Shlomo to open restaurant at base of Aspen Mountain
Aspen resident Shlomo Ben-Hamoo cleared another hurdle in his plans to open a restaurant at the base of Aspen Mountain when he won approval Tuesday to obtain a city liquor license.
The Local Licensing Authority, in a 4-0 vote, approved Ben-Hamoo’s application to serve booze at a restaurant venue in the Residence of Little Nell complex.
Ben-Hamoo is a real estate broker but also has experience in Aspen’s restaurant industry, first opening the Inn and Out House (now Grateful Deli) and later Shlomo’s restaurant and Shlomo’s on the Green at the Aspen Golf Course. He also helped open and operate the Sundeck on top of Aspen Mountain.
Ben-Hamoo told the board he hopes to open by Thanksgiving and serve dinner and lunch. He declined to discuss his plans after the meeting, saying he would release more details at a later date.
“In the last few years, a lot of local restaurants have disappeared,” he told the board. “And I think that I can fill that niche right now, the local niche.”
Aspen has lost some longtime eateries in the past few years, including Bentley’s at the Wheeler, La Cantina, Johnny McGuire’s Deli, Little Annie’s, Takah Sushi, McDonald’s, Boogie’s Diner, and just last week, Main Street Bakery.
“You can’t do any worse than the last guy,” board member Terry Murray said, in reference to Nello Aspen, which previously operated from the spot Ben-Hamoo’s restaurant will occupy.
New York-based Nello opened in December 2015 and closed in June, racking up liens and lawsuits over unpaid bills.
Prior to Nello, Zeno Aspen made a short run there, while another New York Italian restaurant, Il Mullino, debuted in the space in the fall of 2009 before closing in the spring of 2013.
A restaurant and bar are required by the city to be open at the East Dean Street location during the summer and winter seasons thanks to a 2004 City Council approval of the Residences at the Little Nell, a fractional-ownership development that opened in early 2009.
The restaurant space is owned by Ashkenazy Aspen Realty of New York.
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