Oblects in the mirror are roughly where they appear.
Oblects in the mirror are roughly where they appear.
Photo by Eric Peterson

Downhill slope: Buffalo Restaurant & Bar

The day was all bluebird at Loveland until the powder turned into half-dried cement sometime around 2:30 p.m. The latter interpretation of snow grabbed my skis while my body kept going more times than I could count. My ankle was already sore from a drinking injury -- now the rest of my body has caught up. It's nothing a PBR at the Buffalo Restaurant & Bar in Idaho Springs can't at least temporarily salve.

I sidle up to the bar part of the place with two compatriots -- the restaurant looks a little slick for us.

"This does seem a little higher quality than your normal write-ups," says one of my friends. I agree -- the old place John Rohner took over as a bar circa 1900 (roughly the same year he fought for the heavyweight championship) looks great.

"What can you do?" I reply.

Inspired to Tiger Woods' return to HDTVs in bars everywhere, the conversation degenerates over $1.87 PBR drafts and a $2.99 basket of fries dipped in the house's private-label chipotle sauce by Captain Spongefoot. A steady stream of skiing families and locals pass in and out of the doors. I admire the Rapid-Kool Milk Conditioner sign and "The Stampede" mural, featuring a buffalo horde and a lone horned basset hound.

"How old is the bar?" asks a tourist.

"It was built in 1862," comes the bartender's response.

Our conversation continues to devolve. "What about a death metal band where they all look like Taylor Swift?" somebody offers.

"These things just write themselves," I respond, scrawling some notes on a chipotle-sauce-speckled piece of paper.

Buffalo Restaurant & Bar, 1617 Miner St., Idaho Springs, 303-567-2729, www.buffalorestaurant.com.

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