Old Colorado City is a historic district on the west side of Colorado Springs. Founded in 1859, it was the first settlement in the Pikes Peak region, and even was the territorial capitol for a short time. Old Colorado City was a wild place with saloons and rooming houses that attracted miners who had traveled to Colorado in search of riches during the Colorado gold rush. Today, Old Colorado City holds a collection of restaurants, bars and shops, many established in the original brick buildings of the mid-1800s. Because of its heritage, Old Colorado City is a perfect place for a barbecue joint, and Front Range Barbecue fits in nicely.
What makes it great:
After an outdoor adventure, this barbecue joint beckons. It sits in the middle of the Old Colorado City historic district, and is just across the street from Bancroft Park. At Front Range, you can stuff yourself on pulled pork and chicken, dry-rubbed smoked ribs, brisket, sausage and catfish, all piled high with homemade baked beans, spicy coleslaw and Mom’s Corn n’ Pea Salad. Throw in craft beers and local and national music acts, and you've got yourself a recipe for success. Most days, especially in the summer months, crowds spill out the front door of this small restaurant.
Who will love it:
This is a family restaurant created by two brothers, and that family approach is obvious. The brothers came here from Alabama and established their barbeque restaurant in 2000. The meats are dry-rubbed and smoked. The burgers are ground in-house, and the sides and desserts are homemade from family recipes- try the homemade pecan pie or white chocolate bread pudding with cherries, apricots and apples topped with toffee bits and vanilla sauce and caramel sauce. Salads aren’t premade, and are topped with house-made salad dressings including smoked jalapeno ranch and spicy cracked pepper (and can come with pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, grilled sausage or smoked artichoke hearts). Burgers are grilled to order over an open flame and are served on a toasted “sweet po-tater” bun. A vegetarian menu includes a spicy or regular black bean quinoa veggie burger. The restaurant has a craft beer menu and more than 40 bottled beers, and it features original music from local and national acts. Look for bluegrass (mostly on Wednesdays), folk, reggae, Americana, blues, rock and jam bands.
Directions, fees and regulations:
Front Range Barbecue is at 2330 W. Colorado Avenue in Colorado Springs. From downtown, take Colorado Avenue west to 23rd Street. The restaurant is on the right, just before Bancroft Park. The park is a popular gathering spot, especially in the summer months when festivals, farmers markets and other events fill the small, shaded space. Winter hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Summer hours are a little longer.
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