Buffalo Rose Shuts Down for Major Renovations

A rendering of the new Buffalo Rose.
A rendering of the new Buffalo Rose. Courtesy of Buffalo Rose
With a history that dates back more than a century and a half, the Buffalo Rose is one of Colorado’s oldest bars. The iconic music venue in the heart of downtown Golden hasn’t really had any enhancements since the mid- ’80s, and a major facelift was long overdue.

Chris Cone, who bought the Buffalo Rose last year, is shutting down the bar on November 19 for a year-long renovation. He plans to reopen in fall 2018.

Cone says his first priority is preserving as much of the existing structure as he can, particularly the exterior walls, though the facades of the three buildings that make up the Buffalo Rose will be reworked. There will also be a complete overhaul of the interior, including new HVAC and electrical systems, flooring, lights, furniture and layout. The largest project is the expansion of the bar's commercial kitchen.

“Traditionally, the Buffalo Rose has been a bar and a music venue that serves a little bit of food,” Cone says. “I think we’re going to shift to a much higher emphasis on the food, and that’s a result of us building this brand-new kitchen.” Cone says the menu will be fairly mainstream, comprising higher-end presentations of traditional food from the United States and Latin America.

The Buffalo Rose’s 600-capacity music room, which Cone says has hosted live acts since the mid-’80s, will also be upgraded with new lighting, sound systems and a video projector. “That room as a room for music is going to be enhanced on all levels, aesthetically, from an equipment standpoint,” Cone says.

There will also be a new VIP lounge/private dining room on the second floor that opens up to the music venue. “It’s going to be a very attractive room for an artist to play and for fans to come, because it’s going to essentially be brand-new and a very unique place to enjoy live music,” Cone says.

While the Buffalo Rose has hosted such rock acts as Winger and Puddle of Mudd in the past, and Great White will play there on Friday, November 17, Cone says the renovated venue will be open to various genres. The Buffalo Rose will continue to book its own shows but also work with outside promoters.

“We’ll see how the demand plays out for the different shows and different promotors I work with,” Cone says. “We’ll continue to host concerts as an independent music venue that’s doing its own shows as well as working with promoters and open to any genre that makes sense.”

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon