Archive for the ‘Trend On’ Category
A year ago, I drove stick-shift through the Alps of Switzerland &
Austria, across Italy from Venice, Milano & down to the Mediterranean,
and in circles around every round-a-bout between Normandy and
Strasbourg, France. It was an incredible journey, albeit sometimes
stressful, given the lack of a GPS and
navigating road signs in a foreign language, but well worth it.
Back in the U.S. of A., this Spring Break’s road trip started in
Chicago and ended in crossing the Continental Divide in Colorado to
arrive in Breckenridge. I was THAT driver. As soon as it started
snowing and sleeting, I was scared I might slide off the edge of a
Rocky Mountain curve to our death. I hugged the inside lane & took my
sweet John Denver “Country Roads Take Me Home” Time.
The grandeur of the “American Alps” gave me renewed appreciation for 2
things. 1.) What a vast and gorgeous country we’re fortunate to live
in here in the U.S., and 2) Truckers.
As an aside (since this blog post really is about “Justice Snow’s Bar
+ Restaurant” in Aspen, Colorado & not Truckers), I must say: Truckers
are deserving of every kudos given in country songs lamenting and
praising their long hours and endless logged miles delivery everything
from fed-ex to fuel across America day in and day out. I don’t know
how they drive the Continental Divide in dangerous weather conditions,
but they do. Cowboy hats off to them.
Now back to “the rest of the story”
(http://www.paulharveyarchives.com/trots/). While in Colorado, we
played tourists in Aspen — known as one of the “IT” destination for
skiing for decades, the mountain mining town is beautifully cradled in
the snow-capped Rockies. This year, however, with one of the warmest
winters on record, snow conditions were not great for skiing, so we
explored the shops and restaurants and came across the recently opened
“Justice Snow’s Bar + Restaurant”. It was the Rocky Mountain
High-light of our visit (but not that kind of high… do people still
say “high” or is that a John Denver throw-back?)!
A new JUSTICE prevails in the SNOW’S town of Aspen, where Michele
Kiley (who goes by Kiley), Proprietress of the Restaurant + Bar,
serves locals and tourists alike in the historic Wheeler Opera House.
Kiley, an expert in gourmet cheeses and the food and beverage
industry, enthusiastically shared the narrative of making Justice
Snow’s happen with us as we felt like welcome regulars during our
visit. Not one to turn down the opportunity to talk-up the
collaborative efforts of a local community of artisans in Aspen even
more, Kiley joined myself and my co-host Heidi Feemster on “Trend On”*
blogtalkradio on the Linked Local Broadcast Network.
According to Kiley, it was no small fete to win the permit from the
local governing body in Aspen entrusted with the Historic Wheeler
Opera House Lease. But perseverance paid off and Kiley and her posse,
including partner Marco Cingolani in Fiercely Local, LLC, were given
the go-ahead to establish the Bar + Restaurant in the coveted
In keeping with the iconic significance of the 1800s building,
Brooklyn-based designer Matt Duncan recreated a bar and parlor
incorporating authentic elements. Copper, wood, antique pieces,
plaster, deer-skin leather-covered cushions, and even an original bank
vault door blend the ambiance of vintage turn of the century with
upscale contemporary, like a perfectly shaken & served cocktail.
The establishment’s best feature, bar-none, however, was it’s people:
Kiley, Joshua-Peter Smith–Lead Libations Liaison & Cocktail Mechanic
(more from Joshua-Peter & his “Shake, Rattle, & Snow” expertise in
part 2), and the rest of the staff. We were engaged, entertained, &
educated in the art of brews, wines, spirits, and pre-prohibition
cocktail-ing in addition to dining on the intentionally crafted
Offering patrons “Colorado-inspired” and “ridiculously affordable”
food and libations, the establishment boasts their local sources for
ingredients and caters to an eclectic clientele from ski bums and
locals to elite businessmen and celebrities.
Named “JUSTICE SNOW’S” by serendipity and a historic character, Kiley
says the namesake of the restaurant was an Aspen Justice of the Peace
back in the 1880s named Snow. The irony of the Justice named Snow in
the town known for Snow was not lost on Kiley and her entrepreneurial
Although Aspen is most known for skiing and winter vacays, it’s a
vibrant destination year round. With the summer season upon us, and
the likelihood of more sleet on the Continental Divide slightly less,
a drive to Aspen and dinner at Justice Snow’s Restaurant + Bar is as
worth it as any Euro-tour. Maybe bring John Denver along on the ipod.
For more info contact:
Kiley@Justicesnows.com ~ Justice Snow’s Restaurant + Bar
328 E Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611, Aspen, CO 81611 ~ (970) 429-8192
*As heard on “TREND ON with Heidi Feemster & Tamara Leigh: