Venturing Beyond the Swipe Mornings at Ivywild: A Brunch for Your Buck

You wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning hungry and likely hungover. Rastall sounds easy; you know it won’t be more than a 10 minute walk from any point on campus, and all you need is a swipe. How much does that swipe cost, though? At Ivywild, everything on the breakfast menu is under $10 and is made with fresh, specially-prepared food.

Unlike Rastall, where a long line usually builds from the unopened doors on weekend mornings, there is little-to-no wait at Ivywild, even on a busy Saturday morning. I stood for just five minutes in a short line at the pastry bar where I ordered my breakfast, the “Caprese-Avocado Breakfast Special.” For only $5.50, it consisted of one avocado split on two pieces of sourdough toast, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, balsamic reduction, and basil.

Photo by Aaron Cronin

The combination of warm homemade toast, ripe avocado, cool tomatoes, and decadent mozzarella brought a level of freshness that Rastall just can’t compete with. The balsamic reduction that decorated the surfaces of elevated the dish to the feel of $20 delicacy. If that doesn’t sound satisfying enough, the Old School Bakery breakfast menu also offers breakfast sandwiches, french toast, varied breakfast plates, benedicts, omelets, potato bowls, and shareables – and not one item from this selection exceeds a $10 cost.

To accompany my Caprese-Avocado Special, I ordered the Fried Avocados. They mimicked a kind of potato wedge, served with honey sriracha and cucumber ranch dips from the “shareables” section of the menu. The portions are just large enough to leave you full without the same kind of immobility experienced after a Rastall brunch. “[At] Rastall brunch you’re bound to overeat,” said Colorado College senior Ivy Wappler, “and you’re bound to over capacitate yourself for the rest of the day and go back to bed.” Many have referred to this as the “Post-Rastall Food Coma.”

Built in 1916, Ivywild was initially an elementary school. Upon its closing in 2009, plans were made to move the 18-year-old Bristol Brewery into the space, along with a bakery, espresso/cocktail bar, delicatessen, and office space. The Old School Bakery is open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., offering both fresh bread and pastries that rest in the window display, as well as full breakfast and lunch meals. They also offer a comprehensive list of coffee options, including cold brew coffee from all around the world.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating, and customers are expected to seat themselves. The outside area consists of a long, extended porch that gives a subtle country-club vibe. “There’s enough space, compared to Rastall, which is an incredibly crowded, overwhelming social event,” said Wappler. At Ivywild, you can enjoy brunch among other young people, families, and older couples, allowing you to witness and become a part of the greater Colorado Springs community just by eating delicious food.

The website reads, “[Ivywild is] a virtual and literal hotspot of activity throughout the day, Ivywild is always full of energy. Whether it’s bakers baking fresh bread and pastries in the morning, friends meeting for coffee or craft-brewed beer over lunch, gardeners harvesting the fruits of the season, or people gathering for a small concert or film in the former gym.”

Colorado College is its own kind of hub for events, community building, performance, and learning; however, it is easy to forget that just down the road, another lively and inspired community sits waiting. “The vibe is special,” Wappler said, “It’s very much that you’re not at CC.”

Who can resist fresh produce, a sunny, spacious porch, and an escape from the chaos of campus? “I like having a social brunch,” said Wappler, “but I also like curating a small group of people to have that with, instead of having to encounter everyone I know.” Not only does Ivywild create an opportunity for intentionality in who you spend time with at CC, but it also creates a shared space with the greater Colorado Springs community.

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