It has been said that you can judge a community by how well they treat their elderly and their dive bars. Ok maybe only part of that is true, but all the same we have a problem folks, we killed our dive bars, and by “we” I mean the “The Man”. Who ever this so called “Man” might be crept into town and one by one plucked away our beloved Dives. Now the only ones left standing have had to camouflage themselves as sports bars with dive bar tendencies or hide out on the edge of town lucky enough to have been grandfathered in as a fraternal order. Aspen stands alone in many ways it is a cultural hub and always has been, it is a premiere ski destination and always will be. These days it also stands alone (at least to my knowledge) as the only ski town without one or two Divey Haunts where locals and tourists alike can belly up, have a shot and listen to music at a volume that doesn’t require one to yell as you get to know each other, places that are comfortable and basic in all the right ways. It’s the familiar feel of a Dive that allows people to drop their guard that no club or other type of establishment can replace the feeling that says I might be in Aspen but this is a lot like home. By no means do I think any of us should go crying in our beers over the Dives of days past, if anything they should be remembered as fondly as the brawls, laughs and random make outs that happened inside them. That said here is a short list of some of the dives that are so dearly missed.
In Memorium or something like that:
.. and any others that may have been missed who supplied a place to drink in relative peace and are no longer with us.
For those of you who maybe new to town or are just here for a visit don’ fret, there are places that still hold the torch of a “good ole down home affordable ” vibe where duct tape and diamonds can mingle and hang together.
Has a open floor plan with TVs galore and great outdoor areas for dining and playing games. Speaking of games they are the only spot in town to host a gaggle of arcade games. They are also the only place in town where you can sing your heart out during Karaoke every Monday night.
With locations in both Aspen and Snowmass they are known for their great happy hour. Both Zanes are true belly up establishments where out of towners and locals can rub shoulders as they bound or yell obscenities at one another while watching their favorite game.
The oldest bar in Aspen and it’s still going strong. One of the few places in town to find live music and every Monday they also host the only open mic night in Aspen. If whiskey is your drink of choice then you’re in luck because the Red Onion has a selection that would even make the great John Wayne smile.
Differs from the rest of our group on this list in that it is a members only club. Stay friendly with all those you may meet while you’re in town and sooner or later you will end up at this great place. Its a locals joint where the conversations are as good as the classic rock playlist.
In this writers opinion all things flow in a circular pattern, even the trends of drinking establishments in Aspen. So it’s only a matter of time before growth, desire or a mixture of both cultivate a perfect recipe for a brand new Dive bar or two to pop up in our lovely town and supply a whole new era of debauchery and fun. Personally I am really looking forward to it but until then I think you now know a couple of places you might find me.