Where to go alfresco
1. La Scala – This rustic Italian restaurant offers a quaint patio setting with about five tables and views of the park, making it a perfect spot for families to enjoy a slow alfresco snack. Sit in the warm Eagle sun or choose a shady spot underneath the awning. Just like in Italy, La Scala serves full and half carafes of wine. The half is a perfect option for parties who can’t decide on red or white vino. Try the calamari and rock shrimp appetizer with lemon caper aioli or the grilled eggplant with roasted red peppers and mozzarella. La Scala is open 11:30-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday for lunch and 5:30-close Tuesday-Sunday for dinner. Live jazz is often featured once a week. For more information, call 337-7733.2. Wolcott Yacht Club – River rats, road bikers, Harley studs and downvalley hipsters converge on the spacious patio at the Wolcott Yacht Club all summer long to soak in views of the Eagle River and Red Canyon while sippin’ on margaritas. The restaurant specializes in fresh grilled fish and offers a raw oyster bar Fridays and Sundays. The party sparks up Thursday through Sundays when the Yacht Club hosts musicians playing everything from bluegrass to pop to classic rock. Its chefs cook up the tastiest brunch in the valley on Sundays with a Bloody Mary and shrimp bar to boot. The outdoor patio opens daily at 11 a.m. and starting next Friday will serve food until 9 p.m. The Yacht Club is located at 27190 U.S. Highway 6 in Wolcott. For more information, call 926-3444.
3. Grouse on the Green – You don’t have to be a golfer to appreciate the views off the deck of Grouse on the Green. At 8,000 feet, look to the left and you can see all the way to the Yampah Valley. Look to the right and catch glimpses of the Back Bowls on Vail Mountain. One could get lost in the horizon at sunset, and rainbows are a regular occurrence. The Irish-style pub cooks up fish and chips and corn beef and cabbage, but don’t leave without trying the fish tacos. Heat lamps will warm the deck starting this June, that is if the Smithwicks and Guinness on tap aren’t keeping you toasty. Grouse on the Green features live music and beer specials every Monday. Hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m., seven days a week, and 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Tuesday. It’s located at 100 Kensington Drive in Cordillera. For more information, call 926-5788 or log on to http://www.grouseonthegreen.com.4. Gore Range Brewery – Gore Range Brewery’s patio is The Place to usher in the weekend Friday nights. Dressed in the latest fashion trends, 20- to 30-somethings gather to catch a buzz on house-made micro brews and unwind from the work week. Bouncers card at the door for quicker service – the joint is usually packed by 6 p.m. – and there’s a satellite bar on the patio with deals on beers and shots. Happy hour is from 4-6 p.m. with specials on pizza, appetizers and well drinks. The barbecue chicken pizza is a must-sample. Two- to four-piece bands play Fridays from 6-8 on the patio, complementing the clear shot of the sunset with tunes everyone knows the words to. The Gore Range Brewery is located at 0105 Edwards Village Blvd in Edwards. For more information, call 926-2739.
5. eat! drink! – The bright, modern decor of this specialty fine wine and food shop is reminiscent of the Bay area. The front wall slides open to make the inside dining area open-air, and there are plenty of tables on the patio, each with a different potted herb as a centerpiece. It’s an ideal place to meet a date after work or catch up with girlfriends while enjoying the late-afternoon sun. Order the olive boat and discuss the taste nuances of each varietal from around the world. Artisan cheeses and bruschetta are also on the menu, and if you’re looking for a crisp white wine to cool you off, try the Auratus Alvarinho from Portugal. eat! drink! specializes in unusual pours, and if you like the wine your drinking by the glass, you can buy a bottle of it at the wine shop. eat! drink! is located in the Corner at Edwards at 56 Edwards Village Blvd. For more information, call 926-1938.
6. Loaded Joe’s – Drinking on the deck at Loaded Joe’s is like being at a friend’s house for a backyard party. It feels that homey. Add the views of Beaver Creek and you have your favorite neighborhood hangout. During happy hour every day from 4-6 p.m., Loaded Joe’s offers 2 for 1 drinks and nightly specials. Try the lounge’s Hibiscus Long Island Iced Tea. Loaded Joe’s refreshing version will dissolve any prior notions of the potent elixir. Loaded Joe’s, located in Avon, is open 6:30 a.m. to close. For more information, call the coffeehouse and lounge at 748-1480. 7. Bagali’s – Outside seating is twice as nice at Bagali’s Italian Kitchen in West Vail with both the front deck and backyard patio open for summer chillin’. The front deck is an extension of the eatery’s groovy Lava Lounge with comfy furniture, wrap around bar and candles to set the mood. The back patio is for more traditional alfresco dining with blooming flowers and plenty of southern-exposure sun. Adjacent to the Holiday Inn/Apex Lodge, it’s one of the only pool-side spots. The hotel is selling pool and spa passes at $200 for the whole summer. Bagali’s celebrates Fridays like Vail used to in the good ol’ days of FAC tradition. It’s all you can eat burgers for $5, a free keg starting at 4 p.m. and live music. Try Alottarum or Bagali’s other specialty drinks for $4.95. Like the name suggests, it’s a 22-ounce rum punch. If your hungry, you can’t beat the putanesca. Eat, drink and love at Bagali’s from 11 a.m.-close (about 2 a.m.) For more information, call 479-9242.
8. Garfinkel’s – Sprawl out on Garfinkel’s long picnic tables or pack in a large group on the bar’s expansive deck in Lionshead. It’s hard to notice the town’s construction with a cold beer in hand and sun rays beaming on your face. The deck faces Born Free on Vail Mountain, overlooks the mini golf course for great people watching or you can joke with downhillers covered in mud as they wash off their bikes at the hose below the deck. Try the tator tots smothered in cheddar for a junk food treat. For more information, call 476-3789.9. Los Amigos – Sip on Sauza margaritas topped with Grand Marnier on Los Amigos’ deck in Vail Village. Really popular in winter, the deck boasts views of Vail Mountain – along with its blooming wildflowers in the summer – and is really close to the town’s new pirate ship park. Mom and dad can share a carafe while the little ones walk the plank. Los Amigos opens June 10. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner from 5:30-10 p.m. Happy hour is from 3-5:30 p.m. with drink specials. For more information, call 476-5847.
10. Larkspur – It’s hard to beat a burger and beer for $10 out on Larkspur’s sunny patio at the base of Golden Peak – especially when it’s the fine dining restaurant’s famous “Lark Burger.” Prepared with a lot of love, this burger is cooked with compound butter in its center and served with homemade French fries. Ride to the patio for dinner, starting at 6 p.m., fresh off the mountain bike trails on Vail Mountain or wander in from Vail Village after a day of shopping to enjoy a glass of wine off Larkspur’s extensive wine list. Feeling a bit more sassy? Try the bloody marry made with the house-made pepper-infused vodka. For more information, call 479-8050.Vail, Colorado
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.