New Sushi Concept Comes to Aspen, Hopes for Long-Term Survival | News

After a successful two-week winter pop-up, Taikun Sushi Aspen returns to the Marble Bar at Aspen Mountain Residences for a full summer season.

Owner Ryan Chadwick hopes the sushi concept will stay for a while.

“It went really well this past winter — it was kind of a proof-of-concept beta test and it sold out over the course of the two weeks,” Chadwick said. “Now, I have a long-term plan for Tycoon.”

Reappearing for the first time Thursday at Marble Bar, Tycoon will be open six days a week through summer, offering two sessions per night at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Reservations are required through Resy, and the price per person is $150.

Taikun will present a 13-course omakase menu, created by the original chef in Tokyo Yoshikazu “Kazu” Ebina – who led the month-long Taikun pop-up party at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami. Despite the focus on curating an omakase-style premium experience when it launches, an a la carte roster will be announced soon, Chadwick said.

In addition to offerings of beer, wine, and beverages, Marble Distilling’s handcrafted cocktails will be served at the bar before and after dinner, or throughout the meal, if one so chooses.

Chadwick partnered with Marble Distilling owners Carrie Shanks and Connie Baker to bring the Taikun demo pop-up to the Marble Bar Aspen space in February.

“I reached out to Connie and Carrie and asked them if they wanted to collaborate, as we’ll run this sushi concept and showcase their spirits,” Chadwick said. “I wanted to make sure of that [Aspen Mountain Residences] He was happy with how it all got done, and when we talked again about doing something permanent there, everyone was happy to work together.”

For Shanks, Marble Bar’s Tycoon concept “looks, works and walks like a true partnership” with Chadwick and the Tycoon team, explaining how the traditional and intimate sushi experience elevates the space and offers something special to the community.

“We want this to express a real sense of community,” Shanks said. “And not in a cliched way, but as we see these things diminish. … Marble is a community-oriented company and Ryan and Team Taikun aspire to carry the same spirit.”

As of now, Chadwick plans to keep his Taikun Aspen concept running through October, closed for the off-season and reopening for the winter — if this summer’s longer restaurant stay is met with success and approval from Aspen Mountain Residences, he said. Shanks also expressed his hope to extend the partnership over the long term.

The original Taikun Sushi location in Chadwick, New York has been a hit since it opened during the pandemic, according to Chadwick. With an eight-seat omakase counter and private talking space spanning a total of 180 square feet, the Lower East Side diner has sold out for the next two months, he said.

The restaurateur discovered a similar intimacy inside the Marble Bar room, which he said was “probably 800 square feet, if any.” It was this intimate size and relaxed ambiance of the bar that drew Chadwick into the space – a “hidden gem,” as he describes it.

“It fits perfectly in the omakase style: eight in the dining room, eight in the bar,” he said. “Space fits what we do, and I don’t need a giant dining room.”

Chadwick said the perks of not having to operate and hire a large restaurant in Aspen — “especially in today’s economy” — extend to the housing situation as well. The owner said he is able to provide accommodation in town for Tycoon employees.

Another factor that piqued Chadwick’s interest in the location of Marble Bar has to do with the kitchen, as it is much smaller and has no gas facilities.

“It’s limited in what you can do there,” he said. “And so I thought the space would be great for the fish; what we’re making is very little effect.”

Chadwick said other location advantages include the building’s location in the city and the fact that being inside the Aspen Mountain Residences (formerly the Hyatt Grand Aspen) creates built-in business opportunities. He mentioned how people residing there could have direct and direct access to the tycoon reserves.

As a seasoned owner in Aspen’s commercial restaurant and pub scene, Chadwick has facilitated a variety of concepts in spaces around town.

He currently runs the 12-year-old Escobar’s nightclub, and the shorter-running Aspen Bay Shop – which is looking to close In the near future. For six years, Chadwick ran the Mill Street space adjacent to the Pie Shop, where he created a few establishments, such as Gray Lady and Mr. Gray and most recently, Sushi Nakazawa pop-up. Chadwick partnered with Daisuke Nakazawa, chef at Sushi Nakazawa in New York, to bring Nakazawa to Aspen in December 2020.

The success of this sushi experiment, which featured a 21-course omakase menu, led Chadwick to explore his own sushi making endeavors, opening a Tycoon location in New York soon after.

“I like the omakase style, where there is not a lot of seating but you can really focus on the service and customer attention,” he said.

With an omakase-limited eight-seater table and a lounge-style dining room sandwiched between two fireplaces, Chadwick sees Marble Bar’s Taikun Restaurant that epitomizes the warm and cozy winter vibe. He envisions the adjacent outdoor patio amplifying the space as a cocktail area in the summer.

Chadwick said he is excited to maintain this particular style of sushi experience in the city.

“It’s important to eat this style of sushi in Aspen – I love eating at Kenichi and [Matsuhisa] – I think this is a great addition to the sushi experience,” he said.

Taikun Sushi Aspen is open Thursdays in summer at Marble Bar at Aspen Mountain Residences, located behind the Silver Circle ice rink on East Dean Street. Reservations are required and can be booked at resy.com.

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