Colorado State’s Aspen Grille restaurant opens for the fall semester

The Lory Student’s Aspen Grille isn’t just a full service restaurant: it’s also a classroom.

All of the Grille’s 30 employees are hospitality management majors looking for real-world restaurant experience.
“The classroom focuses on the operational aspects of the restaurant industry,” said Bill Franz, a hospitality management instructor. “The students fill all the positions, and they rotate through all the different positions in the front of the house and in the back of the house, including management.”

The Grille is open from noon to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. One group of 15 students serves lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and another group works on Wednesdays and Fridays.


The Aspen Grille
Noon – 1:15p.m. Tues. – Friday
The operating hours of the restaurant.
The amount of students currently working at the Aspen Grille.
The approximate amount of students in the hospitality management program.“It is an invaluable experience,,” said Kate Lewis, a sophomore hospitality management major and business administration minor. “… I think that it’s really great that you can shift between every single role that works in a restaurant, so even if you’re applying for another position, you can say that you have experience in all the other ones.”

The Aspen Grille was founded in 2004. Even though the Division of Student Affairs picked up the bill for developing the restaurant, students made decisions about kitchen design, dining room decor, menu selections and pricing, according to a 2005 article on the CSU website.

Today, the restaurant serves between 30 to 35 guests per day.

“Anybody can come,” said Jeff Miller, an associate professor and program coordinator for hospitality management. “We’d love to have students come. It’s a great deal and for really not much more money than eating in the food court, you can sit at a table and be waited on and have really high quality food in a great environment.”

The Aspen Grille serves items such as burgers, sandwiches, soups and dessert, and the average price of food is between $8 and $9.

The restaurant is broken up into a main dining room, in addition to a bar area with a full liquor license.

“In the bar area they can either use our regular lunch menu but we also have a bar menu. We can’t call it a student menu, but when you look at it you go, ‘yeah, that’s directed at the students,’” Franz said.

Collegian Writer Kevin Ruby can be reached at