Liz and Alec Blakeley are living their dream. They have opened Uva Wine Bar, 1268 Interquest Parkway, something they have been planning for several years. Just as they were preparing for the build-out of their new space, COVID-19 slowed them down.

“We hit the pause button for a couple of months,” Liz said. “Then in May, we decided the time was right and we got serious about getting ready to open our new business. Now it’s becoming a reality.”

They bring a wealth of wine knowledge to their business, having traveled across Europe for more than 20 years pursuing their love of wine, thanks in part to Alec’s 26 years of service in the Army. And they have earned their WSET Level II certifications, which means they both have beginner to intermediate level qualifications of wine and spirits education.

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Prepare yourself for an elegant experience at Uva Wine Bar. The space is urban-chic with comfy sofas, a wine wall displaying more than 200 bottles of vino and a sleek bar with four Attimo wines from Italy on tap. There are 40 other wines offered by the glass. You can enjoy sipping inside or on a spacious patio with views of the Front Range. Josh Smith, executive chef, has created a sophisticated menu of shareable plates, like flatbreads, fondue and cheese and meat boards.

“We plan to have wine dinners and wine education classes soon,” Liz said.

Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. There will be a grand opening Sept. 2.

Details 598-1990, uvawinebarcos.com.

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Bagel Mondays

Einstein Bros. Bagels stores are offering Back to School Baker’s Dozen every Monday to Sept. 28. For seven bucks, mom or dad can buy a baker’s dozen (13 bagels), a 30% savings. There are 14 flavors from which to choose at five locations in Colorado Springs. Visit tinyurl.com/y6cxklab.

Culinary training

Last year the Pikes Peak Library District started a Food Industry Training program, a free, four-week program that does not require any previous culinary experience.

The website describes it as a program “that gives the skills participants need to enter or advance in employment as a qualified prep cook or line cook. The program will help you learn basic culinary fundamentals, explore career opportunities in the culinary industry, prepare a resume and practice interview skills, and earn the ServSafe Food Handler certification.”

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Kayah Swanson, the library district’s director of public relations and marketing, said in an email, “We are still working through kitchen improvements for this project. The plan is to turn the existing cafe space at Library 21c into a culinary lab. Some of the improvements we’ll make at the cafe space will include installing gas lines for new gas stove ranges and procuring new equipment for use in the classes. Because of the pandemic, we don’t have a firm timeline to share at this point, but there are many exciting things happening.”

While the cafe work is being finished, classes are being held off-site at the locations of various community partners. Visit ppld.org/foodindustrytraining.

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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