A famed local chef and culinary school have jumped on plans for Tava House restaurant/sports bar/event center proposed for Lot 2 in Woodland Station.

Victor Matthews, an award-winning chef and founder of the former Black Bear restaurant in Green Mountain Falls as well as the Paragon Culinary School in Colorado Springs, is now a key piece of the proposal.

“Victor Matthews is coming on board. He’ll take the upstairs portion of the center, which will be a mountain outpost of his culinary school,” said Derek Waggoner, who submitted the proposal in the fall to the Downtown Development Authority, which owns the property. “I pride myself on putting the right team together, so to have Victor on the team as a shareholder is a no-brainer.”

Waggoner’s original plans for Tava House hit a snag this month when the DDA accepted the offer of a railway car from the Manitou Springs Cog Railway on Lot 2, the development’s proposed site. The railway car, intended to be a tourist attraction, arrived last week and was placed on tracks prepared for the acquisition.

However, Waggoner decided to roll with the new addition.

“We are working with the architect to adapt the property for the layout of Lot 2. The new design will be a different offer since they put the train on the property,” he said. “The car is sitting right where we wanted to put our project so we’re coming up with this new layout to still try and get something done, even though it’s not optimal for us.”

Ryan Lloyd is co-owner and chief architect with Echo Architects of Colorado Springs, which is designing the Tava House project, including the re-design.

“Lloyd designed Prime 25 restaurant, Atomic Cowboy and Denver Biscuit Company and Cerberus tavern in Colorado Springs,” Waggoner said. “There is a lot of revitalization going on in the Springs.”

Woodland Park native Tom Magnuson, an architect with Echo Architecture, is helping with the re-design.

Waggoner and Mark Weaver, a broker with Ascent Commercial Group and an investor in the project, will present the revised blueprints in a special meeting of the DDA slated Nov. 26.

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