The Swiss Chalet Restaurant, Woodland Park’s iconic fine dining establishment. 19263 E. U.S. 24, has been sold. The new owners are Roberto and Elizabeth Calcagno, who also operate the recently opened Mountainara Cucina Italiana in Woodland Park. Roberto is also the former owner of Basil and Barley Pizzeria Napoletana in the Springs.
The Swiss Chalet opened in 1962 and has had three owners, the most recent being the Levy family, who ran it for 23 years. The Levys also own The Peppertree.
In a press release, the Levy family said, “Since our father and husband Neil’s passing in 2020, our family has deeply considered the best path forward for The Swiss Chalet. In making this decision, we hoped for the opportunity to pass on our restaurant to an enthusiastic and passionate restaurateur with a desire to preserve The Swiss Chalet legacy. It was also of great importance to us that the next owner(s) share our family’s desire to positively impact our community. In Roberto and Elizabeth Calcagno, we have found that opportunity.”
The Calcagnos plan to make some changes to the menu, which had been mainly focused on Swiss and German cuisines.
“It will be a mix of European cuisine representing most all of the countries of Western Europe — dishes from Spain, France, Portugal and England,” Roberto said. “Although I’m Italian, I have lived all over and had a restaurant in London. I have a vast culinary background, not just Italian.”
Roberto is excited that the Swiss Chalet’s current executive chef, Jerrod Doss, is going to stay.
“He’s a nice guy,” Roberto said. “He’s worked at the French Laundry in California. We are working on the menu with intentions to make the food equal to a Michelin star restaurant.”
Another bonus for the Calcagnos is that there’s a home on the property next to the restaurant, where the Levy family once lived. Roberto’s family, including his mom and dad, have moved into it.
The exact date for the Swiss Chalet transition was not set in stone as of last week.
“We will be here through Jan. 1,” Max said. “I’m not sure when Roberto will be reopening.”
Roberto is going to do some refreshing to the interior and will reopen in mid-January.
“I don’t want to change too much,” he said. “I want to preserve the heritage of the restaurant. Just create a little more contemporary Alpine feeling.”
He plans to have menus and do away with the current menu board. He’s thinking of being open all day for coffee in the morning, lunch, a happy hour and dinner.
Currently the hours at the Swiss Chalet are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays for lunch, 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. 5 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Details: 719-687-2001, swisschaletofwoodlandpark.com
Coffee for a cause
Joe Slivik, manager of Gift Horse Bar & Café in The Well, 315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., tells us about the unique coffee program, which is based on putting the spotlighting minority-owned roasters. Currently Portrait Coffee and Boon Boona Roasters are featured, which are both black-owned roasters.
“Another round might be women-owned roasters,” Slivik said. “We will always use beans that are not overly dark roasted in not-so-sweet drink combinations.”
The Yama Tower standing tall on the bar is a real conversation starter.
“It’s a Japanese style of cold brewing coffee,” Slivik said. “I think it might be the only one here (in the Springs). The design of the tower allows water to drip slowly through the apparatus onto the grounds.”
One of the Gift Horse coffee shop’s seasonal drinks is the spiced coffee. The coffee is infused in the Yama tower with fall spices, oranges, and vanilla with just a hint of sugar.
“We use the concentrate for coffee drinks and the bar uses it to make cocktails,” he said.
Slivik is in the process of planning a new food menu for the coffee bar. Currently pastries are being delivered by The French Kitchen. Coffee and Café hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and bar hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Visit wellinthesprings.com
Dogs and beer
Dog Haus’ Biergarten, 162 Tracker Drive, is offering a buck off select draft beer pints for each goal scored through the end of the World Cup, Dec. 18. Grab a dog or the amazing Haus smashed cheeseburger stacked with white American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion on a toasted Hawaii bun with their secret sauce. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Details: 719-488-4278, coloradosprings.doghaus.com.
The Margarita at PineCreek, 7350 Pine Creek Road, is offering the following events for the holidays. Call 719-598-8667 for reservations.
• Holiday Tea, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 17. For $35 (plus tax and tip) you get to sample an array of teas, savory bites and homemade pastries.
• Feast of the Seven Fishes, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. For $70 you have a multicourse menu offering a variety of dishes and dessert. Optional wine pairing available.
• New Year’s Eve Dinner, 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 31. For $75 you get a six-course tasting menu with an optional wine tasting is available.
contact the writer: 636-0271.