Big city tavern calls a historic trolley car warehouse home

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Johnny Nolan, a popular long-time bar manager of the Ritz Grill, has opened his own new restaurant and tavern called SouthSide Johnny’s.

Nolan, along with partners Dave Lux and Luke Travins, owners of Concept Restaurants, said they have developed a new model for the lower area of downtown Colorado Springs.

SouthSide Johnny’s features a full lunch and dinner menu with appetizers, entrees, salads, children’s meals, and late-night tavern food. The style of cooking is a combination of classic American tavern, blue-plate specials, and homestyle comfort food.

There’s live entertainment on weekends and DJ’s on other select evenings.

The 4800 sq. ft. establishment will seat 140 on the inside and 30 on the Tejon street patio. SouthSide Johnny’s is located in an historic trolley car warehouse that was built in the late 1800’s. The decor is “big-city tavern” that preserves the historic feel.

The restaurant is located on 528 South Tejon, on the southwest corner of Tejon and Moreno streets. Parking is available on both the street and in the adjacent parking lot.

Steel trusses, wood beams, and exposed brick are elements of the preservation project. General contractor Edward Pine intentionally used and kept the historic attributes of the building.