Amanda Charles
Snowmass Sun
Snowmass Village, CO, Colorado

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August 21, 2012
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One Village, two bars: Local mixologists talk shop

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Many of us have dabbled with the question before. It usually comes with the polishing of the last rack of glasses, the rolling of the last silverware or the vacuuming of the last table - Zane's or Dragon? For those of us who want to unwind after-hours, the question is sometimes a tough one. Zane's has wings, Dragon has eggrolls, and both have nightly visits from Rocky. But more important, when one sucks, well, the other generally doesn't - hence the significance of the road not taken.

But what is it about Zane's and Dragon that simultaneously paints them apart and fits them together like Milo and Otis? According to our bartender faves, who hook us up with our nightly Buds and Jager-bombs, patrons often have loyalty for each and generally choose one, the other or both - it just depends on the night.

To further understand the attitudes of each bar, I sat down with "Red" from Zane's Tavern and "Moe" from Mountain Dragon to talk people, purpose and peeves.

Name of bar: Zane's

Years in operation: 15

Mixologist: "Red"

Snowmass Sun: How would you describe the clientele at Zane's Tavern?

Red: A lot of locals, primarily in the service and ski industries ranging in age from 21-D-babe.

SS: Why do you think people like coming to Zane's?

Red: For the good food, local crowd, and daily happy hour deals. Our bartenders also recognize the locals and take care of them, which makes them come back over and over.

SS: What are your most popular drink and food items, and when is the bar busiest?

Red: Definitely wings and Budweiser. We have a great daily lunch special during off-season that includes a burger and a Bud for $7.95. Our happy hour is usually when we see the biggest crowds. In just two hours we sometimes empty three whole kegs.

SS: As a bartender, what is your biggest pet peeve?

Red: Probably impatient people overall. I don't like when people whistle at me or slam empty pitchers down on the bar, either.

SS: Can you recall a most outrageous moment or silly question from a customer?

Red: I would say the Christmas Day fight or the anonymous wrestler-

mask-wearing patron. The silliest question has got to be when people ask, "What's the cheapest beer here?"

Name of bar: Mountain Dragon

Years in operation: 25+

Mixologist: "Moe"

Snowmass Sun: How would you describe the clientele at Mountain Dragon?

Moe: It ranges from locals to tourists to hard-working people to the upper class. I would generalize it as a little of this and a little of that.

SS: Why do you think people like coming to Mountain Dragon?

Moe: Because they are able to have fun. Whether a "musher" or a FASEB scientist, there is always room for everybody.

SS: What are your most popular food and drink items and when is the bar the busiest?

Moe: Dragon shrimp and 007s. We are busiest late-night, when all the service people get off work and come in for drinks and games of pool.

SS: As a bartender, what is your biggest pet peeve?

Moe: When people talk to my back or when they forget to say "please" and "thank you."

SS: Can you recall an outrageous moment or a silly question from a customer?

Moe: The wildest is probably Mardi Gras, when flashes of body parts start happening and girls dance on the bar. The silliest question is when people ask, "What's your favorite drink?" And then order whatever I say.

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The Aspen Times Updated Aug 21, 2012 04:47PM Published Aug 21, 2012 04:44PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.