R&R Coffee Cafe the quaint caffeine cabin in Black Forest, will open a second location in early May in Monument, at the Tri-Lakes YMCA (17250 Jackson Creek Parkway) that shares space with Centura Health’s Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion. Although R&R’s revered for its award-winning biscuits and gravy, owner, Ryan Wanner, says he plans to hone in on healthier fare with “more of a focus on gluten-free and dairy-free items.”

He says the menu will consist of “a lot of grab-and-go, ready-to-go meals,” in the form of croissant sandwiches plus salads alongside a varying made-to-order menu, with plans to “move things around so people don’t get bored.”

“The No. 1 goal is to make it to where it’s not your typical medical center coffee shop,” says Wanner. “Make it interesting.”

Allusion formerly the Japanese speakeasy Sakura at 323 N. Tejon St. (in the back of Rooster’s House of Ramen) opened April 11, now as a Game of Thrones-inspired bar, but with the intent to transition the concept every 60 to 90 days. Co-owner, Sean Fitzgerald, says the idea for an ever-changing look will pull from pop culture to create a “crowd-pleasing” atmosphere for “the 22-year-old girl that’s never had a drink and the cocktail aficionado.”

“We want to use this as a sandbox to find whatever the next theme is, see how we feel and what memories we create from them,” says Fitzgerald.

“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” -Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones. Photo credit: Allusion

Look for the “revolving pop-up bar” rotation to include Harry Potter, Woodstock, or Die Hard during Christmastime, which Fitzgerald says allows them the opportunity to “work on our chops,” with a “dedication to crafting something special for our guests.”

Allusion is open Thursday through Sunday and accommodates up to 16 patrons, but will manage their hours based on reservations (strongly recommended) to “tailor make the experience.”

*Header image courtesy of R&R Coffee Cafe; Content published in the Colorado Springs Independent on April 24, 2019.