A new daytime breakfast and lunch restaurant has opened in downtown Colorado Springs, replacing a name familiar to late-night visitors to downtown for about 20 years.
Burnt Toast debuted Friday at 112 N. Nevada Ave. in the space most recently occupied by Oscar’s Oyster Bar; before that it housed Brewer’s Republic, a bar and restaurant.
Owner Phil Duhon closed Oscar in mid-April, saying the Nevada Avenue location wasn’t attracting enough nighttime customers.
“The traffic flow in this part of Nevada is more of a daytime problem than an evening one, and it just couldn’t handle the volume it needed to pay the bills,” Duhon said.
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The closing marked the end of a nearly 20-year run for the Oscars.
It opened in May 2003 as Oscar’s Tejon Street at 333 S. Tejon St. It then operated as Oscar’s Oyster Bar, but closed in early 2019. Duhon renamed Oscar’s Midtown Grill and continued to operate at the South Tejon location, although it also closed that business about six months later.
It acquired Brewer’s Republic on Nevada Avenue in late 2019, but closed it a few months later amid COVID-19 operating restrictions on restaurants and bars. He relaunched the Oscars brand in May 2021, only to close it last April.
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“Oscar had a pretty good 20-year run,” Duhon said, adding that he was probably past his prime and it was time to refresh the concept.
Duhon said he’s had a breakfast idea in mind for years and has teamed up with downtown nightclub and restaurant owners Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli and lawyer and businessman. business John Goede to launch Burnt Toast.
Unlike the lack of nighttime traffic, the Nevada Avenue location is better suited for a daytime breakfast and lunch, Duhon said.
“During the day, I actually think it’s expedient,” he said.
“There are only three or four breakfast places downtown versus, you know, 20 lunch places,” Duhon added. “There is a larger share.”
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Burnt Toast, open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., offers a varied menu including French toast, huevos rancheros, breakfast tacos and burritos, breakfast bowls, granola bowls and snacks. traditional dishes such as pancakes, eggs cooked to order, bacon and sausage.
The lunch menu includes burgers and sandwiches served with fries, as well as salads.
Burnt Toast specializes in more health-conscious, dinner-friendly offerings, Duhon said.
The menu includes gluten-free, dairy-free and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) options, as well as cage-free organic eggs, he said.
Burnt Toast also offers juice, fresh lemonade, cantaloupe juice and other breakfast drink options, Duhon said.
The restaurant will offer what it called the largest non-alcoholic menu in town, featuring eight non-alcoholic beers and half a dozen mocktails – often called mocktails.
“You can have a non-alcoholic mojito or an old-fashioned non-alcoholic or…even Guinness now has a non-alcoholic beer,” Duhon said. “Pretty cool options.”
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For customers who want traditional booze, however, Burnt Toast has a full bar available during restaurant hours, he said.
Burnt Toast, which employs 18 people and will eventually have about 25 people, has indoor street-level seating for about 40 people and 55 to 60 seats on the roof, Duhon said. A patio can accommodate about 40 more people, he said.
Although open during the day, Burnt Toast plans to add late-night, weekend menu items for downtown residents and visitors. Duhon said he hopes to begin service from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays starting July 8.