The Principal’s Office; You Deserve Detention
To the “uneducated”, approaching the Ivywild School, home to The Principal’s Office, can be an odd experience. This is an elementary school that we’re going to drink in….huh?!
Once you get inside you’re immediately transported back in time as the facility still looks and feels like the elementary school in which it is built. As you walk down the creaking wood floor, passing the little shops inside, you quickly acclimate to your new surroundings. The fresh bread and pastries of The Old School Bakery tempt your palate as you round the corner and enter the coffee/wine/spirits house that is The Principal’s Office. On this particular afternoon, Jim and Jeff bellied up to the blackboard covered bar to talk with several of The Principal’s office staff and what it has to offer the drinking community of Colorado Springs.
How The Principal’s Office Works
The Ivywild School is such a unique business approach with multiple businesses all residing within the same property, we thought the most important thing for our readers to understand was what a first-time visitor can expect. Erika Mullett laughed and said, “Probably an overwhelming experience! But once the shock wears off, a complete education (on their products and offerings) and new experiences for their palate.” A very astute observation by Mullett. I imagine they see a lot of the “deer in headlights” looks from first-time visitors. When you first get into the common area, you aren’t really sure what to do. There is no table-side service, no menus on the tables or instructions to help you along. Thankfully, the staff throughout the shops are people that you can tell want to be there and want this place to succeed. Everyone is smiling and excited to help you navigate the area to get just what you are looking for.
Mullett explained that the hope for visiting customers is that they will want to explore the shops that are offered here so they can learn and experience what each business has to offer.
“We want it to be like a giant market” where people can stop and talk with the experts at each shop and learn from their passion, she said.
The Principal’s Office also understands that people may not have the time or desire to roam around every time they visit. For folks just wanting to get in and out, you can put all your orders in at the Principal’s Office and they will work with the Meat Locker and the Old School bakery to get you everything you want on one ticket. To further that goal, the businesses have recently consolidated their ordering stations down to their central area shared by the Old School Bakery and The Principal’s Office, making it a much easier dining experience for customers.
Building Local First
A majority of the Principal’s Office business right now is spirits driven by unique mixed drinks. Looking over the menu you will find some things you recognize, but plenty you don’t.
The reason for the uniqueness comes back to the freedom the staff is given to concoct and experiment with new cocktails while working behind the bar. One of the Principal’s Office’s more popular drinks right now was founded under just such a window. Mullett tells us that the English Lit drink took about three tries to perfect one afternoon. The drink: a combination of honey infused vodka, house made lavender syrup, vanilla tinchers, orange blossom water and sweet vermouth, mixed and topped off with Cava and a orange twist. Professor, I may be a little late to my next class!
But spirits are not the only thing poured at the office. As most teachers will tell you, coffee is the pit to the education fruit, and the Principal’s Office knows its coffee. The coffee program continues gaining speed in a city that isn’t particularly known for its coffee grounds. As coffee guy Tyler Hill explains, the goal is to bring in the best possible coffees they can find, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be from a local roaster. However, “If anybody local has a great coffee, we will bring it in right away!”, he was quick to note. You will also find no blended coffees at the Principal’s Office; only single source beans. Additionally, their goal is through education and experience to raise the standard for coffee throughout Colorado Springs. Hey, no one said this team was reserved.
Remembering The School
Mullett describes the Principal’s Office concept as not only a location for quality food and drinks, but also a source of education. Allowing the customer to know the source of the ingredients; who is tasting what before deciding to use them; and how those ingredients are used to make high quality products is something all the businesses within Ivywild strive to deliver. Making as much of what they use in house so they know everything inside and out and can share that knowledge with their customer is a common goal among everyone we talked with.
The staff at the Principal’s Office comprises storytellers. That’s our business, too, but when you order a coffee at the Principal’s Office, you’re as likely to hear about a coffee giving you a grandmother’s hug as you are about how it has a nutty and pear flavor.
Here Mullett tells us a little more about what you can expect from your next visit to The Principal’s Office.
There are plenty of places you can visit that offer local products for your consumption. The Principal’s Office not only focuses on local whenever possible, but it also brings passion; passion for craft, ingredients, and above all a passion for customers. The Principal’s Office ensures customers are happy, entertained, and educated when they leave, be it from detention or after the last bell.