A popular Aspen breakfast and lunch restaurant that closed more than two years ago is set to reopen at the end of the month at another location in the downtown core.
Over Easy, which closed in October 2017 when it lost its lease, will take over the former Aspen Kitchen and Scarlett’s restaurant space on the second floor above the retail shops at the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue starting Christmas Day, said Mladen Todorovic, Over Easy owner.
“The plan is to be there for a year and a half,” Todorovic said Thursday. “We’ll see how everything goes (and) take it one step at a time.”
Andrew Sandler, owner of Bootsy Bellows nightclub in the basement of the building, holds the lease for both spaces and said the restaurant area, lately known as Scarlett’s, is set to become an event space this winter.
“There’s too many restaurants in town,” Sandler said.
But when Todorovic recently proposed reopening Over Easy — a previously successful restaurant that was popular with locals — in the space, it made perfect sense.
“Why let it sit empty?” Sandler said. “It’s such a beautiful space. I’m excited to have it.”
Events, when scheduled, would take place at night after Over Easy closes, he said.
Aspen Over Easy Breakfast Club at Scarlett’s — the official name of the new restaurant — will feature the same basic menu and affordable prices as the original Over Easy, Todorovic said. The restaurant will be open seven days a week, probably beginning with a soft opening around Dec. 22, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, he said. The official opening day is set for Christmas Day.
“We will basically copy and paste from the old menu,” Todorovic said. “We won’t change it much. That’s what people like.”
He said the only reason the new Over Easy might not happen is one common to nearly every employer in Aspen: finding employees, especially cooks.
“That’s the biggest issue,” Todorovic said. “It’s really, really hard to find staff. I don’t remember it being this hard before.”
His other concern, he said, is the size of the new space.
“That is a little worrisome,” he said. “(The former) Over Easy was smaller.”
The former Over Easy, located next to White House Tavern on Hopkins Avenue, closed in October 2017 after the Hillstone Restaurant Group, which owns White House, bought the building and ended the lease.
Todorovic has been running Roosters restaurant in Carbondale since Over Easy closed, and said that Aspen residents who’d come in and recognize him frequently urged him to come back to town. However, the lack of an affordable space thwarted those efforts until his recent conversation with Sandler, he said.
“There were no spots,” Todorovic said. “Basically any chance we had was buying a restaurant.”