Catch Steak, a mammoth dining space with even greater plans for pleasing gourmands, arrives in Aspen.
When small-town locals hear of a big hospitality group—with outposts in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas—moving into Aspen’s downtown core and opening a seven-days-a-week, 10,000-square-foot restaurant and bar, skeptics abound. But Los Angeles-based Catch Hospitality Group co-owner Mark Birnbaum brings his popular experiential dining concept to the mountains with thoughtful consideration and a true passion for Aspen.
Even in the big-city markets Catch operates in, the restaurants are known for catering to local clientele and visiting regulars. In Vegas, when hotels shut down during the pandemic, locals ensured Catch remained packed. “We depend on our locals for support and make sure they feel the love from us all year round,” says Birnbaum.
When the New Yorker moved to Los Angeles to open a West Coast Catch, he took a ski trip to a place he’d always wanted to visit. Birnbaum immediately fell head-over-heels for Aspen. He’s returned with his now-fiancée every year before the holidays—staying in the same room—for the last five years. But, like so many loyal visitors, Birnbaum solidified his love for Aspen when he visited in summer and fall. He and his fiancée liked Aspen’s autumn season so much, they changed the destination of their September wedding from Napa to Aspen.
“It’s the greatest destination America has to offer in any season,” he says. “There are a lot of beautiful places where you can hike, bike, raft and enjoy the mountains, but you can’t beat the history, authenticity and charm of Aspen.”
When Catch Steak opens in Aspen this fall, menu mainstays will includes a selection of American and Japanese wagyu beef, including A5 Kobe beef (cooked tableside) and premium cuts of hand-diced, line-caught, wild bluefin tuna.
After many visits, Birnbaum got the feeling that there was a void in the Aspen market for his resto concept—that is, a proper rooftop restaurant with fun, shareable food. It wasn’t until he rode the elevator to a rooftop brunch at the former Scarlett’s during the Food & Wine Classic that he found a space where he could envision Catch. When the space became available, Birnbaum flew to Aspen the following day and didn’t leave until he made a deal. “It was a perfect combination of a love for the town and finding the perfect location for what we do,” he says.
Catch Steak Aspen, which will open in early fall, will use its rooftop—which Birnbaum says will offer the best views in town—year-round. With a centerpiece fireplace, it’s destined for après-ski fame. The outdoor space, along with a basement dining room and private event space (the Red Room, which pays homage to the old-school steakhouse), will welcome large groups, and, depending on the night, the bar will transition from a cozy spot to have dinner at a high-top booth to a bustling, people-watching, standing-room-only scene.
A lighter, brighter and fresher take on a classic steakhouse, Catch Steak Aspen will maintain the DNA of other Catch Steaks, which originated in New York City’s Meatpacking District, but chefs will build specials around local produce. Mainstays include a selection of American and Japanese wagyu beef, including A5 Kobe beef cooked tableside. The tuna tartare plays on beef tartare, but done with premium cuts of hand-diced, line-caught, wild bluefin tuna with Calabrian chile and a ponzu-cured hen egg nestled on top. Light-as-air carta de musica chips (named for their sheet music-thin crispness) accompany the dish. Birnbaum hopes Catch Steak Aspen becomes not only a destination restaurant but a true locals’ gathering spot. “We’re excited to be providing the best food, service and vibe Aspen locals have ever had,” he says.
515 E. Hopkins Ave., Aspen, CO.
Photography by: CATCH STEAK