Sit, stay: Aspen’s old Double Dog strays downvalley
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Aspen’s loss is Glenwood’s gain, as an already dedicated and growing group of regulars at the new Double Dog Pub in Glenwood Meadows is finding out.
Bob and Cindy Glowacki, owners of the popular former Aspen restaurant, recently reopened on Market Street at the Meadows, in the corner spot that originally housed Magoo’s restaurant when the commercial center was built five years ago.
Last spring, what could only be described as a “difficult business climate” forced the Glowackis to close one of Aspen’s oldest restaurants, the Steak Pit, which they had purchased in 2002.
With it went the Double Dog Pub, which the longtime midvalley residents had opened in the neighboring space on Hopkins Avenue in 2006.
But they vowed to find a new location for the popular dog-themed, English-style pub, even if that meant relocating downvalley.
“It took on a life of its own when we first opened, and sort of became our own baby,” Cindy Glowacki said.
Two of the couple’s dogs, Eddie Mac and Desdemona, are featured in the Double Dog logo.
And it was Cindy’s idea to start posting pictures of patron’s dogs on the walls of the restaurant, a tradition that’s being maintained at their new Glenwood location.
“I’ve always loved dogs, and a lot of the pubs in England and Ireland do it, so we thought it would be fun to do here,” she said. “It just kind of goes with the pub theme.”
For the cat people, there’s also a “Cat Lover’s Corner.”
Even before they closed their Aspen restaurant, Bob Glowacki said he had his eye on Glenwood Springs.
“The restaurant scene here hadn’t really happened yet, but that’s changing and we wanted to be a part of it,” he said. “We thought Glenwood was the way to go.”
Business is also more consistent, without the seasonal ups and downs of a resort market such as Aspen’s, the couple said.
They kept the same food menu from the Aspen Double Dog, added some additional salads and sandwiches, and even brought along a favorite from the Steak Pit dessert menu – homemade hot fudge.
Jonah Baker, who was the sous chef at the Aspen restaurant, is now the main chef. The restaurant employs a staff of between 20 and 25.
An emphasis on local vendors is also important, the Glowackis said, from the featured Rifle Creek Brewery beers and “birthday cake” from the bakery across the street, to cheese from the Basalt-based Avalanche Cheese Co. creamery and Smokin’ Good smoked trout.
“We already have a lot of regulars here,” Cindy Glowacki said. “I think we’re a good fit for Glenwood, with its laid-back, fun, casual atmosphere.”
Recent patron Carla Jennings vowed to be a return customer at the Double Dog.
“The first thing you notice is the wonderful attention to detail, the furnishing, the atmosphere … then the reason your are there, the food,” she said. “You expect hot dogs at a mall, not Kobe beef!”
Glenwood Meadows developer Robert Macgregor said the Double Dog is a perfect fit for Market Street.
“A higher goal was to get a quality local operator,” he said. “Their concept in particular is exciting, because it combines the Old World appeal of a pub, a fun gathering place, with New World cuisine.”
Macgregor said that, while the Meadows was a little slow to support as many restaurants as were initially planned, with the two new hotels, that’s starting to turn around.
“They filled a key place in the center, and have a serious commitment,” he said. “And, there’s very little vacancy on Market Street now, so that’s exciting.”
The Glowackis will also be able to open the patio space when the weather gets nice in the spring, and plan to have live music through the warmer months as well.
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