I’m not saying that announcing your brewery plans always jinxes them. It’s more like the beer gods prefer to play the long game so they can watch us squirm.

Two years ago, Bell Brothers Brewing was poised to evolve from its mobile “Party Cube” model into a permanent home. Brothers Curtis and Cody said they’d finally found a good place to do it — vacant property in a commercial stretch off Camden Boulevard in Fountain.

But that plan fell through. Fast forward to mid-2020 (an eternity in brewery startup and pandemic time), and the brothers were back scouring the market, only to find a series of properties that just wouldn’t do. Bell Brothers was seriously considering unringing that bell, back burnering the long-simmering dream of a brick-and-mortar brewery.

“We said, alright, at the end of 2020 if we can’t find anything we’ll put this on hold for a couple years,” Curtis Bell said.

The email from the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs arrived with the timing of a Hollywood plot twist: The landlords of a new, multiuse complex being planned in the historic, former Zeezo’s costume shop on North Tejon Street were looking for tenants.

“I figured we’ll give it one more try. Why not? So I gave them a call and that’s where that all turned around,” Curtis said.

The Zeezo’s building went on the market in 2018 while the costume and vintage clothing shop, founded in the Springs in 1974, moved to a smaller storefront on Bijou Street before closing permanently in 2019.

The nearly 21,000-square foot building at 112-114 N. Tejon had previously held a women’s clothing store and then a jewelry store. Its most recent iteration comes after it was purchased by investors who set about a remodel to attract a “compatible” group of new commercial tenants.

Construction is now underway on Bell Brothers’ nearly 2,700-square foot space, which will house a three-barrel brewing system in the basement and, on the main level, a seating area, bar, small patio and taproom pouring five flagships, plus Colorado-made wine and spirits. The brewery will take up residence in the north unit, Curtis said, sharing the address with three other businesses: an ax-throwing operation (Aspen Axe), a basement tiki bar, accessible from the back alley, and a beer garden (Dog Haus).

“I don’t see it as competition but more of a synergy,” said Curtis, adding that the biergarten will serve “true traditional pub fare,” while Bell Brothers will offer a limited menu including charcuterie boards, vegetables and hummus, salads and panini-style sandwiches.

“And they’re a taproom, so they have many taps, but they don’t produce their own beer. What we’re looking to do is team up with them … and for them to sell our beer on tap,” Curtis said.

The brewery is on track to open this fall.

“The (brewing) system is on order, the deposits in. Either I’m going to be out of money by October or we’re going to be open,” Curtis said.


Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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