Crystal Palace to remain open for dining |

Crystal Palace to remain open for dining

ASPEN ” It appears Aspen’s historic Crystal Palace will remain open after all.

Even though its operator, Mead Metcalf, shut the dinner theater’s doors last month and is selling the building, the kitchen’s chef, Brad Smith, plans to keep it open.

The Aspen Liquor License Authority on Tuesday granted a transfer of the dinner theater’s liquor license to a new entity, Crystal Palace Grille, which will be operated by Smith, according to city officials.

Smith plans to keep the restaurant open for the next year while the building’s new owner makes plans for the future, sources said. Michigan businessman Linden Nelson reportedly is closing on the sale of the building at the end of the month. It is listed for $11 million.

Nelson owns the Paragon building on Hyman Avenue and the Grand Finale building at 312 E. Hyman Ave., which is next to the Crystal Palace and was sold by Metcalf last year for $4 million.

Metcalf put the Crystal Palace building up for sale last year. Snowmass Base Village developer Pat Smith once had plans to buy it, but the deal fell through last year.

Metcalf founded the Palace in 1955. He closed the dinner theater, which had been in the same location, at 300 E. Hyman Ave., since 1960, on April 12.

The Crystal Palace’s veteran cast members have indicated in the past that possibly they could buy the building and keep the show running themselves, or that the new owner might be persuaded to devote some of the space to a stage for the Palace’s musical and political satire. It’s unknown whether they will perform while the restaurant operation continues.

Smith is out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment.

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