Friday night in downtown Colorado Springs was full of energy when we pulled up to the entrance of Colorado Craft Social, a restaurant that opened last January. In the last few years, Tejon Street has quickly transformed into a row of trendy, bustling dining destinations, like Colorado Craft Social. Its large open space, with neat black tables arranged in a series of lines, encourages conversation.
On a Friday night, the restaurant was filled with families, couples on dates, and older Colorado Springs residents, allowing for interaction with people we don’t see regularly on the Colorado College campus. Though busy, the restaurant never felt crowded or overwhelming. The space holds a standard of modernity and class with its large, hanging lamps, high bar top, and neatly set tables, while still offering affordable, fresh, and delicious food. Colorado Craft makes a high-class dining experience accessible to most.
The website reads, “We aim to support small to medium local companies in representing their individual craft.” Colorado Craft feels unique in its celebration of Colorado’s breweries, distilleries, farms, and purveyors, as the restaurant characterizes itself as an amalgam of delicious Colorado food and beverage. The menu exhibits inspiration from all over the world, as the restaurant works to combine local and global cuisine.
The menu is broken up into several sections. First, Colorado Craft offers a selection of “shareables,” ranging from a burrata salad, and “Tejon Street Corn,” to mac and cheese, nachos, and pork rib sliders. The restaurant also offers a selection of soups and salads, each a unique flavor and combination of fresh ingredients. The Korean steak salad felt unique to Colorado Craft Social; it is rare to find a salad that is both spicy, and incredibly fresh. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, accompanying the crunch of the lettuce with a chewy tenderness. Dishes in the shareables and the soup/salad selections are large enough to stand as entrées. However, if customers are seeking something more hearty, the entrée menu is stacked with classics, from a fresh cheeseburger with housemade sauce and fish and chips, to a Colorado trout and vegetable sandwich. Although its menu is simple, Colorado Craft has something for everyone.
The drink menu contains a character of its own, offering an almost overwhelming selection of wines, cocktails, and locally brewed beers. The restaurant offers a happy hour every Thursday through Saturday, from 3 to 7 p.m., serving local drafts for $4, house wines for $5, and cocktails for $6, alongside a discounted display of appetizers such as English pea hummus and marinated burrata.
Colorado Craft Social encourages a sense of community in Colorado Springs. Founded on the basis of fresh food and quality drinks, it is a space waiting to be enjoyed by everyone.