Bourbon Brothers leads Copper Ridge’s growth

Bourbon Brothers opened on Monday, and its business was hopping from the start.

Bourbon Brothers opened on Monday, and its business was hopping from the start.

As Copper Ridge at Northgate on the city’s upper edge welcomes the opening of its second business, its developer says much more is in store for 2014.

Bourbon Brothers Southern Kitchen, a full-service restaurant offering homestyle cuisine and more than 115 different kinds of bourbon, opened its flagship restaurant Monday at Copper Ridge. The 9,000-square-foot, 240-seat structure is the first to open its doors since Bass Pro Shops began serving customers in November, which has made Copper Ridge much more of a destination, said developer Gary Erickson.

“I think Bass Pro Drive is one of the busiest roads in town,” said Erickson, who added that the store has been “phenomenally busy” and very exciting for him because of his lease deal with the outdoor retailer.

Erickson and other Copper Ridge investors are now awaiting the arrival of nearly a dozen more businesses — most of which plan to open this year — and are negotiating with anchors to make the place more appealing to both customers and future tenants.

Among the other businesses and restaurants planning to open at the 200-acre urban renewal area are:

• Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, a Georgia-based pizza parlor, planning to open its first Springs location at Copper Ridge;

• Magnum Shooting Center, a 30,000-square-foot firearm range expected to break ground this spring and open this summer on a tract of land adjacent to Bass Pro;

• Orange Leaf, a self-serve frozen yogurt franchise with Oklahoma roots that Erickson expects to be open in the next two to three months;

• Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, the popular and rapidly expanding national chain, that Erickson said should open in the next 60 to 90 days;

• Baldwin Liquors, a planned 18,000-square-foot liquor store and wine cellar;

• CB & Potts, a popular Colorado restaurant and sports bar chain with locations in Denver and Fort Collins, which plans to open its 8,000-square-foot, stand-alone location at Copper Ridge in the coming months;

• Colorado Grand Resort and Hotel, a 15-acre recreation destination Erickson is investing in with plans that include a 400-room hotel and 70,000-square-foot indoor water park; and

• An unnamed sushi bar, an Interstate Batteries vendor, a Loaf ’N’ Jug convenience store, and a seafood chophouse under the same ownership as Bourbon Brothers.

Although Copper Ridge has not yet seen the arrival of a major anchor store to join Bass Pro Shops, Erickson said he is expecting big things this year.

“We’re literally working with some great big guys that I think we can announce fairly soon,” he said. “We’re fairly confident that we will go to contract with at least one big box store, another smaller one and more retail after that.”

Erickson said that he is negotiating with 10 to 15 other companies interested in moving into Copper Ridge, from which he has received letters of intent.

Another of his ambitions is to increase customer accessibility to his growing mixed-use complex, an issue he says he’s working to resolve. Early plans to develop Copper Ridge, created by the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority, included a focus on extending Powers Boulevard from Colorado Highway 83 to Interstate 25, creating better accessibility and more traffic exposure.

Although such projects were downgraded in priority after the area’s fires and floods, Colorado Springs City Council voted 8-1 on Oct. 22 to create a 1 percent annual sales tax increment of Copper Ridge revenue to help finance the Powers extension over the next 25 years.

Erickson says he has been working with the city and the Colorado Department of Transportation to “get a package together and get it re-priced.”

“We’re getting ready to push Powers hard this year,” he said.