First Look

First Look: The Historic Buffalo Restaurant & Bar Reopens in Idaho Springs

The Buffalo Restaurant & Bar closed in October 2014 for what was intended to be a five-month renovation project. But more than a year went by before the historic Idaho Springs watering hole reopened in December 2015. While the original bar, which was built in Chicago in the 1880s, still remains a centerpiece of the space, new beers are being served across its antique wood surface: The Buffalo joined forces with Westbound & Down Brewing Company next door to offer a modern take on a classic Colorado bar experience. The Buffalo and Westbound & Down are interconnected so that guests can spread out as they see fit.

Four beers from the brewery are served on tap, in addition to six guest beers from other Colorado breweries. The food menu features bar standards like burgers, soft pretzels and buffalo chili, but a few modern touches have been added: Nashville hot chicken, andouille sausage gumbo and a house-made veggie burger round out the roster.

The Buffalo is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. While the quaint saloon has always offered a good excuse to exit weekend traffic jams on I-70 for the more relaxed pace of the former mining town, now there's twice the reason for a stop. For more photos of the bar and the brewery, see our complete slideshow.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation