ASPEN, CO-Hines Resorts, based in Houston, has signed the first restaurateur for its $230-million Aspen Highlands Village.

The 125-seat Commonwealth Public House is being modeled after a British pub. Set to open in December, the eatery has direct access to the ski slopes and a manicured garden park replete with lawn bowling.

Stuart Higgins, Commonwealth’s COO, says the theme is untraditional for the base of a ski mountain in the Rockies, but he’s confident it will attract a hardy clientele and serve as the community’s social center. Higgins owns a similar restaurant, Brit’s Pub, in downtown Minneapolis.

Hines’ master plan for Aspen Highlands Village calls for 27,000 sf of retail space and 21,730 sf of restaurant space, all located around a spacious pedestrian-only plaza at the base of Aspen Highlands Ski Area. The project also will include 31 single-family home sites, 31 direct ski access townhome residences, 73 Ritz-Carlton Club condominiums and 111 affordable housing units.

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