A white structure resembling a small country house, with deep blue doors and an outdoor patio glowing under hanging lights, stands as one of the most darling, delightful restaurants in Colorado Springs. Suggested by its name, “Shuga’s,” this restaurant is a perfect dining option for a comfortable date, family reunion, or intimate celebration.
The small restaurant space is filled with little tables, hanging orange lights, and about 100 paper cranes dangling from the ceiling. The dim glow from the lights gives the room a candle-lit effect, allowing the restaurant space to feel immediately intimate and cozy.
Lauren Mueller, a waitress at Shuga’s, said that when the owner, Alexius Weston, bought the restaurant, it was “like a blank canvas” that Weston turned into a totally unique and magical space. “Everything makes it unique—the style, the creativity,” Mueller said. It is these attributes that make Shuga’s a restaurant experience like no other.
A romantic evening at Shuga’s could consist of selected wines and the Shuga’s Favorite Café Tray, a silver platter that contains tastes of favorite items on the menu, such as the Mediterranean fare—consisting of hummus, goat cheese, and olive tapenade with pita bread—the Nicoise salad, caprese bruschetta, spicy shrimp Soup, and almond butter cake. Under the dim candlelight setting, this meal would enhance the shared and personal experience of a date.
If celebrating or gathering with friends, Shuga’s could offer their endless selection of homemade and home-designed cocktails, such as the Beet Down, a combination of fresh beet, ginger, and lemon juice, accompanied with vodka, or the Blushing Geisha, which consists of lychee, lemon, ginger, Chambord, and “bubbles.” Shuga’s offers a variety of infused vodkas, such as the butternut squash-infused vodka that accompanies the spring menu offering of a fresh butternut squash salad. Not only are the cocktail combinations endless, but they also taste incredibly healthy and refreshing, allowing for a celebration of shameless drinking.
Shuga’s is also a perfect location and setting for a meal out with a visiting relative. The subtle music and quiet, casual nature of the space allows for clear and comfortable conversation, and the menu offers dishes to please a variety of cravings.
Not only does the Shuga’s menu allow for food item combinations, such as a choice of bruschetta from a selection of six combinations with a cup of soup, side salad, or quiche, but the menu also changes depending on the time of year. The spring, summer, winter, and fall menus work in tune with both the fresh produce in season, and also the general character of the season itself, allowing for a more multi-dimensional dining experience. Despite these seasonal changes, Shuga’s keeps certain dishes consistent on the menu. The spicy Brazilian shrimp soup is a dish made with ginger, coconut milk, jalapeño, peanut, cilantro, and lime that has a flavor unique to any other soup.
“I love going for lunch on a nice day,” said junior Charles Meyer, a regular Shuga’s customer. “They have an awesome patio. I wish that their menu changed for dinner, but it’s still all great, and their drinks are dope; love their Beat Down; their mojito pitcher is a steal.”
“There’s a lot of reasons why I’ve been here for so long,” said Mueller, who is approaching her fifth year working at the restaraunt. Shuga’s has a close and committed community of servers and customers who just keeping coming back.