New businesses in Aspen as peak winter season nears

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times

With the start of the ski season each year, there’s always a bit of musical chairs going on among Aspen’s commercial spaces. The retail and restaurant scene is constantly evolving, it seems. Success stories shine and even expand, while newcomers try their hand in Glitter Gulch.

Here’s a look at some of the new activity happening in Aspen’s commercial spaces this winter:

Meat & Cheese expansion

Local restaurant and farm shop Meat & Cheese is expanding its market and bringing in a downstairs cocktail lounge.

The restaurant leased more than 200 square feet behind its current space, which was occupied by real estate office Amy Doherty Properties, Inc. as well as the downstairs area where Aspen Dollar Bar was located, said Avalanche Cheese Director of Operations Brennan Buckley, who works closely with Meat & Cheese restaurant.

The expanded retail area will include another cold case solely to house fish, which they do not currently sell for purchase. Downstairs, the cocktail lounge plans to offer drinks and a limited menu prepared by Meat & Cheese chefs.


Another Italian restaurant is taking over the outdoor patio and inside space at the base of Aspen Mountain most recently occupied by Zeno Aspen. The New York eatery says they are the finest Italian dining on the Upper East Side with a “casual and elegant” atmosphere. Nello has not yet filed for a liquor license in Aspen, said city records manager Cindy Klob, though they are scheduled to appear before Aspen’s Liquor Licensing Authority at a Dec. 8 meeting.

David Burke’s Kitchen

The David Burke Group is adding an Aspen location to its map, upstairs from the Dolce & Gabbana store at 204 S. Galena St. The restaurant group known for its upscale American cuisine has restaurants in Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut. Spokeswoman Rebecca Cole said they expect to open in Aspen mid-to-late December.

Mi Chola

A new Mexican restaurant named Mi Chola is taking over the space at 411 E. Main St., where El Rincon and The Cantina once operated. Restaurant co-owner Adam Malmgren says they are looking to open the restaurant around Feb. 1.

Rescue Lounge Aspen

The oxygen bar and rescue lounge that operated in the downstairs floor of The Sky Hotel is relocating to 525 E. Cooper Ave. and will open full time after Thanksgiving. Its services will include oxygen therapy, IV hydration therapy and booster shots as well as a doctor and traveling team of nurses so that clients may receive treatment at home, owner Audra Quist said. She also said that IV therapy offered outside a traditional hospital setting is a trend she’s watched over the past three to five years.

“It’s very popular in Europe and Australia,” she said, and has recently appeared in national destination markets like New York, Miami and Las Vegas.


The high-end cosmetic store Kristals opens Wednesday at 520 E. Cooper Ave. in the Aspen Grove mall, where Khali’s Denim was formerly located. Aspen is the brand’s flagship store location, spokesperson Arielle Fried said. Kristals products are bioengineered with gemstones and precious metals, such as gold and pearls, and range anywhere from $89 to $1,000. The line focuses on anti-aging products ranging from facial and cleansing products to masks, scrubs, and body treatments. Fried said the line will soon add jewelry to its collection.

Aether Apparel

An outdoor apparel retailer takes over the Anna Trzebinski store space at 414 E. Cooper Ave. in mid-December, spokesperson Taylor Stacey said. The store’s collection includes a variety of outerwear, technical performance wear and active wear for women and men. Aether has three stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Pitkin County

The county is taking over two offices in the Ute City Bank Building at 308 E. Hopkins Ave. as well as a space below Vectra Bank at 534 E. Hyman Ave. The spaces will serve as temporary offices for the county while its current building is remodeled.