Aspen’s East Hopkins Avenue restaurant row will have a new neighbor, albeit a little subterranean.
The Aspen Dollar Bar is set to open for business Thursday in the space most recently occupied by Insider, a beer-and-wine bar that opened early this spring.
The Aspen Dollar Bar will be owned and run by Mark Reece and Vlada Djordjevic. Reece also owns the Slopeside Lanes bowling alley and restaurant in Snowmass Village. Djordjevic is a partner with the bowling alley.
“I see this as an opportunity to rebrand that location and take it back to the way Aspen used to be,” Reece said. “It’s going to be affordable and will appeal to the locals. A lot of restaurants want that local business, but with $14 burgers? Come on. The landlord has given us a fair deal so we can afford to pass on the savings.”
The Aspen Dollar Bar will be located below the Katie Reed Building at 301 E. Hopkins Ave. in the basement property that previously housed Insider, the Double Dog Pub, the Pitkin County Tavern and originally The Steak Pit.
With a planned logo that features a dollar sign and the horns of a bull elk, Reece said he hopes locals will label the new establishment “The Buck.”
Reece signed a five-year lease with options for the 1,400-square-foot space. The restaurant will feature comfort food made fresh daily from scratch. One goal Reece is pushing for is to offer a $6 special every day, all day.
“Since we’ll be offering the $6 special daily, I guess it’s technically not a special,” Reece said. “Let’s call it a great deal available every day, and yes, we’re going bring back the prime rib sandwich basket that the Pitkin County Tavern made famous locally.”
Reece is currently in negotiations with his landlord to gain access to some porch space along East Hopkins Avenue to increase the venue’s visibility.
“It’s going to be high-dive restaurant,” Reece said. “It’ll be a beautiful space, with great people and amazing food but with dive prices.”