Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Minturn Saloon rates as Colorado's best ski bar

The Minturn Saloon has been named "best Colorado ski bar" by Outside magazine in the July issue -- and the venerable watering hole, which is just starting its 35th year and occupies a building in Minturn that dates back to 1901, deserves the honor.

"On any winter day," Outside writes, "everyone drinking with you in this temple to Vail's ski history has skied the Minturn Mile."

But while the Minturn Saloon has long been a hit in the high country, an attempt to repeat its success in the flatlands met with dismal failure.

Seven years ago, a second Minturn took over the space at 846 Broadway that had once been the Parlour. But the broiled quail that were a pack-the-house special in the Vail Valley just didn't fly here, and after a couple of attempts to tweak the concept for Denver tastes failed, the Minturn morphed into Moon Time.

Today, the address belongs to the Fainting Goat, which seems to have found a winning formula with its cheap lunches, generous happy hours and one of the best rooftop bars (particularly for smokers) in town.