A new era in a historic space: Plans for Aspen’s former Main Street Bakery building
The next time anyone enters the quaint brick building that housed Main Street Bakery for 27 years, the new owners hope the patron feels like they are in another century.
“Our intent is to bring it back to where it does feel like you’re stepping into Aspen in the 1880s,” managing partner David Roth said Friday.
“But the food will not reflect that,” he quipped.
Under LLC 201 E. Main Holdings, the sale of the 9,000-square-foot parcel closed late Thursday, according to Roth.
In its next chapter, the historic building, located at 201 E. Main St., will be home to Oakville Grocery Aspen, said Roth, a local resident and restaurateur of nearly 30 years.
But don’t let the word “grocery” fool you.
Oakville Grocery Aspen will house a cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and maybe an early dinner, which Roth said is still to be determined.
It also will offer specialty items for purchase, including artisan condiments, locally made breads, meats, cheeses and more.
Roth, a current partner and chef at Peach’s Corner Cafe, is working with longtime Aspen resident and entrepreneur Leslie Rudd to tackle a historic restoration of the more than century-old building.
The two worked together on a similar project in Napa Valley, California, which also involved historically preserving a building under the Oakville Grocery name.
The original Oakville Grocery in Napa, founded in 1881, is the oldest licensed grocery store in the state of California, Roth said.
Though the restaurateur made it clear that Oakville Grocery Aspen “will not be a grocery store,” he said he “tend(s) to nurture Oakville Grocery as a word because of everything behind it and everything it stands for.”
For Roth and Rudd, preserving the historic structure is of utmost priority.
“It’s about keeping the integrity and nostalgia of that building. To me, that building is the gem of Aspen,” Roth said. “When you drive into Aspen and you see that park, the beautiful patio and the cafe — it’s your first experience of Aspen.
“What I love about Aspen is the nostalgia,” he added. “I think it’s our job and our responsibility to preserve it.”
The first step in the building’s restoration, Roth said, is finding brick from the 1880s to repair the brick that is damaged.
Other plans for the space include fully utilizing its 6,000-square-foot patio and also potentially offering a “walk-up window” where patrons can order food outside.
“The whole idea behind wanting to do this is we really want to create something great for Aspen,” Roth said. “The best word I can think of is community.”
While the menu is not yet set, Roth said the focus would be on using as many locally sourced, “farm-first” products as possible.
He noted that the town would not feel “sticker shock” toward the cafe’s pricing, either.
“We’re very excited about this,” Roth said. “It’s not going to be something that’s going to be a month away, either.”
Between the historic restoration and the unknowns of construction in Aspen, the managing partner said it is premature to offer a timeline on the project.
“The building needs so much TLC,” Roth said. “And I think Aspen deserves it.”
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