The wait is over to enjoy small plates and sip wine at Mood Tapa’s Bar, 218 N. Tejon St. The stunning bar is begging for diners to drop by and relax with a bite and a sip.

“We will be open only for dinner for a few weeks until we get dialed in with our other café concept,” said Crystal Byrd, an owner and general manager. “Our chef is busy getting the menus for our lounge and Mood perfected.”

The lounge, District E11even, is located behind Mood with an entrance off the alley. Headed up by David Frink, bar manager and creative director, the cozy space is inviting with comfy chairs and sofas. Snag a spot at the bar and enjoy hearing about the creative touches Frink has crafted into his cocktail program. Try one of his signature drinks, The Saint of Lost Causes ($11), and let him explain the process of olive oil washed gin used to clarify spirits.

Kevin Grossman, executive chef, has created a menu of interesting bar snacks. The spicy chicken and Olym-pig City sliders ($11 each) comes as two sliders per order and are standouts. The chicken is extra crispy on the outside and juicy tender inside with a fiery spice tamed by a dill pickle chip. The pulled pork slider is made with coffee and chili braised pork belly topped with chili cucumbers and sprouts. Both burger options are delish and filling. Visit

Colorado Springs gets a second Poké Bop downtown

A second R&R

Ryan Wanner, owner of R&R Coffee Café in Black Forest, has opened a second location in the Tri-Lakes YMCA, 17230 Jackson Creek Parkway, Monument. The YMCA building also houses Centura Health’s Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion. Wanner will be roasting and serving the same great coffee he has been offering the last 12 years in Black Forest. The menu is about the same as what is served in the original location: pressed sandwiches, salads, soups, muffins and other sweets. There is a juice and smoothie bar, too. Hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Details: 488-4229,

Chef cooking shows

Several Colorado chefs are making appearances on television cooking shows. Here’s a look:

• Elise Wiggins, the chef/owner of Cattivella Wood Fired Italian restaurant, 10195 E 29th Drive, Denver, is the star of “Roots to Ranches,” a Rocky Mountain PBS series that will give viewers a look into foraging, hunting and regenerative farming and ranching through Wiggins’ history and career as a professional cook. The show is a combination of educational cooking and a cultural plunge into Louisiana, where Wiggins grew up, as well as locations in Georgia, Alabama and Texas. The first episode airs at 8 p.m. Jan. 30.

• Victor Matthews, founder of Black Bear Distillery in Green Mountain Falls and dean of Paragon Culinary School, is the host of “Moonshine Highway” on The first episode is about his culinary journey and leading up to the formation of his distillery.

• Heidi Trelstad, owner of Chef Sugar’s Cakes and Confections, was one of four pastry chefs competing in the Food Network’s “Winter Sports Cake” challenge in hopes of winning a gold medal and $10,000. Find out if she was the lucky baker at 8 p.m. Dec. 30.

3 foodie finds in Colorado Springs, including 1 that could 'gnoc' your socks off

Food trucks on the move

The 719 Food Truck Rally, which is held 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, has moved to the parking lot of Copperhead Road Bar, 3330 N. Academy Blvd. Food is served by more than 16 mobile eateries. There’s a Christmas Toy Drive through Dec. 25. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for $1 discount on a meal. 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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