The former historic P.J.’s Stagecoach Inn, 702 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, reopened May 1 as the Manitou Eatery with a new face overseeing the restaurant and refreshed interior. P.J. are Paul Jakubczyk’s initials.

“Paul (Jakubczyk) owns the building,” said Tina Wright, who is leasing the building from him. “He was considering selling it to someone from the East Coast. I’m a native of Colorado, and I couldn’t stand the idea that someone from out of state would buy it. So, I decided to take a lease on the building and run the restaurant. There’s so much history and I wanted to preserve that.”

Wright has many ideas for the restaurant but is taking baby steps in these uncertain pandemic times for the restaurant business. The menu is small with burgers, sandwiches, salads and homemade pies. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Details: 308-5165, tinyurl.com/7cabtkpd

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New Mexican food spot

Las Lomas Cariceria has opened in the former Rocco’s Italian Restaurant, 3802 Maizeland Road.

Although carniceria is the Spanish word for butcher shop or meat market, Las Lomas has much more to offer. There is an area to the right of the entrance that is set up a with a section devoted to meats, fresh produce, Mexican breads, ice cream and spices. Another section to the left of the entrance, which was the former Rocco’s lounge, is now a restaurant serving classic Mexican dishes.

Maricela Castro with husband, Guillermo Bañuelos, and Luiz Felipe Dominges are the owners. Castro runs the eatery side, her husband is the chef, and Dominges oversees the meat counters and market.

In addition to traditional Mexican dishes like carne asada, chile relleno, tacos, tortas, burritos, tamales, menudo (usually on weekends, sometimes Mondays) and enchiladas, there is rotisserie chicken available.

“We have a very large rotisserie,” Castro said. “You can order half or whole chicken with sides.”

A liquor license is in the works. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Details:308-2127, tinyurl.com/ftx2vfcx.

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Espresso rescue

As if being shut down during the pandemic wasn’t enough, the espresso machine at La Baguette French Bistro went kaput, too.

“I didn’t know what we were going to do,” said Patrick Garnier, owner of the cafe. “I didn’t have the money to buy a new one. Then one of our regular customers came in and offered to loan us money to get a new one. She assured me she was in not a hurry to be paid back. Just get the espresso machine replaced.”

The customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, made good on her offer.

“I selected the replacement and she paid for it,” Garnier said. “As we were getting our business back, I was able to pay her back. It was so generous and a big help to us during such a hard time for our business.”

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Cheers

The Colorado Springs Bartenders’ Guild is throwing its Summer Soiree at Homa café and bar in Kinship Landing, 415 S. Nevada Ave., 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 12. For $15, you can sample more than 15 local, national, and international spirits vendors and distilleries. There will be a “Chopped”-style bartender competition, yard games, cocktails, swag and live music by Ryan Flores.

New this year is the $50 VIP Hour ticket, which gets ticket holders entrance an hour ahead of general admission tickets and first access to the tasting with all of the brand swag, VIP cocktails and pours, and a limited-edition swag bag by Patron. Visit tinyurl.com/j7s7kjpn.

New food truck

Susanna Maestas, owner of Susanna’s Comfort Cuisine and known for her popular pop-up dinners, is launching her new food trailer: Sabor.

“We hope to begin offering lunch Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays starting Sept. 21,” she said. “On those days, Sabor will be parked outside our home at 1130 E. Willamette Ave. And I will be using the truck for catering events, too.”

While waiting for the lunch service to start, you can tap into Ben & Susanna’s Campfire pop-up dinner 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 11. For $65 you get a five-course dinner paired with two beers and two wines. The dinner will be served in her backyard. For reservations, email her at susanna@susannas comfortcuisine.com.

Distillery anniversary

Distillery 291 will celebrate its 10-year anniversary with live music in the tasting room Sept. 10 and Sunday Funday Sept. 11. Tasting room hours are 2 to 8 p.m. daily. Details: 323-8010, https://distillery291.com, facebook.com/distillery291

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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