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Hot New Restaurants This Summer

Seven spots that bring a fresh bite to Aspen's dining scene.

By Amanda Faison July 26, 2018 Published in the Midsummer/Fall 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

The new Aspen Public House opened in the historic Wheeler. 

What used to be Finbarr’s Irish Pub will soon be 7908 Aspen (415 E. Hyman Ave., 970-516-7908, 7908aspen.com), a high-end supper club named after town’s elevation with a planned opening in July. In addition to late-night dining until 1 a.m., owner Roger Wilson (whose claim to fame is acting in Porky’s and Porky’s 2) intends the restaurant-nightclub to be a haven where tourists and locals will comingle over cocktails, dancing, and chef Craig Walker’s Colorado-inspired menu. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

Locals watched the transformation of Little Annie’s, one of Aspen’s most sacred eating and drinking spots, into Clark’s Oyster Bar (517 E. Hyman Ave., 970-710-2546, clarksaspen.com) very closely.

This second outpost for the Austin-based restaurant blends old and new—the iconic log cabin exterior remains the same, and the bar has been refurbished, but a breezy white interior with blue accents hints of the seaside. Look for oysters (of course), crudo, seafood towers, and lobster rolls.

The latest installment of Chefs Club (315 Dean St., 970-429-9581, chefsclub.com)  brings Matthew Accarrino of San Francisco’s acclaimed restaurant SPQR to town through September 6. The restaurant (both the menu and its interior) have been transformed to showcase Accarrino’s Italian-inspired cooking. Tip: The large-format polenta, listed as spianatoia, leek, peas, and black truffle on the menu, is a must-order.

With a dearth of good coffee in town, Michaela Carpenter-Olson and her mother, Candice, opened Local Coffee House (614 E. Cooper Ave., 970-880-1379, localcoffeeaspen.com) inside their artisan boutique, Maker + Place, to fill the void. Beans come from Carbondale’s Cilundu Coffee, a nonprofit benefiting an orphanage in Zambia, and the spot has quickly become a mini breakfast and lunch haven with eats like avocado toast with a poached egg and the don’t-miss forbidden black rice porridge.

The first thing you’ll notice about Marble Bar Aspen (415 E. Dean St., 970-710-2485, marbledistilling.com) in the Hyatt Residence Club Grand Aspen is the thick slab of marble that makes up the bar. Not only is it beautiful, it signifies the distilling process, which uses the crushed stone from the nearby town of Marble to filter the award-winning spirits. Taste the clean, almost creamy results with a flight, or order the summery Thompson 12-Gauge with rhubarb-infused vodka, gingercello, lemon, almond milk, and blackberry soda.

Two more to try: Aspen Public House and Bad Harriet

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