence of a 30-spot bike rack and farmers markets in the parking lot on the weekend. “I see TILL as the community.

“We’re even having a dog menu, for dogs. A dog menu. We’re going to service dogs, we’re going to service the family, we’re going to have classes going on, we’re going to have a culinary school. So there will be a lot to draw people in.

“It’s going to be a fun place.”

[Images: Courtesy Mitch Yellen]