Aspen Art Museum launches free ‘Lunch for Locals’ program |

Aspen Art Museum launches free ‘Lunch for Locals’ program

The rooftop SO Café at the Aspen Art Museum, photographed at a socially distanced event in November. (Aspen Times File)
Allen and Julia Domingos at SO Café at the Aspen Art Museum. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)

Responding to the second wave of pandemic-related restaurant closures and county-wide Red-level public health restrictions, the Aspen Art Museum on Thursday announced a new program that will provide free to-go meals for locals.

The museum and its SO Cafe, operated by Allen and Julia Domingos of Epicure Catering, are aiming to feed locals as so many people’s livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent ban on indoor dining.

“By partnering with the AAM, we’ll be providing a nourishing and delicious lunch to those in need of a little lift in their day,” Julia Domingos said in the announcement. “We’ve been part of the Aspen hospitality industry for more than two decades, and it’s the least we can do for our fellow locals.”

The cafe, situated on the rooftop adjacent to the museum sculpture garden, is currently closed to the public and not serving paying customers. The only requirement for picking up a “Lunch for Locals” meal is to sign up at, where anyone can order the vegetarian or regular option for three 30-minute time windows.

Beginning Friday, meals will be available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 1:30 p.m. The program will continue for the foreseeable future.

Meals can be picked up at the Spring Street entrance, at the bottom of the grand staircase.

Aspen Art Museum director Nicola Lees credited the Domingos and local philanthropists for making “Lunch for Locals” a reality.

“I am so grateful for our longstanding collaborative efforts with SO Cafe and Epicure partners Julia and Allen, who fired up their kitchen to cook for front-line community responders in the spring of 2020,” she said. “We are so grateful to the Aspen Community Foundation’s philanthropic efforts and to Soledad and Robert Hurst, Melony and Adam Lewis, and Paul and Erin Pariser, and others who supported these endeavors.”

The museum’s galleries remain open, with reduced capacity. Advance reservations are recommended.

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