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Colorado restaurants over 50 years old?

I am gathering information for articles on Colorado restaurants which are over 50 years old. I welcome your suggestions. Everything from comfort food to ethnic to gourmet. If the restaurant is family-owned, that would be even better! I plan to eat at these restaurants over the next 3 months so I can better write about the atmosphere as well as the food. I will also interview the owners to get their story.

We have many restaurants and cafes which would meet this criteria, but I am more interested in lesser-known, small town spots.

Thanks very much!

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  1. Well you better head over to the Buckhorn Exchange, otherwise you will never live it down if it is not included

    1 Reply
    1. re: Herme88

      Ah yes, especially with Buffalo Bill's birthday coming up! Thank you - I had forgotten about this original Colorado masterpiece.

    2. In Denver, Bonnie Brae Tavern in Denver opened in 1934. Edgewater Inn opened in 1953 by Sloan Lake in the town of Edgewater.

      1. Is The Gondolier still in Boulder?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Cafe Gondolier, which opened in 1960 (just missing thre 50-year-mark), is still in Boulder, but it moved from its original location.

          1. re: gastronaughty

            Too bad indeed that it's not 40 years. The Fort in Morrison would otherwise qualify.It was established in 1962 by Sam Arnold. His daughter, Holly Arnold Kinney, runs it to this day.

            If truck stops count, Johnson's Corner was established in 1952. Others? Gold Hill Inn, west of Boulder. Gold Pan Saloon, Breckenriidge.

            Let us know where/when this appears.

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              Wow, I had forgotten about the Gold Pan. I actually worked there as a breakfast waitress in 1968 while I was ski bumming before grad school. Thank you!

              1. re: gr8ideas

                Ah, the Gold Pan. Did not realize that it was old enough, but great breakfasts, all the same. Thanks for the memories. Any trip to 'Breck was not complete, until we'd had breakfast at "The Pan."


        2. Also, the Chautauqua Dining Hall, in Boulder, was built in 1898, initially serving meals to the teachers who stayed in the cabins as part of a summer school program for the state's educators. Additionally, Henri's, a Mexican restaurant in Colorado Springs, opened in 1947, and while I've never been particularly enthralled by the food here, it's certainly popular. In Fort Collins, the Silver Grill Cafe has been slinging breakfast since 1933 -- and the breakfasts are unbelievably good. Definitely a joint worth seeking out. Last, but not least, The Gold Pan Saloon & Restaurant opened in Breckenridge in 1879.

          1. Kinda difficult for a restaurant to be open 50 years and still be among the lesser-known, in an industry that determines one's fate often in the lifetime of a fruitfly. And 50 years ago, Colfax was a 2-lane road, and I-25 and I-70 did not yet exist.
            That said, Herme88 is on point with Buckhorn Exchange. Liquor license #1 is on the wall.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              Gaetanos Italian in West Denver.

              Maybe a couple of other Italian places in the same area like Patsy's?

              Also I would suggest My Brother Bar. I think it has been open since the 30's. While it may have a history as more of a bar it is know for its burgers. Also famous as a Jack Kerouac hang out.

              1. re: ColoradoFun

                My Brother Bar sounds fascinating. Where would I find out more about the colorful history?

            2. Bastien's Restaurant in Denver on Colfax opened in 1937.

              1. You have gotten the restaurants, that I would likely mention (did not know that the Fort was only 40), but you might wish to check out The Welshire. I do not have the data sheet, but I think that it might be close, though not under the same management.


                5 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Wonderful muni golf course and old tudor-style restaurant and banquet hall, the Wilshire. I had a good round of golf there and a better lunch, to later find my car missing. As Meatloaf sang it, two outa three ain't bad.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Sorry about the spelling. Thanks for the correction. At one time, they had the best FR Onion Soup, on the planet. Do not know if it's the same. I think that Leo Gotto was the chef, then. Still do not know how long they have been around, relative to the 50 year requirement, but think they might be close.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I wasn't sure of the spelling -it's Weilshire, according to Google. We were both a little right and a little wrong. But my MB is still missing.
                      Onion soup is still good.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Actually, it's the Wellshire Inn, and it opened in the early '80s, even though the structure itself was built in 1926.

                        1. re: gastronaughty

                          That sounds much more familiar. Please keep an eye open for my missing car! Burgundy 320 E. Selfishly and consumed with my loss, I neglected to add that they added an expensive irrigation system to the golf course, and it plays better than ever. Thanks, Tom.

                2. Mount Vernon Country Club in the foothills has been around since 1922 and my family has been members for over 50 I think. They have recently been upgrading their menu and I had a lovely dish of lamb chops recently. They are membership oriented but I wonder if they would let you dine since you're doing an article. Be sure to request the lounge area and if you're lucky you'll be there on a night with the fireplace ablaze.


                  1. El Rancho has been around since 1948. Checking their website, their address is in Golden. I always thought of it as Evergreen, as It's off of I-70 near Evergreen. http://www.historicelrancho.com/histo...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: eatco

                      If you haven't found enough family-owned restaurants, hotel restaurants might qualify in a pinch: Peck House in Empire (if they have a restaurant), Boulderado, Broadmoor, Brown Palace, Jerome, Oxford come to mind. The restaurants may have changed but the settings are historic.

                      1. re: eatco

                        El Rancho - 1948!?! What an interesting thread. Having lived in Denver for 20 years (ten years ago), I guess that I was not as up on the history, as I had assumed.