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Deathwatch: Aspen

Given that we're on the verge of summer, what better time to Deathwatch an institution who's concept (winter ski lodge) seems so very unappealing at the moment? We're talking about Aspen, the tapas/wild game restaurant which was the recipient of so much buzz when it opened in late 2005. But has this place crossed your mind at all in the past year? Nope, didn't think so. And now, to the Deathwatch committee's damning evidence:

1) That winter wonderland decor only works half of the year. Does anyone want to sit around a firepit in July? Show of hands? No?
2) Massive shilling on Citysearch—always a bad sign
3) Only has 89 friends on MySpace
4) Owner Greg Brier preoccupied with his newest project Amalia
5) Haven't heard as much as a peep from Fox Greenberg PR in months; as a result, press mentions have dried up
6) West 22nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues a complete dead zone at night; walk-in traffic nil
7) Still operating in a world where making table reservations for bottle service is totally acceptable

Let's be honest, here. This establishment has always seemed more club than restaurant. We predict the first move in turning this ship around would be to close the kitchen and proceed as a bar. Though a ton of money was invested in the decor, they might tweak the concept a bit to allow for a reopening and subsequent press blitz. All in all, an interesting case for the Deathwatch team, as Aspen may never shutter completely, but will most likely undergo massive changes to stay afloat. Over/Under on serious movement: September 2007.

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