Napa Inspired TILL Restaurant and Mercantile
Elevates Colorado Springs’ Food Scene
Guests enter a simple, stylish atmosphere accented by natural design elements such as reclaimed beetle kill, galvanized steel, stone, and leather.
Altitude Hospitality Group, proprietors of award winning Pinery at The Hill and Garden of the Gods Gourmet, is growing their empire with the expansive TILL open-kitchen restaurant and mercantile sprouting up off Powers Boulevard, slated to open in June 2016.
"Till” means to prepare the land for planting crops, a well-suited name for the garden inspired concept that is breaking new ground by partnering with over 100 local farm purveyors who utilize sustainable agriculture methods. With a seasonally refreshed menu that incorporates high quality ingredients, and plans to launch their own food brand to stock the market shelves, TILL is sowing the seeds for a bounty of success.
The ambitious $12 million structure spans over 18,000 square feet, with a soaring 40-ft. vaulted ceiling, and seating for 385. Divided into four connecting buildings, the complex will house a bar, the dining room, a patio, and private rooms to accommodate corporate events and wedding parties. The large, open kitchen is at center stage, much like a welcoming farmhouse. In the case of TILL, bigger is indeed better.
“The vision behind TILL is to condition people to eat healthy, expect quality, and live a long life,” says Majority Owner Mitch Yellen. “Colorado Springs is such a health-conscious town. With the Olympics headquartered here, and a focus on fitness, I’m surprised there has been nothing like it until now.”
Taking the concept of freshness to the next level, Craig McHugh, director of development for Altitude Hospitality, and former owner of Peak Small Farms, is revolutionizing TILL’s sourcing efforts by partnering with local farms to guarantee organic, non-GMO ingredients. Whether at TILL’s market, restaurant, catering company, or butcher shop, McHugh says to expect a feast of freshly-picked produce and artisanal products straight from their fields and orchards, along with organic meat and wild caught fish, that “truly embodies the farm-to-fork philosophy.”
COO and Managing Partner, Eric Allen, understands quality inside and out, with nearly 30 years of directing Food and Beverage in some of the most prestigious restaurants including Ritz Carlton, Roy Steak Houses, and The Broadmoor. “As with all of Altitude Hospitality Group’s establishments, every attention will be given to detail and quality,” Allen avows, “from the design, ambiance, and service, to the expertly crafted menu offering comfort gourmet dishes with influences from Napa Valley to the South.” The menu will include some of the usuals, but with a twist, like barbeque and oysters grilled with mesquite wood. One of the most notable food preparation elements is the wood fired oven, which Allen says will create a romantic atmosphere, nostalgic of a harvest burning.
For those on the go, the market will offer hundreds of daily prepared foods like lasagnas, potpies, salads, and salsas with an option to pre-order from TILL online. Guests can shop at a made-to-order sushi bar, choose from fine baked goods, or continue their experience and stay for a meal.
Just like the food, the interior is described as clean and inviting, without a lot of over preparation - a warm, contemporary Napa vibe with white quartz countertops and simple lines. The open barn-like atmosphere boasts a beam ceiling with tongue and groove craftsmanship, while a floor to ceiling wine cellar serves as an aesthetic focal point, showcasing exquisite vintages. Throughout, black and white photographs from Colorado farms catch the eye.
Yellen and Allen benchmarked the best establishments globally by which to measure their standard for excellence, such as Mercantile at Union Station in Denver. They have consulted with a stable of top rated industry experts including a dough master from Napa, cocktail mixologists from Portland, and a superlative chef at the helm. The TILL experience will be rounded out with a talented staff trained to go ‘over and above’ in customer service, says Allen.
“Ultimately, TILL is about community at the core,” says Allen. He describes the bar as a gathering space attracting everyone from Bermuda short-wearing ‘locavores’ to suited business execs. The weekend will host cooking classes and live music. “TILL will be a relaxed venue where people can engage with the community, enjoy the fare, and have an overall great experience.”
Not your standard Colorado Springs dining venue, TILL’s farm-inspired, open kitchen and mercantile, promises to deliver extraordinary seasonal organic food and drink. This harvest of wholesomeness, along with the highest standards in service and quality, is heartening to anyone who values eating clean, natural ingredients, with a gourmet twist.