Colorado Springs restaurateurs bringing three different eateries under one roof to downtown

From left, Mike Thompson, Crystal Byrd and David Frink will open three restaurant concepts under one roof: Mood Tapas Bar, District E11even cocktails and Bird Tree Cafe.

The former Couture’s Bistro, 218 N. Tejon St., morphed into Café Roma and then closed in 2017. Now it’s being resuscitated.

Crystal Byrd and Mike Thompson, who own T-Byrds Tacos & Tequila, decided to turn the empty restaurant into a tapas bar and lounge.

“When we eat out, we like to taste each other’s food, like you do when you go to a tapas bar,” Thompson said. “And we thought this place would make a great tapas bar. There’s nothing like it downtown. But when we walked into the space and saw how long it was to the back, it struck us that the area could be divided. That’s when we thought about doing a cocktail lounge.”

The result: Mood Tapas Bar and District E11even. Mood will be more upscale, with an entrance out front. District E11even will have an alley entrance. Once inside, though, diners can flow from one to the other.

“Our menu in Mood is Spanish-fusion,” Thompson said. “With an extensive Spanish wine list. District E11even will feature upscale craft cocktails, expensive whiskeys and private lockers for customers. There’s a space for a smoke-proof cigar room.”

David Frink has been named bar manager and creative director of District E11even.

But there’s more to come.

“The kitchen is behind what was Paris Crepe, so it just made sense to add that space to our lease too,” Byrd said.

It will become Bird Tree Café, a casual eatery and coffee shop serving soups, sandwiches and salads.

“It will be part market and cafe where you can get a quick meal. We have an app that people can use to place an order to pick up, or we will deliver downtown,” Thompson said.

With three concepts under one roof, there’s something for everyone.

“We’ve hired Anne Balmer as our executive chef,” Thompson said. “She was the sous chef at The Famous. She’s already developed the menus for all three restaurants. We’re just waiting to clear a couple of inspections so we can start cooking and tasting the dishes. We’re shooting for an Aug. 1 opening.”

New tastes

Edward Salazar, executive chef at Taste at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., has introduced a new summer lunch menu. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and pre-theater dining for select productions. Details: 634-5583, fac. coloradocollege.edu.

Wine and pizza

The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, 3011 E. Colorado 50, Cañon City, is firing up some summer fun 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays with Tim and Emmy Denehy’s Fire It Up Wood Fired Pizza food truck. “They use the winery’s extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on their pizzas,” said Sally Davidson, the winery’s vice president of marketing. “Every Monday, there’s a special pizza, which is paired with Abbey wine at a discounted price, $1 off per glass.” Details: 276-5191, abbeywinery.com.

Taking a break

The French Kitchen Café and Bakery, 4771 N. Academy Blvd., is closed for two weeks and will reopen July 22. The cooking school and classes will continue as scheduled. Details: 528-6295, tfkcc.com.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

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