Ryno’s owner, partner to open ‘mountain saloon’ in old Whiskey Rush space
September 24, 2017
A nod to Aspen's early mining era, Silver City "mountain saloon" is the latest venture to take over the historic Elks building basement, which most recently housed Whiskey Rush nightclub.
Aspenites Ryan Sweeney and Jeremy Lipman intend to open a casual tavern-meets-entertainment venue — complete with a jukebox, stage for live music and television screens to watch football — by mid-December.
The idea is to create "a local gathering site," said Sweeney, who also owns Ryno's Pub and Pizzeria. "It's about Aspen's western roots being a mining town. That's really important to us, to be an Aspen place.
"This is not a New York or L.A. concept."
Despite the tavern's late-night operations, the two insisted that Silver City will not be a nightclub.
"This isn't smoke machines and lasers," Sweeney said.
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He said a D.J. booth would no longer live inside the space, either.
Instead, Silver City hopes to attract local musicians to perform live and also blast old school tunes from a "custom refurbished" vintage jukebox, Sweeney said.
"There's a lot of good local music talent, and we kind of want a place to showcase that," Sweeney said.
He added that the classic rock and country jams from the jukebox, which will serve as a "center piece" inside the space, also will be a fun addition.
"We really want to focus on music," Lipman said, "whether it's coming from the jukebox or live music."
The tavern will offer about three times the amount of seating as its predecessor, expanding from about 30 to 40 seats to "well over 100," Sweeney said.
"We want something that I don't think we've had for a while — an Aspen place that's just comfortable and cool," he said. "Sort of a social hub."
Lipman, who lived in the valley from 2008 to 2013 and returned last year from Atlanta, added, "We've lost a lot of our places to go to in town. This will be a place for the locals."
In addition to a full bar, stage area, television screens and lots of seating, the 3,200-square-foot tavern also will boast a kitchenette. The menus, while not yet set, likely will feature shared appetizers, sandwiches, sliders, salads and a charcuterie board, Sweeney said. Libations will include draft and local beers, craft cocktails and a "good selection" of tequilas and whiskeys, Lipman said.
The plan is for Silver City to open around apres time until 2 a.m. during the winter and all day on the weekends throughout football season.
Sweeney said the two are still toying with the tavern's summer hours.
"It's so tough to get people inside and downstairs in the summer," he said.