Soon after Aspen’s Main Street Bakery served its last jelly doughnut in October, speculation began. What would come next for the now 127-year-old building that had housed one of town’s most beloved breakfast and lunch spots since 1989?
With any luck, the answer could be tangible later this year, when its new local owners, David Roth and Leslie Rudd—winery proprietor, restaurateur, and entrepreneur—aim to open the Oakville Grocery Aspen. Modeled after Rudd’s original Oakville Grocery in Napa Valley and located in a similarly historic building, the new space will offer up breakfast and lunch and possibly options for an early dinner. Roth, also a partner in and currently the chef at Peach’s Corner Café, promises a “farm-first approach to sourcing food,” as well as “great coffee.”
In addition to food service, the Napa outlets—a second one exists in Healdsburg—sell prepared foods and goods from regional providers. The Aspen locale will have its own menu specific to here, along with many of the packaged items sold in Napa. Roth is also working on assembling a varied selection of local items like breads, cheeses, condiments, and sweets.
“The charm of the building is what appealed to us,” says Rudd of the 201 Main Street space.
But with that charm comes the task of first addressing some long-festering structural issues. California-based architect Howard Backen, whose portfolio includes numerous wineries and Utah’s Sundance resort, will oversee the renovation, along with local architect David Rybak.
“The challenges will come in how we put it back together,” says Rybak. “We want to make it work for the next 100 years.”
One anticipated change is to take the stuccoed exterior walls back to their original brick. The team also wants to make more use of the 6,000 square feet of exterior space, of which Main Street Bakery’s popular patio used only a fraction. More than anything, the owners want Oakville Grocery Aspen to feel at once familiar and new—a throwback general store ambience paired with up-to-date and local artisanal fare.
“The inside will be an experience for the soul,” says Roth. “It’ll match the experience you hoped for by seeing the outside of the building.”
What’s good for the soul is often good for the community, too; our taste buds are primed for this new incarnation.