June 23, 2022

LIST: 5 historic bars to visit in Colorado | Guide to summer fun

Buckhorn Exchange, Denver A history dating back to 1893 doesn’t make this bar Colorado’s oldest, as is often believed. But the Buckhorn has the oldest liquor license. If only the walls could talk. That’s the thought when surveying the collection of over 100 firearms.

Buffalo Rose, Golden When the joint reopened in 2019, it was a celebration of 160 years. There have been many starts and stops since 1859, when Colorado’s oldest bar opened in a building that hosted the likes of Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. But the Buffalo Rose refused to fade.

The Minturn Saloon, Minturn The walls are covered with photos and autographs of the big clientele since the 1970s: skiers. They warm up with the age-old dish of duck breast, just like railroad workers did in the early 1900s. The saloon is the terminus of the Minturn Mile, one of Vail’s best-known off-limits races.

Mint, Silverthorne

Recently, condos, a hotel, and one of those fancy food courts have been built around an old building that looks out of place. For over 150 years, the Mint has survived change. Blue River Parkway is its fourth location, following miraculous transplants from other posts around Summit County. It is now a grill-your-own steakhouse.

Silver Dollar Saloon, Leadville

Behind the mahogany bar that was transported by boxcar in the 1870s, behind that copper register still in use, the friendly local could show you the place on the cracked floor to look like the face of “Doc” Holliday. He was a regular, known to have lived across the street. There is another spot marked on the ground, believed to be where the fights took place. Listen to the ghosts while you enjoy your wings.