COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – One of the latest additions to downtown Colorado Springs’ restaurant scene has a unique business model, aiming to give back to the community.
The Well, or 315 Collective, is a new food hall going into a re-finished building at the corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Weber Street. Inside the same building, is a group of non-profits responsible for envisioning the food hall, called The Philanthropic Collective.
“The philanthropic side of things really launched the vision for supporting and building a public, for-profit space that would be open to the community and enhance the development of our city,” said Russ Ware, one of the operational managers of The Well. “The Well is the kind of place that draws community together around great beverages and food, and this is where great things happen. People get together to talk about ideas and things that we want to do in our city.”
Ware is well-known in the downtown restaurant scene. He also runs Good Neighbors Meeting House, The Wild Goose Meeting House, and recently opened upstairs restaurant and music venue Ephiphany. He says the philanthropic leadership behind The Well is what motivated him to be involved in his first food hall project.
“There are no venture capitalists coming in here, it’s not that kind of deal at all … The end game really is not big profits and someone getting rich. In fact, as The Well side of this campus becomes profitable, and hopefully it will be, that money ultimately goes back into the community.”
“The general concept of The 315 Collective, I believe it’s one of the only ones done in the country. It’s fascinating what this group of non-profits and philanthropies have done to come together.”
Located in east downtown, The Well’s corner lot has no neighboring restaurants and sees far less foot traffic than popular Tejon street. Economic experts with the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs say the food hall will be one of a kind in it’s area for now, but surrounding residential growth could attract more projects like it.
More than 1,000 new apartments are either recently completed, under construction, or are in planning phases in east downtown. “Downtown has many different nodes or sectors, and this one is developing its identity,” said Frank.
It’s not on Tejon street at all … I actually love that because I think as our downtown develops, that is a really important dynamic, that we’re widening. We’re not just filling in and lengthening what’s going on on Tejon street, but we’re actually moving East and West.”
The Well has an invite-only soft opening Tuesday, March 22. Management expects to open to the public no more than two weeks after that. The food hall has 4 food vendors: A burger joint, a Mexican kitchen, an Asian street food option, and a sandwich shop. For drinks, there’s a bar and coffee cafe. The space also has a northwest facing patio with artificial turf, yard games, and outdoor seating.
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