Aspen business scene doing its yearly offseason shuffle
The Aspen Times
As the snow starts to blanket the slopes around this time each year, new businesses begin trickling into empty Aspen storefronts in preparation of the winter season.
“This is the time of year when we fill up the vacant spaces,” longtime Aspen commercial broker Karen Setterfield said Friday. “We have a fun mix going on with some new and different stores.”
There is also a lot of shift and realigning with some of Aspen’s established businesses.
Among them is the husband wife duo behind Bangkok Bowl purchasing the former Upper Crust space in the same plaza at Puppy Smith and Mill streets to open a casual, Hawaiian-style restaurant next month.
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Tiki Mana Island Grill will feature a large selection of popular island dishes such as fresh fish, chicken, specialty noodles and a build your own poke bowl bar, owner Kirk Coult said. Mai Tais and other tropical cocktails also will be on the menu.
“Everything has an island twist to it. There’s nothing in Aspen like this,” Coult said. “We’re excited because it’s unique and it’s different.
“There’s nothing better on a cold winter day than to have some nice, hot foods from the islands.”
He said the restaurant’s aesthetic also would reflect its island vibe, with decor imported from Fiji and the Polynesian islands.
As of now, Tiki Mana Island Grill will open around 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, with extended hours until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Aspen’s lone Thai eatery will open a four-seat sushi bar inside its space “some time before Christmas,” Coult said, around the same time they plan to open their new restaurant.
He and his wife, co-owner and executive chef, Paula Rungsawang-Coult, served sushi for three weeks this fall and said it was “very popular.”
Bangkok Bowl’s upcoming sushi bar will mirror those inside its Breckenridge and Hawaii restaurant locations, he said.
ASPEN BREW CO.
Aspen Brewing Co. owner Duncan Clauss changed direction after saying in late October that he was not relocating their taproom to the Peach’s cafe space at 121 S. Galena Street.
“It was one of the options,” Clauss said on Thursday of the ex-Peach’s spot. “There’s a lot to work out in a commercial lease.”
Clauss said he signed the lease on the brewery’s new taproom, titled “Aspen Tap,” late Wednesday afternoon. The goal is to open Aspen Tap, which also will serve bites, before the holiday season.
“It should be a pretty quick turnaround. There’s not a ton of renovation to do,” Clauss said. “Mostly aesthetic just to turn the Peach’s place into a bar and restaurant. And we’re going to work our butts off to get it open as soon as possible.”
Aspen Brewing Co. vacated the upper floor of the Seguin Building (304 E. Hopkins Ave.) on Oct. 31 at the request of its new owners, the Hillstone Restaurant Group, which purchased the building for $6 million on May 10.
The American guitar manufacturer will open its first store next week at 240 S. Mill St.
D’Angelico Guitars, which boasts showrooms in New York and Los Angeles, signed a six-month lease on the 1,500-square-foot Aspen space, CEO Brenden Cohen said Friday, adding, “hopefully everyone supports us and we stay longer.”
His vision is for the space to serve as a “hang out slash music store.”
Along with selling guitars and accessories, the shop will offer music lessons and host parties and events, he said.
“It’s really a place where you can come get your hands on the instruments, too” store manager Shane Allen said.
The guitars will range from $400 to custom, build your own pieces for $25,000-plus.
D’Angelico Guitars will open the morning of Nov. 17 and also host a grand opening party at 7:30 p.m.
The London-based active-wear brand Sweaty Betty will open a 760-square foot pop-up shop at 529 E. Cooper this winter.
Sweaty Betty, seeking to “blur the lines between fitness and fashion,” sells workout and yoga clothes, ski apparel and more.
The brand operates more than 50 shops internationally, 14 of which are located in the United States.
“Having skied for over 20 years, Aspen has always been a dream location of mine for Sweaty Betty,” founder Tamara Hill-Norton said in a statement.
She added, “It’s the perfect place for our new retro ski collection and printed base layers.”
Sweaty Betty will be open seven days a week from Nov. 20 to April 1.
The eclectic shop Maker and Place, which sells handmade homeware, jewelry and other goods, will reopen at 614 E. Cooper by Thanksgiving, according to commercial broker Angi Wang. Maker & Place is downsizing from its summer pop-up in the 9,549-square-foot space – about 600 of which Aspen Entrepreneurs occupied – at 315 E. Hyman Ave., otherwise known as the former Hub of Aspen. The brand’s new store, sandwiched between Mezzaluna and Pierre Famille, is about 1,100-square feet, Wang said.
Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” is expanding his fashion group to Aspen. The mixed brand luxury store “Marcus” will open next week inside the former Burberry space at 501 E. Hyman Ave.
The women’s wear boutique Shari’s Place will open its first store outside the east coast at 208 S. Mill St. in December, according to Setterfield. A New York-born brand with six shops from Palm Beach to Nantucket, Shari’s Place sells women’s clothes, evening wear, handbags, shoes, accessories and more.
Real, an exotic leather handbag and accessories pop-up, is open at 315 S. Galena St. until April 30. “Everything we do is real, it’s really made in the U.S., and it’s real luxury,” co-owner Jeremiah Kapp said of the brand’s name. Jeremiah and his wife, Natalia, run the business together.
Kathryn Penn Fine Jewelry is back with a long-term lease at 431 E. Hopkins Ave., according to Setterfield.
The Hawaii-based Christopher Egan Fine Art Gallery will open an Aspen location at 406 S. Galena St. in December, Setterfield said.
Aspen Core Ventures, controlled by developers Andrew Hecht and son Nikos, applied to make a few changes inside the Aspen Core building at 535 E. Hyman. Their application includes raising a floor and adding a heating unit inside the space that’s also known as “lego building,” according to Aspen chief building official Stephen Kanipe. While the work is minor, it reveals some movement within a high-profile building that’s remained mostly vacant since it was built. Calls to Andrew Hecht were not returned.
Asie Restaurant, despite rumors of a closure, is undergoing an extensive remodel and will reopen for the season in mid-December, owner Frank Lu confirmed.
ZEMA Lingerie relocated to 555 E. Durant Ave.
Katebaby rebranded to Ro + Fern at 205 S. Mill St.
Courage.b is now Runaway at 205 S. Mill St.
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: Imagine walking through downtown Aspen on streets that have been closed to traffic to make way for shopping and dining. City officials are considering such a plan based off of feedback from the public. Comments are being taken until noon on Monday, May 25.