Wooglin’s Deli & Cafe, which bills itself as Colorado Springs’ favorite neighborhood eatery, is bringing its home cooking and made-from-scratch recipes to another neighborhood.
The restaurant — at 823 N. Tejon St. on Colorado College’s south side and where students, business people and downtown visitors have enjoyed breakfast, burgers and sandwiches for nearly 30 years — will open a second location in late fall on the Springs’ northeast side.
Wooglin’s is taking over a building that had housed a Borriello Brothers pizza restaurant on the northwest corner of Barnes Road and Oro Blanco Drive. Borriello Brothers closed at that location in Feburary.
Wooglin’s owner Kelvin Thorne said the move is a relocation and an expansion.
The Tejon Street block where Wooglin’s operates will become home to the new indoor Robson Arena for Colorado College hockey and other events. College-owned buildings on the property are being torn down and Wooglin’s will vacate its space by year’s end, Thorne said.
By that time, Thorne expects to have opened his second Wooglin’s, at Barnes and Oro Blanco, where the menu will remain the same and he hopes all of his 20 employees will move.
When Robson Arena opens in 2021, Wooglin’s will return to downtown and operate from a new space inside the venue provided by Colorado College, Thorne said. Even after Wooglin’s reopens in the arena, Thorne said he’ll continue to operate the northeast location.
“We feel like we’ve found a good spot,” Thorne said. “It’s going to be totally different and we’re going to have to work hard, but I think it will give us a chance to kind of introduce our product to a different part of town and still embrace some of the customers we had and then be ready to go to the new spot when it becomes available.”
Wooglin’s launched in fall 1989 under a different owner; Thorne bought the restaurant in December 2000. It’s become known for a variety of menu items, including hefty deli sandwiches served with chips made in house, burgers, baked goods made fresh daily, soups, salads, desserts and pastries.
“We want to maintain that scratch recipe and house-baked goods,” Thorne said. “That’s our specialty. It’s a lot of work, but I think it’s worth it in the long run.”
The north and northeast sides of town don’t have as many independent restaurants, Thorne said.
“There’s a lot of different types of food, but not down-home, scratch baking-type recipes,” Thorne said. “Our goal is to try to get our products to people that are used to franchises, and try to get them to embrace us in that neighborhood.”
The existing Wooglin’s is about 3,300 square feet. The new location will be smaller — at about 2,400 square feet — but the free-standing building’s rectangular footprint will make it more functional and provide a larger kitchen, Thorne said.
A patio at the Barnes-and-Oro Blanco site will allow the second Wooglin’s to have outdoor seating comparable to the Tejon Street location during the summer and other times when the weather allows.
Thorne said he liked the former Borriello Brothers building because it’s “in the thick of things” at a prominent intersection with high traffic counts, and tucked in between Academy and Powers boulevards. The building also has its own parking lot and is near Doherty High School.
John Winsor, a commercial broker with Olive Real Estate Group in Colorado Springs who helped Thorne find a second location, said he expects Wooglin’s to fit in well on the northeast side.
“That area is very densely populated, good solid middle incomes and Kelvin provides that real home cooking at reasonable prices,” Winsor said. “He’s the kind of operator that is very welcoming and wants that relationship with his customers. And so we really feel that neighborhood will embrace him.”
Contact the writer: 636-0228