Aspen — Apres-ski and nightlife
On low-season days when the slopes are virtually bare, it’s surprising to see the hoardes of people out at night. That confirms the truth that many visitors to Aspen don’t ever go on the mountain. Slopeside The Tavern is a big draw for catching afternoon rays as the lifts start to close. If you don’t find what you want there, the crowd spreads out to The Terrace Room Bar at the Little Nell Hotel, Mezzaluna, 39 Degrees at the SKY Hotel, Little Annie’s, Cooper Street Pier, the noisy and crowded J-Bar (Jack Nicholson’s hangout at the Jerome) and the Red Onion. Apres-ski comes in all varieties here, from The Cantina, with its very happy hour (have a margarita in the compadre size), to the quiet and genteel Hotel Jerome Library Bar.
At night, the music and dance beat begin to take over. Earlier in the evening, the high-energy place to find out who’s in town is Mezzaluna with its brassy horseshoe-shaped bar. It’s a good singles bar and gives you the best in upscale people-watching. The Shadow Mountain Lounge at the St. Regis has live music. The Little Nell bar and Syzygy have jazz. DJs rule at Bar Aspen, The Speakeasy and The Lava Room.
Jimmy’s, an American restaurant and bar, is where the swank dinner crowd hits the dance floor on Saturday night for its signature Salsa Night. You’ll also find what they claim to be one of the largest tequila menus in the country (more than 65).
The Wine Spot at the Grand Hyatt is a civilized quiet place to enjoy a drink. The bar has a Cruvinet system of preserving and dispensing wine by the glass.
For true beer lovers,try the Aspen Brewing Company (304 E. Hopkins) ,for the freshest and tastiest dark porters, pale ales and refreshing lagers, brewed right in town.
Eric’s Bar, Cigar Bar and Aspen Billiards all attract singles and have lots of microbrews on tap (great scotch, too). Another beer spot is McStorlie’s Pub. A relatively mixed crowd congregates in the Red Onion and Little Annie’s. Cooper Street Pier is very much a local and college student hangout.
There are many other night spots in town; pick up a copy of Aspen Magazine’s Traveler’s Guide for a list, or check local papers, The Aspen Times and The Aspen Daily News for current happenings.
At Snowmass, you’ll find most of the down-valley locals at the Mountain Dragon and Butch’s Lobster Bar during apres-ski. The Cirque Bar & Grill has live music daily but tends to be crowded and somewhat rowdy. Brothers’ Grille has five different draft beers and about a dozen hot drinks for quick warm-ups. Zane’s Tavern is a sports bar with apres-ski drink specials. Renowned magician Doc Eason performs bar magic weekly at the Stonebridge Inn (923-2420). At night Snowmass Village is largely quiet.