More on the mall: An al fresco frenzy |

More on the mall: An al fresco frenzy

Naomi Havlen

Both Zocalito and Club Chelsea intend to join the growing list of establishments adding al fresco dining to their menu offerings this summer.

Aspen’s Commercial Core Lodging Commission approved applications this morning from both places to serve patrons on the Hyman Avenue Mall.

Club Chelsea, which has been operating strictly as a nightclub, has expressed interest in doing a lunch business and perhaps more on the mall.

Both establishments were encouraged to work with their neighbors to ensure the limited space for tables is used wisely, and does not detract pedestrians from visiting surrounding businesses.

“I owned a store between the Red Onion and Zele Music Cafe, who both had seating going into the mall,” said commission member Shae Singer. “They brought me a lot of business.”

Zocalito’s outdoor tables will line the side alley off the mall, where the bistro’s front door is located, and extend several feet into the pedestrian mall. About eight to 12 feet of mall space will be reserved for pedestrians to pass by.

Club Chelsea’s tables will be clustered in front of its subgrade locale, roughly halfway down the south side of the mall.

The commission has embraced requests for outdoor dining to help restore the vitality the pedestrian malls had some 15 years ago, noted commission member Terry Butler. Open-air restaurant seating was common in those days and the atmosphere was “electric, fun, with people milling around and buying things. It was a lot better than having nothing there now,” she said.

For more on the al fresco craze, see Thursday’s Aspen Times.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is


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