Iconic Buckhorn Exchange Steakhouse holds onto history amid building boom

DENVER -- In our growing Colorado, we see historical landmarks taken over by new development. But there's one iconic restaurant welcoming some pretty drastic changes and embracing the building boom.

“All of the new development is bringing us a lot of business, a lot of word of mouth,” said Renell Johnson, Manager at The Buckhorn Exchange Steakhouse.

Established in 1893, the Buckhorn has been around spanning three centuries in Denver. As the city continues to grow that means this historic landmark is also getting some new neighbors.

“We have been sort of swallowed up,” said Johnson. “It’s really great how they are developing this area.”

Years prior, the Buckhorn was surrounded by the projects and stood on its own. Now there are new apartments and a light rail stop right across the street from the location on Osage St. A nearby parking garage will also provide more parking spots for customers coming to the historic restaurant and other businesses built or in the works nearby.

“We are losing a lot of our past,” said John Howard, Buckhorn customer.

Howard is a long-standing visitor at the steakhouse. He said places like the Buckhorn keep Denver tied to its historical roots.

“I think it’s just something that you need to understand where you came from, where you are and where you’re going,” said Howard. “It’s (the Buckhorn) just a good representation of Colorado, the west and what everybody is coming for.”

Old traditions, with new clientele. The hundreds of animal mounts, pictures and other memorabilia covering the walls are welcoming fresh guests to a city staple.

“I don't think the Buckhorn will ever go anywhere,” said Johnson. “When guests come in they are just in awe of this restaurant because there is no place like this.”

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