Aprés Cafe now open in East Vail
The new restaurant serves casual food and drinks Thursday through Monday
A new casual dining and drink spot called the Aprés Cafe is now open at the Vail Racket Club Mountain Resort in East Vail.
Local couple Ahmed Almadhoun and Jennifer Lewis bought the space of the former Heirloom Restaurant in May, and have transformed it into a new locale offering snacks, salads, build-your-own fries and pizzas, and homemade pasta in the evenings.
Lewis and Almadhoun met 15 years ago while working at Sweet Basil in Vail Village. The two have spent many years in the restaurant industry in the valley and had been looking for an opportunity to open their own place. Lewis said that the vision was to create an easy and accessible atmosphere that could become part of the daily routine for locals, and provide an alternative to the busy crowds in Vail Village for visitors.
“We kind of wanted to simplify, just make an easy place where locals can come and hang out,” Lewis said. “It’s just your neighborhood joint where it’s easy, welcoming, good food and simple drinks.”
Almadhoun designed the menu, which incorporates a number of fish options thanks to a connection with his other job at the Seattle Fish Company. Tuna poke crisps, crab rolls and shrimp cocktails are right at home alongside steak melts, BLTs and summer salads. Fresh pizza is available at 3:30 p.m., followed by homemade pasta at 5 p.m., served by head chef Mike Ianiello.
All of the food is complemented by a drink menu designed by Tommy Derrico, who the owners met while working at Sweet Basil. Guests can choose from a list of classic cocktails with a twist, such as the Last Minute Mule, a Moscow mule with cherry and lime flavor, or pick from the curated beer and wine selection.
The Apres Cafe concept is built to service the local lifestyle and be a place to rest and refuel between activities.
“You can come to have a beer after skiing, after biking,” Lewis said. “My husband always says, you can apres anything. It’s kind of our motto.”
The owners are also building out a grab-and-go section to accommodate people on the move.
“Especially people being in East Vail, there’s not really a whole lot to access, so they can come in, grab some snacks, grab drinks and take it back to their condo or whatnot,” Lewis said.
Aprés Cafe sources ingredients from local businesses when possible, so patrons will recognize favorites like bread from Hovey & Harrison, beer from Vail Brewing Company, and chips from Denver Chip Co.
The restaurant is open Thursday through Monday from noon-9 p.m. For more information, and to see a full menu, visit ApresCafevail.com.