Colorado Springs longtime chef to open neighborhood pizza kitchen

Ben Hoffer plans to open High Rise Pizza Kitchen in the Rockrimmon neighborhood.

Ben Hoffer, with more than 23 years working as chef at fine dining establishments, is taking the plunge into restaurant ownership. He is opening High Rise Pizza Kitchen, 6660 Delmonico Drive.

“The Olivers offered me an opportunity that was too good to pass up,” he said of Michael and Betsy Oliver, the lease holders of the space. Hoffer had consulted with the family when they opened Colorado Crust Pizza Co. “I’ve had several ideas for restaurants and pizza was one of them. I’ll be using my pizza dough recipe, which I had given the Olivers when they opened Colorado Crust. It’s a three-day process and I’m getting a new deck pizza oven.”

He’s keeping the focus on making great pizza.

“I’m keeping the menu small with make-your-own pies,” he said. “There will be a few chef-driven specialty options, like maybe a Bahn mi or Korean bulgogi-style pie. We will sell slices too. There will be a few things like cheese bread, garlic knots and small salads.”

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Ingredients will be sourced locally.

“We’ll make our own sweet and hot Italian sausage using locally produced pork,” he said. “I’m shooting for making the best meatballs in town. I’m sure we will get some local microgreens too.”

He is targeting an Aug. 1 opening, depending on construction, hiring employees and inspections. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. A wine and beer license will be secured eventually.

Colorado Springs longtime chef to open neighborhood pizza kitchen

Seafood bar and tower on the Sunday brunch menu at ViewHouse.

End of week fun

ViewHouse, 7114 Campus Drive, is the place to be to end the weekend. Start with the Sunday brunch buffet, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For $34.95 adults, $12.95 kids 6-12 and free for under 5, you get a bloody mary bar, seafood tower, carving stations, waffle bar, made-to-order omelets, mimosas, fresh sushi and desserts.

Then stick around for Sunday Funday party with colorful boozy beverages, games, music and good times 2 to 6 p.m. Free admission. Details: 394-4137,

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Meadery happenings

There are a couple of new things happening in the Springs for producers of honey wine.

• Black Forest Meadery has moved to 6420 Burrows Road, the home of Shapiro Family Farms, the owners of the meadery. The outdoor deck and farm have been expanded for serving all their wines, mead, and ciders. They also offer cheese platters. The Shapiros are also working on a tasting room in Peyton and one behind the Black Forest Bistro, 6750 Shoup Road. Details: 495-7340,

• Antelope Ridge Mead, 3355 N. Academy Blvd., is a new operation serving from 14 taps for draft mead and cider, with another four taps for higher-alcohol meads plus bottles of the full-strength meads. They use local Lockhart Honey Farms and Beeyond the Hive honeys to make their meads. Details: 358-9629,

Wine at the market

Colorado Springs longtime chef to open neighborhood pizza kitchen

The Sweet Elephant at Vino Colorado Winery is offering wine samples at the Fountain Farmer's Market. Courtesy photo

The Sweet Elephant at Vino Colorado Winery, 2502 W. Colorado Ave., is showcasing its wine at the Fountain Farmers Market in Metcalfe Park, 618 Ohio Ave., Fountain, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays. Details: 661-2910,

Doughnuts for good cause

Dunkin’ of Colorado Springs has launched “Coffee for Heroes,” which is a way to give back to local military service members. Through July 31, every pound of coffee purchased at participating eateries will donate a pound of coffee to local active military service members and their families. Visit

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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