Blue Maize aims for Aspen lunch crowd
December 11, 2007
ASPEN ” Starting Wednesday, Aspenites have a new option for grabbing lunch.
Blue Maize owner Richard Chelec is expanding the restaurant’s operation to take advantage of the potentially hungry masses wandering about downtown Aspen during the midday.
“The economics in town have changed ” a lot more people in town during the day, a lot less locals living in town at night,” he said. “We’re just trying to capitalize on how busy town is during the day.”
The dinner business will remain the restaurant’s bread and butter, so to speak, he quickly added, but Chelec envisions a lunch spot where diners can stop in for an inexpensive noontime meal ” tacos, empanadas, homemade soups and salads, he said. The menu will be quite different that the restaurant’s dinner offerings, Chelec said.
Only half of the dining area will be open for lunches (the half that contains the bar), and customers will order from the counter; there will be no wait staff, he said.
Chelec and former partner Thomas Colosi founded Blue Maize a decade ago, making a mark on Aspen’s dining scene with cuisine that featured flavors of the Southwest and Latin America. Colosi recently moved on to pursue other opportunities; Ramiro Hernandez, who has been in the restaurant’s kitchen since the beginning, is now the chef.
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Blue Maize had been for sale, but is no longer, according to Chelec. It’s open for dinner seven days a week at 5:30 p.m. and, now, serves lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.