Two new restaurants open in Basalt, brewpub getting close

Armando Vidrio, a partner in Hacienda Jalisco in Basalt, makes a coconut margarita one recent day. The restaurant opened at 305 Gold Rivers Court.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Two new restaurants have opened in recent days in Basalt and a brewpub is right on their heels.

In downtown Basalt, Hacienda Jalisco opened at 305 Gold Rivers Court, in a high-visibility space along Two Rivers Road that was previously occupied by Cocina de Valle.

In Willits Town Center, Mezzaluna made its long-anticipated opening Saturday. The popular Aspen restaurant opened a second business in a corner, ground-floor space in the Seven North building.

Also in that building, Capitol Creek Brewery owner Bill Johnson said he is targeting an opening between May 15 and 25. Johnson said he’s had to lock his doors because so many people have been popping in to see if the brewery is open yet.

“We’re kind of like a family, not a big chain.” — Armando Vidrio, Hacienda Jalisco

“The buzz is there,” he said.

The brewery is in the ground-floor space closest to Element Hotel. Market Street fronts the Seven North building to the north.

Hacienda Jalisco was opened by three partners with decades of service in Mexican restaurants. The partners are Armando Vidrio, Alex Lepe and Jose M. Curiel. Vidrio said his partners have owned a restaurant in Firestone, north of Denver, for the past six years. The three like the Colorado mountains and the Roaring Fork Valley so they decided to open another restaurant.

“We’re kind of like a family, not a big chain,” Vidrio said. “Our priority was for an interesting menu and good customer service.”

Their menu features a lot of variety, with dishes made from scratch and lots of sauces. Vidrio said the three partners are from the state of Jalisco, which is known for its world-renowned tequila and as home of the mariachis.

“It’s the state with the most of the culture,” he said.

The tequila is showcased in the full bar. Vidrio said they serve a margarita second to none.

“The lime juice is the big difference,” he said.

Their restaurant also will bring some of the flavors of their home state. They have an immense menu that features everything from salads to barbecues. There are seven taco dishes, 12 types of burritos and 17 options of seafood plates. Dinner plate prices range from $9.50 to $16.50.

The restaurant is open seven days per week for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to roughly 10 p.m., Vidrio said.

Mezzaluna features the same menu as in Aspen, but at lower prices in Basalt, according to co-owner Grant “Junior” Sutherland. Mezzaluna Aspen opened in 1987 and has built a loyal following. It features Italian dishes, wood-burning oven pizzas and innovative dishes.

Mezzaluna in Basalt is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, 4 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will be offering daily happy-hour specials at the tables and bars at specified times.

At Capital Creek Brewery, Johnson said he’s completing some last-minute construction, training the staff, dialing in the menu and getting brewing equipment set before the opening.

He will produce beers for in-house consumption at the bar and restaurant.


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