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Mingle with the Locals in Colorado Springs’ Revitalized Ivywild.

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

Nov 24, 2020


November 2020

On a summer stroll around my friend’s Colorado Springs Ivywild neighborhood, a school building was bustling. Odd, at first sight, as it was summer, and school was clearly not in session. But upon further inquiry, I learned the former Ivywild Elementary School, closed in 2009, had been completely reimagined as part of a Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority project.

Opened in 2013, today Ivywild School is a multiuse commercial and community center. The 20,000-square-foot space boasts a delicatessen, brewery, pub, bakery, coffee shop and gift shop. The building is consistently full of energy and neighborhood buzz, from its Bristol Brewery & Pub to Ivywild Kitchen. You can even say you grabbed a drink at the cleverly named Principal’s Office.

South of Colorado Springs’ downtown, along Cheyenne Creek, Ivywild is the city’s oldest working-class neighborhood. With interesting, unique and standout projects like the repurposed school, it’s a place to see and be seen frequenting Colorado Springs’ best hot spots. Take Prime 25, a modern interpretation of the classic steakhouse on Tejon Street. Its copper, wood, glass and steel interior alongside an open kitchen and first-rate cuisine make Prime 25 the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion or soak in the ambience of the ever-evolving Ivywild neighborhood.

Continue on Tejon Street to what is now known as the Trolley District, and find Colorado Springs’ newest symbol of revitalization and entertainment: CO.A.T.I, a multivendor marketplace anchored by Pikes Peak Brewing Co. and just opened in early September in the former Trolley Building.

Aptly named for a word in Maya culture that stands for insurgent nature, intelligence, curiosity and playfulness, CO.A.T.I’s philosophy mimics the spirit of Colorado Springs: rebellious and willing to challenge everything. It’s an incubator for ideas, offering operational support to enthusiasts and local chefs otherwise unable to break out on their own. By offering access to seasoned professionals and services, CO.A.T.I. eliminates obstacles standing in the way of local talent and paves the way for chefs and artisans to strike out on their own in Colorado.

The 13,000-square-foot food hall connects to the new outpost of Pikes Peak Brewing Lager House. (Pikes Peak is an icon and must-see of Colorado Springs.) Originally started in Monument, Colorado, the second brewery location brings the community together over hand- crafted beer, offering all the company’s flagship beers but only brewing lagers here.

Surrounded by stunning natural scenery, one thing is certain: Colorado Springs is so much more than a pretty face. It’s a city of ideas, of revitalization, of perseverance, of community — no matter which neighborhood draws you in.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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