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Treat for the Tastebuds

503W: Contemporary American Gastro-Faire with an Asian flair

Old Colorado City was annexed by Colorado Springs in 1917, but prior to that, it had a colorful past.

The first permanent town in the Pikes Peak Region started out as the small settlement of El Dorado in 1859, but the founders soon changed the name to Colorado City. The Colorado Midland Railroad was established and became one of the city’s largest employers. With Colorado Springs being established in 1871 as a “dry city,” locals had to travel to Colorado City if they wished to partake in a little vice.

Fast Forward

These days, Colorado City is known as Old Colorado City and west-siders have re-colored it to generate a unique community with shops, restaurants, art galleries and more. It is a tight knit community which takes pride in its space and offerings.

Restaurant 503W (pronounced five-oh-three-west) is one such revival in the neighborhood. For 18 years, The Dutch Mill Tavern stood in that space and was a staple in the community, serving west-siders. Ten years ago, it was transformed by former Dutch Mill owner Mi Lee and new partners Nina Lee and Rollie Ortiz into a new space featuring contemporary American gastro-faire with an Asian flair.

Themed happy hours, award-winning brunch, Aperol Spritz on tap, and menu items with a cult following are just a few of the offerings in this local gem. Jenn Miller, general manager for 503W, says that the people serving at the restaurant are really the special ingredient.

“Our owners are the heart of this company,” she says.

She goes on to explain that their method of management allows staff the opportunity to be involved in the menu-making process and that lends itself to some really unique offerings in both the kitchen and the bar. Having long-term staff deliver said treats just adds to the Cheers-like atmosphere of this special stop.

Eccentric Taste Experience

As someone who is apt to search for the most unique food offerings, all it takes is a quick glance at the cocktail menu to know that this restaurant does not skimp on flavor and isn’t afraid to do a little research and development to ensure distinctive and eccentric taste experience. Soju and sake, ube, yuzu, lychee, wasabi, hellfire habanero shrub, boba and glitter. Yes, glitter – because, why not?     

It is no wonder this restaurant found its home in a place known for challenging societal norms and pushing boundaries. It is a treat for the tastebuds and delivered with a smile.

Instagram: @503wco