Opening A Restaurant in Aspen

Posted by Ruth Kruger on September 26, 2023

Tips on opening a restaurant in AspenOpening a restaurant is a big decision, opening one in Aspen is the stuff of dreams with the potential for great rewards but to do it right and be successful requires a combination of many things, including, timing, location, concept, branding, good staffing, ambassadorship with the community and of course financial stability.


Choosing the concept is one of the most fun aspect of the process of opening our restaurant in Aspen. One thing you will want to do is have a strong familiarity of what is currently succeeding in town, which concepts are profitable and which have failed. Just judging the current inventory of eateries may not however paint the complete picture. This is where Ruth Kruger’s experience as an Aspen commercial real estate broker will serve you well. Having brokered many of the leases of commercial spaces during her 20-plus year career here she has intimate knowledge on not only which concepts have succeeded but for how long as well.


Aspen Restaurant InteriorOnce you have your concept the next step is to find that perfect location and again this is going to be where you will want to rely on the knowledge of Kruger and Company to help your restaurant be successful. Not only has Ruth brokered the deals for these spaces but she knows the building intimately. She has lived in this town for the better part of her professional career and as such has eaten in almost every restaurant in Aspen since the 1990s. She can tell you which spaces have had the best vibe created inside the bones of the location as how a space feels in a restaurant is as important as the food it serves. She also has blueprints of almost every building in town that will allow you plan your remodel even before you sign on the dotted line as well as know if the building has any history of issues or challenges. Thanks to her experience as a local real estate agent she has paid close attention to which locations have the best foot traffic, views and exposure. She also knows the historical data on past leases and dues of most locations for lease in town and for specific restaurants. This combination of information and experience will allow her to pick the best location and broker the best deal possible, and if you are going to compete in this market you are going to want Ruth Kruger on your side.


Now that you have your space it is time to get to work getting the restaurant opened, staffed and stocked. When you work with Ruth as your commercial real estate broker she wants to see you succeed and has formed long last relationships with some of the most successful restauranteurs in town. As part of this ongoing relationship, she is happy to advise you on the ins and outs of navigating the permitting and applications processes in Aspen, something that can be notoriously challenging but where Ruth brings additional experience as a former member of the planning and zoning commission.

Wondering which suppliers to work with for your food and alcohol, choosing the right company to work with and getting a representative that cares and will be there for you is crucial to success. Finding a rep that will take the time to help you optimize your ordering for cost and quality and who will make sure your truck arrives during a snowstorm in February are crucial to the success of your restaurant. Again these people have been in town for years and some have outstanding reputations and others may not, wouldn’t you like to know more about who you are working with before you sign a contract.


Restaurant In Aspen Cooking SchoolNo detail of launching a new eatery can be ignored and competent and gregarious staffing is as essential as essential as delicious food. Aspen is a small community and having the right person front your restaurant and attending to your guests is something this town pays attention to. Want to know the reputation of a manager you are looking to hire Ruth will likely know the backstory of this person and how the locals feel about them. When you bring in the right bartender to your restaurant you get the locals, and when you get the locals the tourists follow. Taking care of locals with a good bar menu and happy hour specials will make them happy and a happy local is going to recommend your restaurant when a vistor asks them where to go during a gondola ride up Aspen.


You will also need to plan and budget for the seasonality of our little mountain town, something you do not need to consider in many locations. There may not be an open table in December or July but there also may not be a single reservation in November or May. You are going to need to budget and have your finances in order to accommodate these swings in business. Ruth’s experience can help you not only plan your finances but prepare strategies for working with your staff under these conditions.

Making It Happen

If you have been wanting to open a restaurant in town contact Ruth of Kruger and Company and set your business up for success by working with her are your commercial real estate broker. You can be assured you will be getting a fair contract on the right location for your new Aspen sensation.

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