Aspen’s small-town charm includes five major shopping streets, a stunning art museum, and a roster of excellent restaurants featuring everything from sushi (Matsuhisa) to steak (Steak House No. 316) to down-home rustic (Meat & Cheese). And because it’s where the well-heeled roam, there’s no shortage of high-end shopping. Of course, there’s a Prada and a major Ralph Lauren outpost, but the town’s personality shows through the locally born establishments. And East Cooper Ave. offers them aplenty. — by Kate Meyers
1. Pitkin County Dry Goods
Aspen entrepreneur Don Fleisher opened Pitkin County Dry Goods in 1969. At the time, the store had a classy western feel—modified Frye boots, lots of leather—and an in-house barber. It became a family affair in ’79 when Don’s brother David joined the biz; a year later future-wife Gina applied for a summer job. Haircuts are no longer offered, but today the PCDG family is still selling an eclectic mix of chic duds (Billy Reid, Dries Van Noten, Rag & Bone) and boots made for walkin’. Open daily; closed until 1p.m. on powder days.
520 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.1681
2. Little Bird
Luxury consignment shopping is not an oxymoron. And for more than a decade, Little Bird has cornered that market in Aspen. Founder Keele Loyd resells designer goods either gently used or brand spanking new from private clients and boutiques across the U.S. This is the place for those who love a name—Louboutin shoes, Céline bags, Hermès everything, and on through a designer hit list—at a fraction of the original cost. So happy are Little Bird shoppers that the store has more than doubled in size and opened a Houston outpost since its humble 2007 beginnings.
525 E. Cooper Ave., 970.920.3830
Mary Moyer has been presiding over Aspen indie-boutique treasure Nuages for more than three decades. And there’s a reason. She’s a doll, and her selection remains on point. It includes high-end European and American designers, such as Azzedine Alaïa, Inès & Maréchal, Alanui, as well as a trove of stylish accessories like Maison Michel fedoras and Chrome Hearts silver jewelry.
601 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.6569
4. 02 Aspen Boutique
High-spirited, hip owner Holly Davis offers wall-to-wall affordable chic curated for the Aspen Lifestyle (i.e., clothing you can move in). Some of the designers in Holly’s collection are David Lerner, June, Chan Luu, and Herno. She likes to use adjectives like “global” and “timeless” to describe her selection. We’d also add “fun.”
605 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.3161
5. Casterline Goodman Gallery
There are multiple galleries on East Cooper worth a gander, but for an art world who’s-who collection, Casterline Goodman is the place. It specializes in postwar and contemporary art that includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures from the likes of Alexander Calder, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha, Alex Katz, and Andy Warhol.
611 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.1339
6. Poppycock’s Café
Odds are mountain high that if you ask a local where to find a hearty breakfast, they’ll point you to Poppycock’s. This 40-year-old-and-still-going-strong establishment was started by two British women who served up a multitude of crepes. Locals Paul Poh and Bee Wong took over in 1990, but crepes are still on the menu, as are everything from avocado eggs to their pièce de résistance: old-fashioned Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes. Breakfast is served all day. Not for the faint of appetite. Added bonus: Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancake Mix and Corn Griddle Cake Mix are available to take home.
665 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.1245
7. Aspen Eclectic
Husband-and-wife team Larkin and Carrie Horn have succeeded in curating a whimsical mishmash of goods for everyone in the family, from old-school games like Yahtzee and Rummy Cube to nostalgic candies (Razzles, anyone?), puzzles, novelty items, children’s toys, mobiles, and even replicas of old hiking-trail signs.
635 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.6217