There's been a whirlwind of change and expansion for Lynn Schlemeyer since she and her husband merged their Garden of the Gods Gourmet catering business with The Pinery Enterprises last fall. Under the new business model, they renamed their store Garden of the Gods Market and Caf? Schlemeyer envisioned devoting more of the space at 2528 W. Cucharras St. to establishing a bigger food market for retail and caf?seating. Recently, she announced that the company has bought the former Saigon Stars restaurant, 410 S. 26th St., and it will become a new home for the market and caf?
"This new location is about 5,400 square feet, almost double the space we have at our current location," said Schlemeyer, senior vice president of marketing for The Pinery. "We have taken everything out of the old restaurant and are starting over with a new design and complete new feel. We can realize the original idea of having a bigger retail market and caf?"
She is looking at a fall opening. The popular "Dinner with a Chef" and cooking class series will be offered in the new location. Call 471-2799. Visit gods gourmet.com.
Robert and Laurie Tust, owners of Rocco's Italian Restaurant, 3802 Maizeland Road, couldn't be happier in their large new restaurant. They moved into the vacated Steaksmith, which is in the same shopping center as the original Rocco's.
"We brought all our decorations from little Rocco's to make this restaurant have the same look as our other place," Laurie said.
There's the red-check tableclothes, the twinkling lights draped around the ceiling and, of course, the lattice wall panels used as booth dividers. They opened the new place June 6, and it was bustling with regulars eager to dive into their favorites from the standard Italian-American menu. Specials, for which Robert is famous, will not make appearances until all the wrinkles of new ordering systems and larger staffing have been smoothed out.
"The computerized ordering system is all new to us," Laurie said. "We took orders the old-fashioned way at little Rocco's, writing them down and clipping them up in the kitchen."
Call 574-1426. Visit roccoscolorado.com.
Do you like paying half-price for wine? Silly question, right? Get your buzz going at Romano's Macaroni Grill, 2510 Tenderfoot Hill St., where all the wines are "mezzo prezzo," or half-price, through Aug. 25. During their Summer Uncorked, you can have half-price glasses or bottles of wine from the entire wine list all day, every day. Call 540-9833. Visit macaronigrill.com.
Pop up dinner
Kevin Campbell, chef-owner of Full Circle Cuisine, is doing one of his pop-up dinners at Motif, 2432 W. Cucharras St., at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The dinner is a benefit for Seeds Community Caf? a soon-to-be, pay-what-you-can caf?in Colorado Springs. Lyn Harwell, a certified executive chef, has been interested in starting a community caf?for 10 years. With Leslie Wirpsa, they came up with a plan to make the dream become a reality. Read more about the restaurant concept below in the "KVOR Table Talk" guest list. The menu will feature foods from local farms. Cost? The dinner is "pay what you can." Call 482-8082. Visit fullcirclecuisine.com.
"KVOR Table Talk"
Guests on the "KVOR Table Talk" radio show on 740 AM, 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday:
- Harwell and Wirpsa talk about their Seeds Community Caf? which uses a model created by One World Everybody Eats, a nonprofit organization. The concept is to alleviate hunger at pay-what-you-can caf?. In addition to serving gourmet, healthy food, Harwell will offer cooking classes to help people build culinary job skills. Call 310-9439. Visit seedscommunitycafe.com.
- Jonny Stringer, beer specialist at Old Chicago, talks about the "brand refresh" for the restaurant chain. The restaurants have been remodeled with new colors, logos, website, new beer draft systems and menu changes. Call 593-7678. Visit oldchicago.com.
- Steven Carney, owner of Carney's Colorado Cookery, talks about his line of barbecue sauces, which includes Sensationally Sweet - No Heat, Curiously Sweet & Spicy, and Hellaciously Hot - Yet Heavenly. They are available at Andy's Meat Market, 2915 E. Platte Ave.; Colorado BBQ Outfitters, 6850 N. Academy Blvd.; and Alpine Hearth & BBQ, 2619 W. Colorado Ave. Cost is $6 per jar or $4.50 per jar for a case (12 jars) or more. Call 650-7055.
- Nate Windham, cocktail and spirits specialist for The Blue Star, 1645 S. Tejon St., talks about his monthly cocktail class, "Date with Nate." Windham fills the two-hour seminar with loads of fun info while he makes cocktails for sampling. Cost is $30 per person. Call 632-1986. Visit thebluestar.net.
Send tips about restaurant openings, closings, menu changes and food specials to firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-0271, Twitter @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.