Meatball Shack to close, local chef to replace eatery |

Meatball Shack to close, local chef to replace eatery

Downtown Aspen's Meatball Shack will close at the end of the month, while a local chef will open a new restaurant in its spot April 1.
Jeremy Wallace |

One Aspen restaurant is closing at the end of the month, and another one will take its place.

The Meatball Shack will shut down March 31, according to its general manager, Darcy Parker. The next day, April 1, local chef Barclay Dodge will take over the space at 312 S. Mill St.

Parker said The Meatball Shack’s owner, Michael Gurtman, who declined to comment, is “pursuing other business ventures.”

Dodge, who’s been involved in Aspen’s culinary scene for about two decades, plans to open a restaurant named Bosq.

“I wanted to choose a name that felt like where we are,” Dodge said. “‘Bosque’ means forest, or in the woods, in Spanish,” he said, noting he didn’t like the “que” part.

While Dodge isn’t ready to reveal the restaurant’s menu, he said that its cuisine will “match his background” of preparing modern Mediterranean food with an international flair.

“I really like using strong, bold flavors and unique ingredients from around the world,” Dodge said. “I definitely have my style of food here, which is known.”

Dodge said he’s eyed The Meatball Shack’s location since 2008, but that plans “haven’t come to fruition” until now.

“I love this spot, and I love the location,” Dodge said. “The space itself fits the business model for this town and for me.”

Aside from a minor remodel to reduce the size of the bar area, Dodge said he plans to keep the space mostly the same.

The only major changes that Dodge forsees making are gray-washing the walls to “lighten the place up a bit” and “ramping up” the outdoor seating area on the pedestrian mall, which is typically packed with diners during the summer months.

“It’s like ground zero right there, with all the families and their kids,” he said. “The moms can drink rosé while their kids can play on the playground right across the way. The patio is just awesome.”

Dodge said he is shooting to open Bosq’s doors by June 1.

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