I was lucky enough to spend January in Aspen painting at the acclaimed Anderson Ranch art center. Weekends I found myself popping into downtown Aspen for dinner and drinks. To my delight, I discovered the amazingly done speakeasy, Bad Harriet. Bad Harriet is a new underground speakeasy bar beneath the Hotel Jerome. The Hotel Jerome is by far my favorite hotel in Aspen as I love the décor and their unique definition of mountain style… All the western things (cowboy hats, deer heads, and lots of cowhide) meets all the chicest downtown living things (paneled mirrored glass, contemporary art, studded custom leather furniture.) So, I was eager to attend their newest bar concept. Quick side note, if you don’t know the J Bar, their upstairs institution, then you probably have never been to Aspen, but also maybe it’s time to plan a trip.
So who is this Harriet? And why is she so bad? The bar is named after Harriet Wheeler, the wife of Jerome B. Wheeler, the original proprietor of the Hotel Jerome and the Wheeler Opera House at the end of the 19th century. Since Harriet has a proper feel to it, the owners wanted to give her a fictitious play on her assumed proper disposition.
One enters the Bad Harriet through to old Aspen Times Newspaper store façade. (Apparently, they lifted the entire building and moved it across town to be able to excavate the bar.) Lucky VIP will have their favorite cocktail waiting for them in a flask as they head downstairs to the moody lounge. Make sure to try one of their signature cocktails like “The Duke,” which is the mezcal drink pictured above. Also, many of these cocktails are made with the owner’s own honey. Saddle up to the bar and their expert bar staff will make you a perfect classic cocktail. My favorite winter cocktail, A Black Manhattan, was excellent. They also have an array of bar snacks like crab tots or Colorado beef tartare.
A note on style in Aspen. As in most of Colorado, literally, anything goes. Some people stroll in post skiing, post-hike, post apres in most parts of Aspen, but since this place doesn’t open until the evening, it is a fun chance to bring a little Aspen style out on the town. Everything from leather leggings to jeans to cocktail dresses can be found. I opted for a cozy sweater with a studded black mini skirt, tights and snow ready boots. It was a fun coincidence that my skirt happened to match the custom chairs.
Next time you are in Aspen I definitely recommend making a reservation for the Bad Harriet, which can be done on their website. Also, sweaters and skirts… it’s a thing.
Shop more of my sweater and skirt combos here: