Crepes Francaise is closed

Another downtown business has closed up shop. In this case, sad to say, you could see it coming.

We wrote about Crepes Francaise some time ago, and while we liked a lot about it, there were some things that just needed fixing, and some things needed some really creative solutions. The building, for example. It’s simply a terrible building for any kind of restaurant. And Crepes Francaise seemed to struggle a little with its identity. At some point, they put up a beer sign that made it look like a dumpy college bar. Which is it, a place to get a Budweiser or a nice French experience? Same thing seems to be happening to Il Postino — er, Springs Orleans.

Tough thing to have another downtown business close. I wonder what it will take to get something successful in that space.

Crepes Francais on Tejon has closed.

Though we saw it coming, it's still sad to see downtown businesses fold. Crepes Francaise was in a doomed space, and I'm not sure what could have kept it alive.

A couple of ok Happy Hours and one really great one.

Much like our burger posts, we’ve been collecting pictures and info about Happy Hours around town. Happy hour is a great, cheap way to experience some of our excellent bars and restaurants. We’ve been to just about every Happy Hour downtown and are starting to go to some in other neighborhoods. Eventually we’ll post about them all! Meanwhile, here’s a start:

Brewer’s Republic: 112 North Nevada, next to The Underground. Happy Hour is 4-8 Monday thru Friday. They offer half price pints during Happy Hour.They also sell half pints, which is unusual, awesome, and not on the Happy Hour special. Their website says they have a bunch of different beers on tap from all over Colorado (there were about eight on the day we went) as well as locally roasted espresso, but the website doesn’t seem to have been updated recently because they didn’t have some of the beers listed and their espresso machine was broken. They also do have a kitchen, but we didn’t see any food coming out of it or a food menu. Someone was using a computer, so we think there might be wi-fi but there are no signs to that effect. It’s a pretty casual setup in there (maybe too casual for me, I like great service, not people who treat their establishment as an annex of their frat house basement bar) and the decor is also casual-cute with cushy couches and rugs, and a neat looking bar made out of old doors. There are plate glass windows looking out to the street and in warm weather, tables on a sidewalk patio.

Brewer's Republic, downtown Colorado Springs

Brewer's Republic, downtown Colorado Springs

Brewer's Republic, downtown Colorado Springs

Brewer's Republic, downtown Colorado Springs

Il Postino:123 E. Pikes Peak Ave, between Nevada and Tejon. Il Postino has two Happy Hours daily: 4:00PM-6:00PM and 9:00PM- Midnight . The Happy Hour specials are: $1 off any drink and 50% off any bottle of wine with some exceptions (the exceptions are the really expensive bottles).  I really want to like this place but I am having a hard time getting beyond the early 90’s orange faux finish decor and that fact that they don’t seem to know what they want to be (are they a young person nightclub or an older person fancy food restaurant?) . Plus, four months in and they’ve already completely changed their menu (and it’s not on their website yet). But still, two daily (I assume this also means weekends) Happy Hours is pretty impressive. They have a fantastic wine list and a dollar off a glass isn’t that exciting, but 50% off bottles is really nice.

Il Postino, Colorado Springs, CO

Il Postino, Colorado Springs, CO

 Shuga’s:  702 S. Cascade.  Shuga’s has a great Happy Hour. In fact, from their website, it looks like they also have two of them: Happy Hour from 3 to 6 pm and 10 to 11 pm with $5 food and drink specials. Not sure if that’s everyday or just Monday thru Friday. They’re closed on Sunday. They have three or four $5 food specials, including the hummus in the picture below, but not the warm butter almond cake below ( if you go to Shuga’s, you haveto get it,  it’s one of the most awesome desserts on earth) and three or four drink specials, including a mini version of their famous lavender martini (it wins best cocktail in COS in just about every contest there is),  “bartender’s choice” and sangria. When my parents were in town last month, they liked it so much we went to Shuga’s Happy Hour two days in a row. It was during that really ridiculous cold snap we had, so none of us got the drink specials, we got the hot cocktails instead.

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

A latte from Shuga's, Colorado Springs

A latte from Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Dad and me at Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Dad and me at Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Fancy hot drink menu, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Fancy hot drink menu, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Hot coffee cocktail, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Hot coffee cocktail, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Warm butter almond cake, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Warm butter almond cake, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Happy Hour Hummus, Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Happy Hour Hummus, Shuga's, Colorado Springs