Hunter Bar takes shot in Aspen
October 30, 2009
ASPEN – A new nightspot, the Hunter Bar, will open this weekend in an Aspen space that has seen its share of ventures come and go.
Cousins Gaston and Gonzo Mirich are working feverishly to ready the establishment for a Halloween debut – a party that will carry on until nearly dawn – in the subgrade spot below Kemo Sabe at the corner of Galena Street and the Cooper Avenue mall.
The site of many a restaurant and nightclub venture over the years, with the occasional retailer thrown in, is perfect, said Gonzo, an Argentinean who spent the last seven winters in Aspen teaching skiing. Gaston has worked at The Little Nell and at the Ski School at Snowmass.
Neither man has a visa to work for the Aspen Skiing Co. this season, but they have obtained investor’s visas, according to Gonzo, who said he’s been contemplating a venture like the Hunter Bar since his first winter in town.
“It’s the right time for sure, and it’s the right place,” he said Thursday, taking a break from preparations for a city inspection and, hopefully, the issuance of a certificate of occupancy that will allow the bar to open.
Businesses have circulated through the basement spot’s veritable revolving door for more than a decade, but Gonzo is undeterred.
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The business partners looked at other available spots in town, but the 3,500-square-foot space on the busy downtown corner was too good to pass up, he said, thanks to a reasonable lease arrangement.
“For how big it is and the location, with a normal lease, this would be impossible to pay,” Gonzo said.
Saturday’s Halloween night party will feature five DJs and carry on until 6 a.m. Sunday morning, he said. The bar will be cleared at 1:30 a.m. while the liquor is locked up, then patrons will be re-admitted to continue the party.
The space boasts a full kitchen from its prior restaurant days, and the Hunter Bar – the name was inspired by Hunter S. Thompson – will offer a full tapas menu, according to Gonzo.
A schedule of theme parties, DJs and live music is planned throughout the winter season, he said.
In the sunken patio space outside the front doors, the duo plan to have heat lamps, an outdoor bar and a barbecue grill where burgers and brats will sizzle when the weather allows. Patrons can step out there to smoke, he said.
After Saturday’s event, the bar will close again for a week or so before it opens for the winter season, according to Gonzo.
Most recently, the basement spot was home to local rug purveyor Noori’s Collection, but over the past decade-plus, various now-defunct ventures have operated there, including Gracie’s consignment shop; the restaurant/nightclub known as nxt; nightclubs Hannibal Brown’s and the Howling Wolf, and the Flying Dog Brew Pub.
For the Hunter Bar’s Halloween party, the cover charge is $15 in advance or $20 at the door (call 319-8440 or 970-404-0743 to purchase tickets in advance).