Healthy-focused business to take over former McDonald’s space; Aspen Over Easy hopes to remain open
In stark contrast to serving greasy burgers and fries, a health-oriented business is expected to take over the space where McDonald’s had operated for more than 30 years, according to Aspen developer Bill Boehringer, who’s currently under contract to purchase the building from McDonald’s Corp.
The Aspen McDonald’s closed in late January after 31 years of serving the community at its 406 S. Mill St. location.
Boehringer, who expects the deal to close Monday, said he’s chosen a tenant whose business will fully occupy the two-story building next to Wagner Park.
While Boehringer would not reveal exactly what he intends to bring in due to a confidentiality agreement with the probable tenant, he did offer up a few details on what the space’s future will entail.
The tenant is not a part of a national franchise, he said, nor will it be a “luxury tenant pushing out the local guys.”
“It will be something far closer to a healthy type of use,” Boehringer said, adding that “it’s not necessarily a restaurant” but will likely have a juice bar.
“I think it’s a nice change that will certainly promote health consciousness,” he said. “It’ll be a welcome addition to this location for locals as well as visitors.
“And it’ll add vibrancy to that corner, which is kind of dark now.”
As far as the business’s price point, Boehringer was hesitant to delve into specifics, noting that the tenant’s pricing is not up to him.
He did, however, say that the business “is not going to be overly priced.”
Boehringer said he has been negotiating on the property with McDonald’s Corp. since March and expects the building to be fully occupied by next summer.
In other local restaurant news
The popular breakfast and lunch spot Aspen Over Easy, which was reportedly closing Saturday following an alleged dispute between the restaurant and the building owners, could remain at its current location for at least another few years, Over Easy owner Mladen Todorovic said Wednesday.
Todorovic said he has agreed on a five-year lease extension that building owner Mark Hunt presented to him Tuesday.
But the lease renewal has not yet been signed or set in stone, Todorovic said.
In his conversation with Hunt this week, Todorovic said the developer told him that he plans to renovate the older building but that he has no intention of selling it.
Hunt could not be reached for comment Wednesday when contacted by The Aspen Times.
While Todorovic said he doesn’t want to jinx anything, the restaurant owner said he would love nothing more than to continue operating his business at its 304 E. Hopkins Ave. home, which also houses Aspen Brewing Co. and The Square Grouper.
“It’s a dream come true,” Todorovic said, referring to Hunt’s alleged offer. “I haven’t slept since our conversation (Tuesday). It means a lot.”
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.