New music club set to open in Aspen | AspenTimes.com
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New music club set to open in Aspen

ASPEN For the past several years, the space under Cooper Street Pier has been home to Siamese Basil, a restaurant where diners could find Thai food. Sometime in the next few weeks, the spot will be reborn as a bar and music club, where drinkers can tie one on and local musicians can tighten up their chops.Brenda Writer, the manager of Cooper Street and of the new bar below, said the business will focus on a local clientele. That vibe will kick into gear Friday, June 1, with a naming party at Cooper Street. All are invited to attend the party and submit a proposed name for the latest addition to Aspen’s nightlife. Coors will donate a prize for the person who contributes the winning entry.”We want it to be something the locals of Aspen could all do together,” Writer said of the naming party. She added that the bar is tentatively scheduled to open the next week, June 8, with music by two local acts: singer-guitarist Tom Ressel, and the rock duo the Friendly Dictators.As of Thursday, the subgrade space had been painted a distinctive black and red, and the tables had been redecorated as well. And signs of its previous life as a Thai restaurant – or as Lucci’s, the red-and-white-checked-tablecloth Italian spot that had been there for a decade before Siamese Basil – had been erased.”It’s kind of underground. An underground listening plaza,” Writer said, describing the atmosphere she expects to create. “Sort of dark, where the focus is on the music. And something kind of quaint, that fits 50 or 60 people, where they can sit and enjoy a local scene.”Writer described the new club as “my little pet project,” but added that support from fans and players of live music was abundant. People have been stopping in to lend a hand with the refurbishing.Writer anticipates comedy nights once a week, as well as a regular trivia and game night. “And we’d like to hear as many local bands and DJs as possible,” she added, saying that she would book the acts to begin with.Barflies shouldn’t get too comfortable on the barstools at the yet-to-be-named nightspot. The building’s owner, Joshua Saslove, earned a recommendation for approval earlier this month from Aspen’s Planning and Zoning Commission to replace the existing structure with a four-story building comprising commercial and residential space. The plan must still earn approval from the City Council, but if the project gets a green light, Writer assumed that would spell a quick end for the bar.”The space became available and we thought we’d do something fun with it in the time we had left,” she said, noting that the business is operating on a month-to-month lease. “We were fortunate the owners let us stay.”Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com


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