Grottos now Cabo’s |

Grottos now Cabo’s

Janet UrquhartAspen Times Staff Writer

If you can’t afford an off-season getaway to Cabo, wait for Cabo to come to you.New owners of the Grottos will close the Aspen restaurant and nightclub later this month to make way for Cabo’s Food & Drink, featuring Mexican fare and a Carribean-style atmosphere. Think Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” for a sense of what’s in store next for the legendary restaurant space, advised Greg Owen, who finalized the purchase of the business last week. His sister, Sally Carr, is his partner in the venture.The two Front Range residents have actually been operating the Grottos since March 5, according to Owen. The Grottos will close April 20, and Cabo’s will open, hopefully, for Memorial Day weekend.A major renovation is planned for the subgrade space that once housed Steve Knowlton’s Golden Horn, a hot spot during Aspen’s early days as a ski resort.”We’re just going to go all out – new lighting, new walls, new flooring, a new gas fireplace,” said Owen. He said he inquired about purchasing the business after spending time there during his frequent trips to Aspen for his work as a real estate appraiser.”I’ve been doing a lot of business up in Aspen,” he said. “I would stop in places. I often came to the Grottos to eat or drink or whatever.”Owen said he helped open the former Pedro Verdes, a Boulder restaurant, during the early 1980s.”Boy, they had the best Mexican food. I’ve got all the recipes. We’re going to use a lot of that stuff,” he said.”Really good” margaritas will also be a hallmark of Cabo’s, as will the chips and salsa, he promised.The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner, he said, and retain the late-night dance music, featuring DJs and bands, that has made the Grottos one of Aspen’s nightspots.”We don’t want to kill that – that’s an important thing,” he said.Cabo’s will also be one of the few places in town for a late-night meal, according to Owen, who envisions offering items like burritos after 10 p.m.Owen said he has also approached the city about expanding the outdoor dining area on the mall outside the restaurant during the summer months.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is