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Colorado Springs' iconic Sunbird Mountain Grill set to close

January 25, 2018 Updated: January 26, 2018 at 7:40 am
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Sunbird Restaurant, 230 Point of the Pines Drive. (The Gazette file)

After 42 years of serving award-winning cuisine in Colorado Springs, Sunbird Mountain Grill and Tavern announced it will shut its doors on Feb. 5.

Sitting atop Rattlesnake Hill above mile maker 147 on Interstate 25, the restaurant’s Western fare was served alongside sweeping views of the cityscape, Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain.

“Over the years, we’ve made many friends here and I’m proud of our amazing staff for their hard work and contributions that helped make this a great restaurant,” said John Tallichet, president and CEO of Specialty Restaurants Corp., which owns the Sunbird. The company declined further comment.

The Sunbird will be open through Sunday, Feb. 4.

The restaurant will serve its a la carte menu along with a special three-course celebration dinner menu, Sunday Champagne Brunch, and happy hour specials. In addition, the Sunbird will host a final “Drink the Bar Dry Party” with well drinks and domestic drafts for $3, premium drinks and craft beers for $5 and food specials during the last two days of service.

“We hope you’ll stop by, raise a last glass with us and send the Sunbird off in style!” Tallichet said.

The restaurant was updated in 2013 with a renovation, new name and menu, but a Gazette review in October said the Sunbird was “showing its age, which is more weary than wise,” and described the quality of the food as “inconsistent.”

Steve Kanatzar, owner of The Airplane Restaurant and immediate past chairman of the Colorado Restaurant Association, came to Colorado Springs in the late 1970s to manage the eatery after running another Specialty restaurant in the Denver area. At one time, the company owned four restaurants in the Denver area, which have now all closed.

“I had a plan to turn the Sunbird into a fine-dining Mexican restaurant called Esteban’s, but Specialty leased it to someone else instead,” Kanatzar said. “I am sad it is closing. There is a lot of nostalgia, great memories and stories in that place for me. It is premium real estate with a beautiful view.”

Business Writer Wayne Heilman contributed to this story

ALSO: The Sunbird was showing its age - more weary than wise - according to a recent review.

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