Charcuterie closes doors amid declining business
A well-known Aspen lunch spot has closed its doors after nearly two decades of business.The Charcuterie & Cheese Market, 665 E. Cooper St., is the latest victim of Aspen’s rising rents and declining tourist trade, owner Michael Bonamarte said. The shop, which featured a menu of specialty deli sandwiches since 1983, surprised much of its clientele by shutting down after the Friday lunch rush.”There’s just no room for a gourmet sandwich shop in Aspen,” Bonamarte said.Business has been in a steady decline over the past year, Bonamarte said. A slow off-season and an even slower winter – “January was the worst ever” in regard to sales, Bonamarte said – spurred the business owner to give up the shop early last week.”I just don’t have any more money that I can put into this place,” Bonamarte said.Bonamarte, who bought the business four years ago, said he made the decision to close the Charcuterie “at the last minute” last Wednesday. The shop began its “Going Out of Business” sale the next day and closed its doors early Friday evening.Bonamarte and a friend spent the weekend clearing the shop’s shelves and packing up the products that weren’t picked up in last week’s special sale. Bonamarte said he hadn’t decided what his next move will be, but said he hoped the city’s would be to adopt a new attitude toward locally owned businesses.”This town is definitely going to need a slap in the face – they’re going to wind up pushing all the small businesses out of town,” he said. “This town needs small specialty shops to survive.”
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