What are Jimmy Yeager's favorite cities?
New York to me will always be home base. I started bartending in the late 1970s on the Upper East Side where I was very fortunate to experience, as a young man, the “old” saloon culture of the city. I still gravitate to some of the old standbys, most notably P.J. Clarke’s on 55th Street and McSorley’s Old Ale House on Seventh Street.
Aspen is where I have lived for the past 20 years. I know you can’t quite call Aspen a city because of its size (it’s literally smaller than one square block in New York City), but it definitely plays like one. Aspen is the perfect blend of Rocky Mountain pristine beauty and city sophistication. While surrounded by national forest land on three sides, we also have a powerful slice of urban culture represented by top-rated theater, movies, dance, music, restaurants, bars, Four- and Five-Star hotels, The Aspen Institute and more. As the owner of Jimmy’s, An American Restaurant & Bar, I don’t believe I could enjoy the career I have built in the hospitality business in other places considered “towns”. But all things considered, it’s the people that live here and visit that make this town truly unique and special.
Las Vegas has been a favorite city of mine since the early 1980s. In the beginning, Vegas was all about playing cards and it’s still all about playing cards. What has changed is the world-class quality of restaurants and bars. Wow! Renowned chefs have cloned themselves and have done an amazing job. I love going to Jaleo or China Poblano by José Andrés in The Cosmopolitan or Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian — a handful of the top cocktail specialists in the country are there. Creating leading programs are Drew Levinson, Tony Abou-Ganim and Tobin Ellis.