This season’s crop of new haunts caters to every style of imbiber long past sundown. Here’s where to go when…
You crave a composed craft cocktail without pretense—or a long pause.
Find simple, stunning libations at Hooch, a subterranean lounge with a planned opening in early March below Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop. Proprietress Wendy Mitchell takes a cue from her late grandmother, a social butterfly and big fan of Manhattan’s Stork Club post-Prohibition. “It will be a 21st-century speakeasy,” Mitchell says. Funky old furniture recovered in colored leather will add coziness to brick and brass accents. Colorado spirits will feature prominently in quaffs poured with the same attention to presentation that defines the restaurant upstairs. Living up to its saucy name, Hooch will also present special sips, including Japanese whisky. 301 E. Hopkins Ave.
Nostalgia for the good ol’ days has you yearning to dance.
Get to Rec Room Aspen, already! “It’s reminiscent of that party in your parents’ finished basement where you just danced your ass off,” says Bobby Rossi, managing partner with LDV Hospitality, which operates the club (along with similarly themed nightspots in Manhattan and Miami). Crucial difference: The sound system doesn’t suck. Pure Groove Systems speakers—developed by a former NASA electroacoustic researcher—offer Cristal-clear audio at respectable volumes without white noise. While DJs spin throwback beats, flip through the 5,000 genre-spanning vinyl records on display. Or snap a selfie with Rec Room Randy, the goofy, grooving stuffed bear; slam a shotski with three new friends; and snag complimentary grilled cheese sandwiches from platters passed after midnight. Bonus: you may feel 18 again come morning—quality noise is said to minimize hangovers. 515 E. Hopkins Ave. (below Aspen Kitchen), recroomies.com
You want to slosh beer cups with longtime locals.
Tim Lucca—perhaps one of the most adored and respected locals around—had an entire town behind him, literally, when he launched Turks in Snowmass Village. With a little help from his friends, he was able to open the newly renovated space just four weeks after receiving the keys. Little wonder: Lucca ran the Grottos in Aspen, the Blue Door in Snowmass Village, and the bar at the Woody Creek Tavern with his trademark friendliness. Now he’s transformed the former Mountain Dragon into a 24-tap bar and entertainment venue under the auspices of ZG Hospitality. A reclaimed-wood stage hosts live musicians nightly; pool tables and darts draw après-skiers; and a windowed lounge boasts plentiful seating—plus the ghosts of various watering holes past in Turks’ repurposed décor. 67 Elbert Ln., turkssnowmass.com