New Bargain Restaurant in Pricy Mountain Town

The A$spen Bar fills a need in for fresh, affordable food in downtown Aspen. 

059   Long-time Aspenites and Aspen guests will always think of the downstairs space at 301 East Hopkins as “the place where the Steak Pit used to be.” A couple of other eateries have since occupied it, the newest being the A$pen Dollar Bar, which opened on July 3. The owners, Mark Reece and Vlada Djordjevic, who own the Slopeside Lanes bowling alley in Snowmass Village, have already nicknamed it The Buck.

Amusing signs and "art" over the fireplace downstairs.
Amusing signs and “art” over the fireplace downstairs.

The downstairs space looks and feels like a dark and intimate sports bar with high-top tables, but food is served there and in part of the patio that it splits with Rustique. whose entrance is around the corner. What makes this a super-affordable option in downtown Aspen is the nightly $6 dinner special. Other entrées are $9-$12. Appetizers, salads, desserts and drinks are relatively more expensive, but still a lot more affordable than most of the neighboring eateries. The menu tends toward American comfort food, with no effort made at elaborate presentation but, more importantly, everything made in-house.

Three lightly roasted jalapenos -- halved and filled with three cheese and topped with applewood-smoked bacon -- are an easily shareable appetizer.
Three lightly roasted jalapenos — halved and filled with three cheese and topped with applewood-smoked bacon — are an easily shareable appetizer.
Chicken pot pie features moist chicken chunks,  carrots, peas, potatoes and a light brothy sauce, comes in a bread bowl rather than the traditional crust.
Chicken pot pie features moist chicken chunks, carrots, peas, potatoes and a light brothy sauce, comes in a bread bowl rather than the traditional crust. The bread, BTW, is very good.
The pineapple shrimp salad consists of mixed greens, shrimp, cucumber, mango and pineapple pieces heaped into half a hollowed-out pineapple shell. It is usually served with coconut mango dressing, but since I don't care for coconut, I asked for balsamic instead, and that was also a good combination.
The pineapple shrimp salad consists of mixed greens, shrimp, cucumber, mango and pineapple pieces heaped into half a hollowed-out pineapple shell. It is usually served with coconut mango dressing, but since I don’t care for coconut, I asked for balsamic instead, and that was also a good combination.

Price check: Appetizers, $7-$9; salads, $8-$12; The Buck Fodder (entrées), $9-$12 (plus nightly $6 special).

Aspen Dollar Bar on Urbanspoon

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