If you go to Chasing Rabbits, you might feel as if you’ve left the winter wonderland of Vail Village for Alice’s Wonderland. That trip down the rabbit hole is very much intentional: When local developer Solaris Group decided to convert a 13,000-square-foot movie theater in the middle of the tony Colorado ski resort into a nightlife venue, the company turned to Rockwell Group, a firm known for creating show-stopping Broadway sets (Hairspray, Kinky Boots), to come up with a fresh concept.
“The expression ‘chasing rabbits’ implies doing something totally irrelevant or being distracted from what you intend to do,” says Solaris Group vice president Thea Knobel, “which is how we wanted our guests to feel when they entered the space.”
Lewis Carroll himself couldn’t have done better. The designers split the cavernous space into a warren of immersive experiences that make guests feel a bit like Alice tumbling deeper and deeper: a high-concept restaurant that serves Mediterranean dishes such as, yes, braised rabbit Bolognese; The Library, a bar lined with enough leather-bound books to make Ron Burgundy jealous; the East-meets-West speakeasy Moon Rabbit; and the 1980s-themed Rabbit Hole, which offers tiki drinks, retro arcade games, and an Instagram-friendly 11-foot pink rabbit for those who pass through its infinity room–inspired entryway.
Cocktail connoisseurs will be drawn to Moon Rabbit in particular. Among the appropriately showy offerings are the Three Sheets to the Wind, a rum punch for two that’s poured from a smoke-filled ship in a bottle, and the umami-rich Cheshire Szechuan, which comes in a repurposed miso soup bowl. The most attention-grabbing drink is the Cosmonaut, an Asian-inspired variation on a Cosmopolitan made with persimmon and yuzu liqueurs and topped with a berry-flavored bubble that pops into a cloud of scented fog. If all that’s not enough, it’s served in an etched coupe glass held aloft by an astronaut rabbit statuette.
“It’s an experience that’s meant to be captured and shared from the delivery to your last sip,” says Knobel—summing up both the essence of that flashy cocktail and the feeling of a night at Chasing Rabbits.