Conceived and designed by students, the Aspen Grille offers real-world experience to students in the Hospitality Management Program within the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
The Aspen Grille is excited to continue our green efforts through our support of local and sustainable producers. We partner with Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Tenderbelly Pork, Jumpin Good Goat Dairy, Seattle Fish Company, Horse and Dragon Brewery, Zwei Brewery, Aspen Bakery, and Cafe Richesse. Seattle Fish Co. and Cafe Richesse are both owned by CSU alumni.
Despite appearances, this is no ordinary restaurant. For students majoring in Hospitality Management, the Aspen Grille is a working classroom where they earn credits rather than paychecks. Four days a week, students work in the kitchen, serve customers, tend bar, and participate in virtually every aspect of the restaurant’s operations, including management.
Reservations and Hours
The Aspen Grille is operated by students in the Hospitality Management program and is located in the University Club, on the upper level of the Lory Student Center. More information is on the Lory Student Center website, including a new take-out option.
In-person hours during the semester: Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (Open Mondays for takeout only.)
Make reservations online or call (970) 491-7006 Tuesday through Friday during the semester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Aspen Grille evolved from a partnership between the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Eager to offer a higher-end dining experience on campus, Student Affairs picked up the tab to remodel part of the University Club. Hospitality Management students, wishing to practice what they were learning, worked with their professors to decide on the kitchen layout, dining room decor, place settings, menu offerings, pricing, restaurant philosophy, and other details. “This whole project has been student-driven from the beginning,” said Ken Smith, former restaurateur and now retired associate professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management program.
Students conducted a feasibility study and then determined that the menu would offer simple, innovative cuisine, made primarily from locally and regionally produced foods. Each year, new and exciting foods are developed by students and added to the menu. The decor carries on the restaurant’s “home grown” philosophy. Colorado State graduates Becky Everitt and Bill Cotton provided, respectively, the aspen watercolors and photographs adorning the walls, and small wooden boxes holding sugar packets were made by another local alumnus.