Roundhouse brew pub ‘moving forward’

       A probability last fall, a Colorado Mountain Brewery in the Roundhouse commercial center has evidently become a done deal.
       Preliminary work has already begun for the new brew pub, with the last of the necessary building permits “being wrapped up, and we're moving forward,” said Scott Koons, who in 2010 co-founded the first CMB, located near the Air Force Academy.
       The opening is slated for June. The restaurant will be at the north end of the Roundhouse, a curved, stone-faced building at 21st Street and Highway 24. Recently restored by Griffis-Blessing, which also manages the site, the 1880s-era structure was originally a repair facility for the Midland railroad, which carried passengers to the Western Slope and transported gold ore from Cripple Creek.
       “We're excited to be on the Westside,” Koons said. “We think it's a unique venue. We're really tailoring some of our stuff there to make people feel welcome.”
       Already impressed is Sharon Swint, president of the Old Colorado City His-torical Society (OCCHS). The brewery catered the society's March 3 tribute to Jacob Schmidt's early 20th-century beer hall, and its general manager “came by and said he would like to talk to us about the history and how it can be incorporated into the new facility.”
       The brew pub combines a food menu with a “taphouse concept” that will offer 30 beers on tap - more than at the current Colorado Mountain Brewery - including 8 that will be brewed on site, Koons said.
       The brew kettles, as they're called, will be visible through the windows from the 21st-and-24 intersection, added Griffis-Blessing President Steve Engel.
       When the Roundhouse brew pub plan emerged last October, CMB had signed a lease, but the project was not yet a “go” because the necessary equity was still being raised. Koons, however, expressed confidence that such would not be a problem, and last week he was able to state happily that “we're financing all this with investor equity.”
       In its 2009 restoration, a Griffis-Blessing contractor prepared the roughly 8,500-square-foot space at the north end of the Roundhouse with a restaurant in mind, so CMB's contractor (Colarelli Construction) will only need to focus on new interior construction. The work will include “basic restaurant and brewery stuff,” Koons said, along with a second-floor mezzanine with its own bar, a deck at the north end with a privacy wall between it and the highway, plus two inside fireplaces and a “see-through” third one near the outside deck.
       Engel said his group will also add a vestibule to provide a “wind break” for people entering the restaurant from the parking lot.
       Going into this year, the roughly 30,000-square-foot Roundhouse had two unleased units, including the space planned for CMB.
       Now all the units are taken. The other previously vacant space, about 2,300 square feet just south of CMB, has been leased by Blindside, a snowboarding specialty store, which will relocate there within about a month, Engel said.
       The business has been “katty-corner” from the Roundhouse in the small center at the northeast side of the intersection for several years, but its owners have been seeking a larger space, Engel said.

Westside Pioneer article