Some of Colorado’s oldest and most iconic bars are scattered across the state and offer a glimpse into the history and nostalgia of the past. From hardy miners to rough and tumble cowboys, Beatniks to modern history buffs, Coloradans of all sorts have frequented these historic watering holes. For an authentic Colorado experience and a glimpse into the Centennial State’s storied past, check out 9 of the oldest pubs in Colorado.
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9) The Face Bar – Central City, 1936
The Face Bar is named after the iconic image of a mysterious woman’s face on the barroom floor. In 1936, local artist Herndon Davis was commissioned to do a number of paintings to rejuvenate the Teller House where the Face Bar is located. The woman’s face on the floor was his last work and remains a mystery to this day.
8) Gray’s Coors Tavern – Pueblo, 1934
Known as the birthplace of the “Slopper”, a burger smothered in chili, Gray’s Coors Tavern was established in 1934 and is one of southwest Colorado’s oldest bars. While here, make sure to also check out neighboring Star Bar.
7) New Sheridan Bar – Telluride, 1895
Initially built in 1895, the New Sheridan Bar is renowned for its dark mahogany wood, which (although retouched) is similar to what the original bar looked like.
6) The Cruise Room – Denver, 1891
Located in the Oxford Hotel, built in 1891, the Cruise Room retains much of the feel of a 1930s bar. This bar was modeled after a bar on an ocean cruise liner and has been open since 1933.
5) J-Bar – Aspen, 1889
Regulars including Hunter S. Thompsen, John Wayne, and the Eagles have enjoyed J-Bar’s iconic atmosphere. Try the Aspen Crud, five scoops of vanilla ice cream mixed with three shots of bourbon in a delicious adult milkshake.
4) Silver Dollar Saloon – Leadville, 1879
Once a favorite watering hole for the famous outlaw, Doc Holliday, the Silver Dollar Saloon acquired its name shortly after Prohibition ended. The old wood along with the hitching posts outside the saloon are hard to miss along Leadville’s main street.
3) Gold Pan Saloon – Breckenridge, 1879
This bar and restaurant has been through many different owners and names since its inception in 1879. The Gold Pan Bar and Restaurant has been in service since 1953 and is Breckenridge’s oldest bar.
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2) The Mint – Silverthorne, 1862
Known as Colorado’s oldest mobile bar, The Mint has retained its building structure since it was first built as a mining bar in Kokomo in 1862. From there, it moved to Frisco and now resides in Silverthorne. Visitors can enjoy steak and seafood as well as beer and other alcohol.
1) Buffalo Rose Saloon – Golden, 1859
The Buffalo Rose is Colorado’s longest surviving gold-era business. Although it has gone through a number of owners and iterations, the saloon remains very similar to the initial business created in 1859.