Tim Paine, the owner of The Mason Jar, 2925 W. Colorado Ave., since 1982, sold the restaurant to Kevin Weese, in early May. Weese owns two Trails End Taprooms at 3103 W. Colorado Ave. and 252 Front St., Monument.

Paine launched The Mason Jar with two other partners, but over the years he acquired total ownership of the popular eatery.

“I’ll be around to help Kevin if he needs me,” Paine said. “The restaurant would have turned 40 in November, but I was ready to do some traveling. I may do a mission with my church to Africa. What I’m most happy about is that 100% of the staff are staying.”

Weese is uncertain of final plans for the eatery, but one thing is for sure: much of the menu, including the popular chicken fried steak, fried chicken and other classic comfort foods will remain.

“I grew up here (in the Springs) and loved the food at The Mason Jar,” Weese said. “Many of those dishes will continue to be offered. And we will be adding some new things, as well.”

There will be some changes made to the dining area, although the details are not nailed down. For instance, a self-pour taproom system with 40 different beers, wines and cocktails will be incorporated in The Mason Jar and a bigger patio is being considered.

“It will be a combination of the original Mason Jar and a nod to the urban taproom,” Weese said.

Colorado Springs has new mac and cheese eatery

New owners at Italian eatery

Susanna Maetas, owner of Susanna’s Comfort Cuisine, is realizing her dream of owning a sit-down restaurant. She and her husband, Ben Kirk, purchased Fratelli Ristorante Italiano, 124 N. Nevada Ave., in April. They are renaming the eatery Susanna’s Comfort Cuisine Bistro and Bar.

Maetas launched Susanna’s Comfort Cuisine in August 2017. The couple has hosted multiple pop-up dinners, catered more than 300 meals, and for the past nine months operated Sabor food trailer.

“Our grand opening will be 5 to 8:15 p.m. (last reservation) May 27 and 28. There will be a silent auction and giveaways,” she said. “Our menu will offer our comforting dishes, homemade desserts and signature cocktails made by Ben.”

Following the grand opening, dinner will be offered 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays. The first happy hour will be 4 to 5:30 p.m. June 2. Takeout lunch service will be added 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 7.

There will be seating at the bar during lunch hours, Maetas said. “We will continue to offer our catering services as well as schedule our Sabor food truck for private events.”

Details: 719-352-6844, susannascomfortcuisine.com.

Colorado Springs gets Vietnamese bakery full of unique sweet treats

BBQ and beer

Mike and Amanda Bristol, owners of Bristol Brewing Co., 1604 S. Cascade Ave., are making some big changes at their award-winning brewhouse. They have opened Bristol’s Spark Beer+ BBQ, a repurposed shipping container serving beer-friendly smoked meats and sides. The smokehouse is permanently parked in front of the brewery at Ivywild School.

Husband and wife Evan and Tarah Wagstaff are responsible for the cooking at Spark Beer+BBQ.

“We met Evan and Tarah through chance meetings with friends,” Mike said. “I learned to love barbecue while living in Amanda’s hometown in northern Florida. To me, barbecue is one of those foods that feeds the soul and brings people together around the table — just like beer.”

On a first-time try, I can tell you the couple know their way around Alabama ‘cue. The menu offers smoked meats including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, spareribs and Bristol beer brats. Sides include slaw, smoked cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, hush puppies, collard greens, waffle fries, borracho beans (pinto beans made with beer), and terrific smoky German potato salad. Sauce choices are red, gold (honey mustard), Alabama white and remoulade.

Both Wagstaffs have culinary degrees, Evan in savory and Tarah in pastry. Desserts will be added to the menu.

The Bristols are doing major expansion on the land in front of the brewery, which will connect the entrance to the brewery to the existing beer garden on the property. This space will include more garden space, game area, fire pits and additional outdoor seating. New parking spaces will be added at the opposite end and across the street from the school building.

“These projects will be done in phases,” Mike said. “We hope to be completed during the summer.”

The barbecue operation is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays during May, with more days to be added over the summer.

School’s in session

Laws Whiskey House Class takes place at Fritzy’s Bar, 103 S. Wahsatch Ave., 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. For $20, you get to sip and learn about Laws Whiskey House’s range of bourbon, rye and American whiskeys, including its new release of bonded 7-year-old rye. Visit whiskyschoolus.com.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

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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