Irish pub to open, coffee shops shuffle, PAC3 debuts

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenMay 26, 2011
First, the Wylys saved Aspen's only bookstore. Now, they are injecting a little flow into the city's ebbing bar scene.
A peak inside of Finbarr's construction.

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Kelly Wyly O'Donovan, daughter of Texas tycoon Sam Wyly, is opening Finbarr's, an Irish pub and kitchen, along with her husband, Denis O'Donovan, in the old Mustang space on the Hyman Avenue Mall where Club Chelsea flourished for so many years. Kelly is also the co-owner of the Elliot Yeary Gallery, next door at 419 E. Hyman Ave. The family also owns residential property in the building.

The addition of Finbarr's, expected to debut this fall, follows Sam Wyly's purchase of the venerable Explore Booksellers on Main Street in 2007 for $4.6 million after Katharine Thalberg passed away.

The O'Donovans, who live in rural Woody Creek, have a solid crew of friends and associates in Aspen that will no doubt add plenty of character and energy to Finbarr's while they keep the barstools warm.

The off-season shuffle is indeed in full swing in Aspen with businesses coming, going and moving as they typically do this time of year.

Other notable changes to the downtown landscape include yesterday's closing of Parallel 15 Coffee & Tea at 400 E. Hyman Ave. Keith Goode, the owner, doesn't plan for Parallel 15 to be gone for long. He expects to open a Parallel 15 coffee cart in the middle of the Hyman Avenue Mall, in front of Finbarr's, as early as next week. The dedicated followers who rely on Parallel 15 to get their organic coffee fix are counting on it. In the days before the closing, scores of them wished Goode luck and said they'd see him on the mall.
Victoria's is changing locations.



It isn't clear what will become of the Parallel 15 space. Aspen business woman Kathy Denson recently closed her fur shop and sold the E. Hyman Avenue building to a new owner who is rumored to want to open an organic restaurant. Denson, meanwhile, hasn't completely relinquished her Aspen holdings. She still owns the residential building next door.

Another coffee shop, Victoria's Espresso and Wine Bar, is also changing locations. Victoria's is bidding adieu to its Mill Street location for new digs this summer on the corner of Durant Avenue and Galena Street.

Meanwhile, down in Carbondale, a new live music venue is launching tonight at the Third Street Center. The Performing Arts Center at Third Street, or PAC3 as it is called, is a multi-use theatre that provides community space for events, concerts, nonprofit functions and more. PAC3 holds 365 guests for seated events and 553 for general admission. Bruce Cockburn is set to play Sunday. Other headliners include Hayes Carll on June 23, Steve Earle on July 3, James McMurty on July 12, Dave Alvin on July 22, Robert Earl Keen on Aug. 16 and Leon Russel on Aug. 17.


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