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Jose Avila, owner of La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal in Denver, speaks about his new restaurant concept, Santa Fonda, that will open in Fuel & Iron Food Hall in Pueblo.

Fuel & Iron Food Hall, 400 S. Union Ave., Pueblo, is gearing up to open in spring 2023. It’s been a major undertaking to repurpose the former Holmes Hardware into an incubator for Pueblo restaurants on the ground floor, affordable housing on the second and third floors, an urban farm outside, ample parking for the food hall customers and apartment residents, event space and performing arts space.

In December at the historic Pueblo Union Depot, there was a Holiday Family Feast dinner where participants got a sneak preview of the foods prepared by the food hall tenants: Diavolo Pueblo Hot Chicken (Colorado hot-style chicken), Mosh Ramen (Asian fusion concept), Santa Fonda (authentic Mexico City food), Solar Roast (coffee), Steel Crescent Kitchen (Cajun-inspired dishes) and The Cutting Board (a plant-based menu).

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Each of the chefs prepared dishes for the three-course dinner. Ed Tracey with Steel Crescent Kitchen served smoked salmon and seafood terrine, Chris Doose with Mosh Ramen served duck confit and pork belly lettuce wraps, Jose Avila with Santa Fonda served barbacoa de cabeze vaca, and Mary Oreskovich and Richard Warner with Diavolo served gingerbread with cream anglaise.

Warner and Oreskovich will be familiar names to you as the owners of Bingo Burger in the Springs and Pueblo.

“This has been an exciting project in Pueblo,” Warner said.

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“It’s great that not only will we be able to hire people for a job but also be able to offer them affordable housing in the building.”

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Avila, owner of La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal in Denver, which was voted best new restaurant in Denver in 2021, is enthused about Santa Fonda, his new venture in Fuel & Iron.

“I love the idea of the urban farm,” Avila said. “I’ve worked with a lot of food rescue projects in Denver and the other chefs in the food hall are supporters of doing the same here.”

Visit facebook.com/fuelandironpueblo.

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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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