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Slow Groovin’ debuts chophouse concept, change in offerings

Surf-and-turf menu, upscale dining revamp the Slow Groovin’ experience

Slow Groovin’ general manager Alex Young, right, and cook Ben Mattox organize wooden letters for the new Slow Groovin’ chophouse sign before the official opening in Snowmass Mall on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. The wooden letters will be placed on what used to be the Sam’s Smokehouse sign.

Alex Young has spent a lot of time thinking about introducing a new steakhouse to the Snowmass Village restaurant scene.

“It’s always been sitting in the back of my head,” said the general manager of Slow Groovin’ in the Snowmass Mall.

But executing that idea would be a matter of timing and circumstance. Despite the many challenges that COVID-19 has created for the restaurant industry and local businesses, the pandemic also created a window of opportunity for Young to fulfill his vision by transforming the Snowmass Slow Groovin’ from a casual barbecue hangout to an elevated chophouse experience.



“That really forced our hand,” Young said. “If we’re going to do some changes, now’s the time.”

Those changes will be reflected across all aspects of the Slow Groovin’ experience, from the layout of the restaurant to the menu offerings. The new iteration, dubbed Slow Groovin’ Chophouse, will debut in the Snowmass Mall this month.



The build-your-own style menu that offered burgers and smoked meats over the summer will be replaced with a new selection of high-end meat and seafood dishes — “surf and turf all the way through,” Young said.

Dishes include crab legs, ahi tuna, 16 oz. bone-in ribeye steak and a 12 oz. filet; the beef will be locally sourced from within Colorado, Young said.

“We focus really heavily on local sourcing,” Young said.

Chef Lorelai Morris, who joined the Slow Groovin’ team this year, will also introduce a bread pudding and smoked cheesecake to the menu; the cheesecake will be made entirely in-house and baked in the smoker to incorporate that flavor into the dessert. Other desserts and menu items may be introduced throughout the season as the kitchen tests new dishes, Young said.

“We will be running and testing more elevated items as well,” Young said. “We love to do new and unusual.”

The new restaurant layout will offer the new menu inside, in an “upscale” dining room with a “much cleaner look,” Young said; the apres scene and a more casual menu with “value items” like pulled pork sliders will be offered outdoors.

Slow Groovin’ is also shifting away from the “after party experience” of years past, Young added. Inside, the new beverage program will include an “extremely elevated” selection of fine wines and liquors in addition to several core beers on tap.

The current operating plan keeps the fine dining steakhouse setup indoors with a heavy emphasis on reservations and delegates the more casual apres scene to outdoor seating; restaurant management will re-evaluate that layout if more COVID-19 restrictions impact indoor dining capacities.

“We pride ourselves on being super flexible and reacting on the fly,” Young said.

Though the elevated menu and chophouse concept will be something of a departure from Slow Groovin’s casual barbecue roots, it’s hardly a death knell for the restaurant’s beloved friendly atmosphere and tasty apres bites, Young said.

“We wanted to keep the same fun, high-quality aspects that Slow Groovin’ BBQ is known for and elevate the style of cooking that we’re known for,” he said.

Some dishes, like the shaved brisket, no longer will be available. But popular offerings like the Hillbilly Nachos will still be available on the starters menu (though those familiar with the two-pound-plus, meat-heavy nachos may argue that the challenge lies not in starting the dish but finishing it).

“We kept the good classics,” he said. “At the core, we’re still Slow Groovin’.”

Kaya Williams can be reached at kwilliams@aspentimes.com.


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