Dining Debuts

A Bite-Size Preview of Aspen's New Restaurants and Bars

Five summer openings promise new spots to see, be seen, and dine well.

By Cindy Hirschfeld June 4, 2018 Published in the Summer 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Bad Harriet at the Hotel Jerome


415 E. Hyman Ave.

The Team: Renaissance man Roger Wilson—he’s acted (Mickey in Porky’s), written screenplays, worked for NYC restaurateur Keith McNally, directed wellness programs—and natural gas magnate Charif Souki

Back of House: Named for Aspen’s elevation. “If you can name a place with a word, that’s really good,” says Wilson. “If you can do it with a number, that’s platinum. This says ‘Aspen’ in four numbers.”

The Menu: Comfort food with a gourmet twist: veggie board with house-made ricotta, mushroom confit, and garlic crackers; Colorado lamb loin with Greek marinade, zucchini fritters, smoked tomato jus, and tzatziki

The Vibe: Buzzy supper club with DJs and live music. Alpine-chic interiors by local designer Kristin Dittmar. Wilson aims to recapture Aspen’s glory days, when the ultra-wealthy and ski bums rubbed elbows: “Catering to the locals is a huge priority.”

Aspen Public House

328 E. Hyman Avenue

The Team: Bill Johnson (formerly Highlands Ale House and currently Capitol Creek Brewery in Basalt) with Executive Chef Robbie Kostrba (formerly of Rustique)

Back of House: Johnson handles design elements himself. To complement the Wheeler, the space is, he says, “a little bit Victorian and a little bit Colonial, with a splash of the Great Gatsby. It’ll feel like it’s been here forever.”

The Menu: Upscale gastropub—high-quality-beef burgers, salads, sandwiches, fried chicken, plus classic American breakfast. “I’m looking to fill the void left by Main Street Bakery and Over Easy closing,” says Johnson.

The Vibe: Convivial all-day gathering place—think the former Bentley’s without the dive bar persona. Counter-height tables in the main-level bar, including a couple of community tables that seat 14. Late-night kitchen.

Bad Harriet

310 E. Main St. 

The Team: Hotel Jerome, next-door

Back of House: Named for the wife of hotel founder Jerome B. Wheeler

The Menu: Craft cocktails accompanied by a modest à la carte menu and, likely, complimentary passed small bites

The Vibe: High-end historic with a sultry note. Underground location in the meticulously renovated former Aspen Times building. “We want guests to feel as if they’re at a cocktail party with neighborhood friends,” says a hotel spokeswoman.

Chefs Club X Mathew Accarrino 

Expect seasonal, source-driven dishes at Chefs Club. 

315 Dean St.

The Team: Matthew Accarrino, who helms the kitchen at Italian-inspired (and Michelin-starred) SPQR in San Francisco, starts a three-month residency in Aspen June 1.

Back of House: A one-time aspiring pro cyclist, Accarrino rode his bike from Leadville to Aspen—over Independence Pass—to collect his Food & Wine Best New Chef award in 2014.

The Menu: Multicourse prix fixe ($69) showcases the chef’s seasonal, source-driven approach. Sample dishes: burnt-flour pasta with asparagus, lamb, fresh ricotta, and mint; sea bass with charred vegetable sauce and blistered peppers.

The Vibe: A subtle interior refresh with new chairs, art from NYC–based Curtis Kulig and his "Love Me" series, and—oh so Aspen—Patagonia uniforms for servers

Clark's Aspen 

517 E. Hyman Ave.

Seafood at the Austin sibling of Clark's Aspen

The Team: Texas restaurateurs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman, who own seven restaurants in Austin ranging from fine dining to Vietnamese to barbecue

Back of House: McGuire’s longtime girlfriend, Tyler Haney, is CEO of fitness wear brand Outdoor Voices, which has a storefront down the block—the new “cool kids” power couple of Hyman Ave.?

The Menu: Seafood heavy—West and East Coast oysters, fresh fish, lobster rolls, a variety of caviar and roe, plus salads and pan-roasted cheeseburgers with shoestring fries

The Vibe: Casual oyster bar—like its Austin namesake—in the space formerly occupied by local mainstay Little Annie’s

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