Margarita at Pine Creek Colorado Springs Restaurant
Just beyond the hotels, chain restaurants, and business centers infesting the Northwest corner of Woodmen and I-25 lies a hidden oasis of peace and serenity. With two white adobe-style structures amidst walls enclosing multiple patios, the Margarita at Pine Creek has been serving fine food for 35 years in a spacious and relaxing environment. Despite the nearby development, the Margarita retains its original pristine setting, surrounded by Ponderosa pines at the confluence of Pine and Monument Creeks.
In 1969, Ken and Pati Davidson quit their real jobs and opened a Mexican Import shop and art gallery in Pati’s grandmother’s house on Bonfoy street, what was then the east side of town. They named the shop “Margarita” for the white daisies they had seen in their travels to Mexico (the drink was not popular in the 60’s). Ken was a wood and metal sculptor and Pati served the soup meals she had loved as a child in her grandmother's dining room. After two years, they saw that the food was more appealing than the imports and decided to reorganize.
Pati and Ken, with the help of architect Al Feinstein built the New Margarita on property that has been in Pati’s family since the turn of the last century. Pati’s grandfather Tudor bought the Teachout ranch as well as part of General Palmer’s estate with the intention of mining the coal vein that run through the sandstone formations along the west side of Monument Creek. He fell in love with the land, and instead of mining it, his family used it exclusively for picnics for the last 100 years (except for 5 or 6 years when great Aunt Bessie and her husband tried to farm on it in the 20’s). Cooking on the property has an auspicious history—since Aunt Bessie had told stories of chasing off “the Indians” when she baked her gingerbread!
Pati took some more cooking classes, elaborated on her soup and salad concept and The Margarita at Pine Creek emerged in 1974. The Round building that was to have been Ken’s studio was soon leased as an art gallery as his services were needed as a host, dishwasher, repairmen and groundskeeper. The southwest wing of the restaurant was originally a plant and gift shop. Both spaces became the “South 40” dining room in 1984.
Since Ken’s Death in 1993, Pati and the long term staff (some here for 30 years) have continued the evolution process and believe his spirit is still a significant part of the Margarita at Pine Creek.
Pati hired Chef Eric Viedt in 1999 to head the kitchen. In the past ten years Eric and the Kitchen have evolved the menu while staying true to The Margarita’s original eclectic style. That style now is “Comfortably Contemporary Cuisine,” meaning we take recognizable, fresh ingredients and use them in innovative ways with a traditional background. Basically just tasty food. Chef Cathy (who also has been here for ten years) serves lunches that still use some of Pati’s original recipes like The Margarita’s Famous Sesame Dressing and the Daily Soups.
As for the rest of the story of the food, history and events,
you’ll just have to come and create your own Margarita story…