The Town of Aspen
Après is not just something you do between leaving the slopes and going to dinner. At Aspen/Snowmass, après is a practice as steeped in tradition and custom as skiing and snowboarding. And, unlike many resorts, Aspen/Snowmass has a rocking nightlife as well. Aspen's nightlife is unrelenting, unreserved and can be summed up in one word: FUN. With more restaurants, bars and nightclubs than you could ever visit in a single vacation, know before you visit that your afternoons and evenings will be as action-packed as your days on the slopes.
TOWN OF ASPEN
How does a bar with great cocktails, perfect music and a compelling mix of cushy couches and mood lighting sound? 39 Degrees, in the hip Sky Hotel, has all this plus more -- two outdoor fire pits to cozy up to around the pool deck, along with premier drink concoctions and light fare inside. 970-925-6760
At Ajax Tavern, slopeside at Aspen Mountain, sit on the deck to catch some afternoon rays. Don't miss the truffle and parmesan french fries and Ribllita - twice-cooked Tuscan bread soup. 970-920-9333
Bentley's is a locals favorite for beers and classic bar food. The mantra of Bentley's is that they "put the fun back in dys-fun-ctional". No further explanation necessary. 970-920-2240
Since the turn of the century, the J-Bar, in the historic Hotel Jerome has been a place where locals and visitors gather. Sit at the historic bar and soak up the stories over a cool drink. On a hot summer day, try J-Bar's infamous Aspen Crud. 970-920-1000
Mezzaluna has après specials such as $5 pizza and $2 beers. It's a great place for dinner too. 970-920-9333
Calling all rugby players (or those who just want to rub elbows with rugby players). McStorlie's, a boisterous Irish pub, is the place. Try all 14 of their international brews and over 20 scotches. Guinness always served here. 970-925-2028
Hop on into Club Chelsea. Newly renovated, Club Chelsea now offers a stage area where live music plays every night. Just around the corner through a soundproof door there's a happening disco area complete with bar, DJ and disco lights. A separate room offers an extensive cigar list along with high-end ports, cognacs and whiskeys. Open until 2 a.m. 970-920-0066
While in Aspen, don't miss Eric's Bar - four bars in one. If you're looking to play pool Aspen Billiards has regulation Billiards tables and is open until 2 a.m. The Cigar Bar smoking lounge offers a relaxed environment. And for the most happening scene, the main bar area - Eric's - is where you sip on cocktails. Need a break form the action? Step on over to Su Casa's bar for a frosty Tecate or a superb margarita. With four bars in one, you can't go wrong. 970-920-4244
The Greenhouse at the Little Nell hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain is one of the most popular "see-and-be-scene" après and nightlife spots in town. Come early because once the Greenhouse is maxed to capacity, the bouncers won't let you in. 970-920-4600
At The Cantina, happy hour rocks daily from 4 - 6:30 p.m. After a few rounds of $2.50 margaritas or $2 cold beers with baskets of free chips and salsa, don't be surprised if the circle of conversation includes Aspen's politicians or Aspen's long time sheriff Bob Braudis…and see that the drink tab is on him. 970-925-3663
Playing games, drinking beer, and watching sports is what it's all about at Cooper Street Pier (locals just call it Cooper Street). They have pool tables, pinball and foosball, as well as an upstairs bar and a big screen TV downstairs. Try the shuffleboard in the back. 970-925-7758After dinner on Saturday nights, at Jimmy's American Restaurant and Bar, the tables are swept aside, the lights dim and the music gets hot -- as in tango, merengue and salsa hot. Jimmy's is the place to learn any of these Latin steps, catch an eyeful of those who already know these smooth moves, or have an excuse to cozy up to a date. 970-925-6020
The Lobby Lounge in the St. Regis has daily après specials and live music in a comfortable, elegant setting. Also within the St. Regis Hotel is Whiskey Rocks which offers great après-ski with live music daily from 4 to 8 p.m. and is managed by nightlife impresario Rande Gerber. 970-920-3300
Lava Lounge is where the phat, sassy and celestial-looking crowd hangs out. Brooklyn Bill has done it again by offering awesome drinks, a saucy crowd and groovin' tunes. Open until 2 a.m.
NXT is the only nightclub in Aspen that offers a king-size bed to lounge upon while sipping cocktails. Indian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine keeps locals coming back. Dinner served until 10 p.m.-ish; after that the club makes way for the DJ of the night, who spins beats until 2 a.m. 970-920-4004
The Red Onion is Aspen's oldest watering hole (since 1892), and locals congregate here for après and nightlife. The Red Onion is not for the weak -- the bartenders pour long and stiff. Check out the historical photos of the legends of yesteryear in the dining room. 970-925-9043. The famous groovy Red Onion kicks après off at 3:30 p.m. and continues until 6 p.m. Wash down some of their famous half-price chicken wings with one of many daily bar specials.
Late at night, step into Shooter's Saloon, a bar to be reckoned with. This downstairs bar gets super crowded, super sweaty and super fun. 970-925-4567
Zo's Sport Bar is like a familiar neighborhood watering hole. Old timers and youngsters drink in harmony while catching the latest football, basketball, soccer, or rugby games. Open until 2 a.m. 970-925-2233