Lincoln Center Goes New School

The Lincoln Center brings new life to an old school and the surrounding Fillmore corridor.

Call it new school development. This spring, the Lincoln Center will reopen the shuttered doors of the former Lincoln Elementary School, which closed in 2013. The idea is to turnthe old neighborhood school, established in 1948, into a new community business center similar to, say, The Source in Denver’s River North District. Developer JohnRodgers, president of Peak Commercial Properties, describes it as a place where you can work out, then grab a beer or meal at a brewery; or have a business meeting at a craft coffee shop; or host a gathering in the event center. “It’s like its own little downtown in one building,” Rodgers says.

He envisions people drawn from the Old North End, Penrose Hospital and both Colorado College and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Lincoln sits 2 miles from CC and 2.7 miles from UCCS. There will be a Metro bus stop at the center. And once completed, the Legacy Loop trail will run two blocks away, linking to the city’s major trail arteries of the Pikes Peak Greenway and Rock Island Regional Trail.

Artist rendering of the new look of Lincoln
Artist rendering of the new look of Lincoln Center

With twice the square footage of Ivywild, Lincoln Center’s main attraction will be at least one craft brewery, Local Relic, along with another potential brewpub or restaurant still pending. But Rodgers says the space truly will be mixed with offices and retail alongside the restaurants. An architecture firm and barber shop are already leased. Red Point Smoothies and OmTastic Yoga are on board, and CrossFit SOCO will occupy the school’s old gym. Doors will begin opening in April. Others should follow in May and June as interior construction is completed. Here’s a preview of what’s on the way at 2727 N. Cascade Ave.

1. Nightingale Bread

Baker David McInnis is all about the purity of the bread and the historical traditions of his craft. He’ll be milling his own sustainably-grown grains on-site. Expect Old World loaves and artisanal specialties all made by hand.

2. Building Three Coffee Roasters

You may have savored Building Three’s small-batch offerings at Peak Place Coffee or the Wild Goose. Now you can watch them roast on-site. Owners Sean and Jenna Buckles are passionate about sourcing sustainable beans directly from farmers, and they hope to open with a microlot from growers they just met in El Salvador and Costa Rica.

3. Goat Patch Brewing Company

The creative brewery has built a following as a local favorite for its award-winning but balanced brews. Named for head brewer Darren Blazes’s unique facial hair, Goat Patch has been a leader in the local brewing scene for quality, creativity and community focus. Try It Takes a Tribe Red Ale, Hazy Unfiltered IPA or anything on tap and pull up a seat on the sunny patio.

Around the Neighborhood

The Fillmore and North Nevada corridor is long on history, short on pretension. You won’t find fancy, but there are plenty of culinary institutions that locals swear by.

4. Legacy Loop

The 9.75-mile trail will complete General William Palmer’s original vision for a scenic loop around downtown. Once complete, the Rock Island Trail connector will link the Pikes Peak Greenway with the Shooks Run Trail.

5. Monica’s Taco Shop

The authentic Mexican taqueria consistently lands on Best Of lists, thanks to a full range of tasty plates or favorites a la carte. Don’t miss the fish tacos.
30 E. Fillmore St.,

6. Johnny’s Navajo Hogan

Photo by Samantha Silverman
Navajo Hogan in neon. Photo by Samantha Silverman.

Built in 1935, the Hogan has survived a fire and a multitude of iterations, from historic roadhouse, dance club, strip club, fine dining establishment to the current sister restaurant to Southside Johnny’s. Look for the neon Indian, and roll up on your Harley for live rock, specialty chicken, brick oven pizzas and beers.
2817 N. Nevada Ave.,

7. Umpire Estate Mountain Roasters

Formerly known at Colorado Coffee Merchants, this small batch roastery has earned a loyal and well-deserved following for its beans and brew, but the made-from-scratch breakfast is worth a stop of its own with specials like spicy chorizo empanadas.
302 E. Fillmore St.,

8. Boonzaaijer’s Dutch Bakery

Enter the fourth-generation baker’s pastry heaven. You can go big with a grand wedding cake or indulge in a wide variety of tortes, petit fours, pies, you name it. We recommend an éclair or mountain peak.
610 E. Fillmore St.,

9. Omelette Parlor

The breakfast institution has been scrambling, frying and poaching to a packed house since the ’80s. Pull up a seat in the eclectic, sunny interior lined with funky farm art and historic photos, and try the specialty eggs Benedict or pork green chili.
900 E. Fillmore St.,

10. Ranch Foods Direct

The pasture to plate leader relocated its retail outlet into the old Conway’s Red Top location, where you can find fresh cuts of everything from Wagyu rib eye to smoked applewood bacon to pet food ground beef and chicken feet for making stocks.
1228 E. Fillmore St.,

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Jeremy Jones
Jeremy Jones is Springs’ co-founder, editorial director and chief outdoor officer. He loves building community by telling stories about all the people, places and culture that make Colorado Springs an amazing place to live. And he’s especially stoked when exploring new places in the Springs, Colorado and beyond. Watch for him hiking, running or mountain biking the local trails with his wife and kids.

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