Rustique Bistro has submitted an application to the city of Aspen to expand its operation by 3,688 square feet, with plans of opening a recreational cooking school in the new space.
While the expansion essentially would double Rustique’s dining area, owner Rob Ittner stressed Thursday that nothing is final and that details still need to be worked out. The application is pending approval from City Clerk Kathryn Koch and the state.
If the expansion is approved, the Cooking School of Aspen will offer recreational — or nonprofessional — classes both day and night. Ittner said he aims to open the space by June, but he stressed again that there are no guarantees. His website, CookingSchoolOfAspen.com, states that the school will be able to accommodate 20 to 130 people for dinner and 200 people for cocktail receptions.
Rustique, located at 216 S. Monarch St., currently occupies a 3,200-square-foot street-level space that includes a dining room, kitchen and patio as well as bathrooms and a wine room in the basement.
Koch said Ittner has been working with city departments to schedule inspections, and she anticipates a decision next week.
The proposed expansion is located in the old Steak Pit restaurant space, which is adjacent to the 1,384-square-foot space once occupied by the Double Dog, where a separate applicant plans to open a bar called The Insider. The Local Licensing Authority approved The Insider’s liquor license, and Koch has sent the application to Denver for state approval.