Ear to the ground

“What do you think it’s like to be a virgin? ... You know never eating meat, eggs, cheese or anything.”

– A very confused 12-year-old after dining out in downtown Durango

Twice baked in Telluride

A Four Corners institution is rising from the ashes. Seven months after the classic red building burned to the ground, reconstruction has officially started on Baked in Telluride.

“Baked” has operated on Fir Street in the heart of downtown Telluride since 1975. Founded by longtime local Jerry Green, B.I.T. became known for baked goods, pizza, home-brewed beer and championing environmental causes during the dark era of Reaganomics. The pop and mom business also spawned the “Baked in Telluride” T-shirt, which some credit with helping put the small ski town on the global map.

However, the cornerstone closed the door on 34 years of independent business when it burned to the ground late on the evening of Feb. 9. “When it was over, chunks of Telluride history lay on the ground smoldering,” wrote the Telluride Daily Planet.

The business’ rebirth got under way on Monday with an official groundbreaking. Not surprisingly, the design of the new-and-improved Baked closely resembles the old building. The main improvements will be inside with an enhanced layout, skylights and a state-of-the-art kitchen.

Improvements or not, the new Baked in Telluride will not be immune to Telluride time (or the winter construction season) and opening day is still many months away. Green is expecting to roll out his first bagels and pizza just in time for the 2011 festival season.

“I’m vaguely comfortable to say we’ll be open by Bluegrass,” he told the Planet.

Rolling papers

Speaking of baked, the Durango Telegraph isn’t the only publication enjoying a green renaissance. This week, the New York Times reported that community papers all over the country are enjoying cash infusions courtesy of medical marijuana.

Use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in Colorado, California and Montana, and papers – alternative weeklies in particular – have seen a rush of green advertising.

Ads for dispensaries are “sprouting” up all over the West, according to the esteemed paper. “The joke around here is that it’s a budding business,” said Stephanie Pressly, publisher ofThe Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She then added that the paper generates approximately $7,500 per month in medical marijuana advertising.