Business Monday: 520 Grill adds Topper, breakfast to its menu
It’s been nearly a decade since Chef Greg Topper has run his own restaurant in Aspen, and it remains that way — almost.
Topper recently linked arms with another longtime Aspen service-industry mainstay, Troy Selby, owner of 520 Grill on Cooper Avenue.
When it’s not open for lunch and dinner this summer, the subterranean space 520 Grill uses is now home to Eggs@520, a breakfast joint headed by Topper and Selby — the two cooks in the kitchen who will ring up your morning order, too.
“Greg and I have wanted to do something together for a long time,” said Selby, a former executive chef at La Cantina and chef at Lucci’s, both Aspen restaurants of the past. Selby opened 520 Grill around nine years ago, while Topper closed his restaurant — Topper’s, which had been located in the Clark’s Market shopping center — in 2010 after a decade of operation.
The Topper’s restaurant had worked around the “fast-food casual” theme, and the like-named chef says the breakfast spot will seek the same effect — filling breakfasts with basic ingredients.
“I think breakfast sometimes gets mailed in,” Topper said as he whipped up one of his menu offerings Wednesday, the day Eggs@520 premiered its breakfast sandwiches and bowls — ranging from $9 to $10.50 — that mostly are named after ski runs on Aspen Mountain.
The chef added that “Topper’s was known as quality food to go,” which is what he and Selby are going for with Eggs@520.
520 Grill, which seats 32, gets the ski and local crowd, serving as a no-nonsense place to grab a burger, taco or salad, among other meals. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., while Eggs@520 opens at 7 in the morning, with times subject to change. Breakfast winds down around 10.
Topper and Selby plan to keep the breakfast spot cooking at least through the summer, if not longer.
For now, the two businessmen, with 46 years of local restaurant experience between them, are running Eggs@520 on their own. 520 Grill has its owns employees, accounting setup and inventory, while Eggs@520 is a different enterprise, Selby said.
“We’re calling it a pop-up,” Topper said of Eggs@520.
Business growth is welcome, Topper said. But he’s not in a hurry.
“The worst and best thing I can have is needing to hire somebody,” said Topper, who also is a private chef and has done catering.
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