Mitch Yellen is most closely tied to the Garden of the Gods Market and Café and The Pinery at the Hill, but he has a multifaceted plan for introducing the Colorado Springs market to a variety of concepts over the coming months, and there is virtually something for everyone.
“I came here 20 years ago, and frankly, the food scene left a lot to be desired,” Yellen says. “I’m New York born, my kids were raised outside of Napa Valley, and I lived in LA for many years. I’ve always had a passion for delicious, approachable, and inexpensive food.”
He says his international travels over the course of many years exposed him to different cuisines, great food, and impeccable service, so he is setting out to provide the same in Colorado Springs although perhaps on a smaller scale.
Garden of the Gods Market and Café
Now in its new location at 616 S. Tejon St., the market is open for breakfast and lunch with a variety of options including vegan dishes and some new menu items with an urban flair. Operating out of the original location for the market and café on Highway 24, Garden of the Gods Catering and Westside Market is a grab-and-go spot that is ideal for dinner pickup and baked goods and is also home to the wedding and events catering company. godsmarketandcafe.com and godscateringandevents.com
Headed by award-winning executive chef Phil Griffin, Till offers upscale dining in the same location as Garden of the Gods Market and Café as the space transitions to evening. Griffin hails from England and has 25 years of experience under his belt, including time at seven European one-star Michelin restaurants in the UK. Assisting Chef Griffin is Chef Devon Spear, a veteran of a two-star Michelin restaurant in New York. The menu includes a variety of small plates, raw bar offerings, and entrees such as 48-hour braised short ribs and confit pork belly. tillsouth.com
The Pinery at the Hill
This all-inclusive event space at 775 W. Bijou St. offers multiple rooms for flexibility and can accommodate corporate events, weddings, fund-raisers, and the like. thepinery.com
Menu options at Sprig include the Rainbow Crunch Power Salad with cashews, carrots, and pickled onions.
North Side Social
In the former location of Till Kitchen along the Powers corridor, North Side Social is an open-air family entertainment facility with eight indoor/outdoor pickleball courts, a large arcade, a private dining room, a beer wall with some 75 taps, 50 televisions for watching your favorite sporting activities, and family-friendly menu items such as pizza and burgers. New additions to the lineup include weekend events with DJs and games and Sunday brunch. northsidesocialco.com
South Side Social
Expected to open later this year, South Side Social will cater to millennials and those who are seeking a little more variety in their entertainment without having to hop from one facility to another. Located near the new Switchbacks soccer stadium off of Sierra Madre Street, South Side Social will have an outdoor concert venue, sand volleyball, pickleball, bocci ball, a putting green, a golf simulator, big-screen televisions, and an oversized bar area.
Opening soon at 104 N. Tejon St. is a healthy concept restaurant called Sprig that Yellen describes as featuring nourish bowls, smoothies, salads, and juices. The menu also offers soups and other healthy choices. A cupcake company called Lolly’s is in the works and will begin operating out of this space in June.
Vine and Wheel
Later this year, this wine, cheese, and tapas space will open in the back portion of the building that houses Garden of the Gods Market and Café. The space will be set up to resemble a home with comfortable seating groups, couches, and smaller tables. Expect a list more than 80 wines deep and both a sommelier and a fromellier curating wines and cheese to each customer’s taste.
Just below Vine and Wheel, the basement space will be transformed into a low-key speakeasy and evening nightclub with authentic cocktails focusing on bourbons and whiskeys, a small offering of tapas, and a stage featuring live jazz music. True to its clandestine nature, however, it won’t have a bright neon sign identifying the entrance.
Melissa Svenby, COO, says what sets Altitude Hospitality Group apart is hiring for people’s strengths. “We know how to bring great people in for each concept,” she says. “Our focus is on exceptional service and creating spaces that are hospitable first and foremost. We do this by hiring and training fantastic talent with that same mission in mind. This allows us to elevate our food game and helps set us apart from other offerings in town.”
Yellen says the ambiance and impeccable service help to carry the concept of each restaurant, but providing great food is at the forefront of everything he is doing. “My chefs are pivotal to these operations,” he says. “I provide them with an environment to thrive—from the dishwashers and managers to servers and sales staff. It’s more than a paycheck because we are providing opportunities for growth.”