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GOLDEN, Colo. -- A year-long renovation project quickly turned into 18 months but when you're working with history, the owner of the Buffalo Rose wanted to make sure he got it right.
"We did as much as we could to retain the original character, including keeping most of the structural and architectural features, as much as we possibly could," said Cone.
The restaurant and music venue is made up of several historic structures, some pre-date Colorado's statehood. The oldest building dates back to 1859 and was a meeting place for Colorado's Territorial Legislature.
Plaques around the newly revived space pay tribute to some of the prior uses, including one that commemorates "The International Bowling Saloon."
"I think thereʼs an argument with exactly who was the first saloon in the state. I think, needless to say, it (the Buffalo Rose) was one of the very first," said Cone.
The project is really about blending old and new. LED light fixtures are juxtaposed against bricks that were uncovered during the construction. Glass blocks dating back to the late 1800s were found in the wall and used as part of the hostess stand. The rafters above the restaurant entrance are original to the structure but were previously covered up by plaster or clapboard.
GALLERY | The Buffalo Rose reopens in Golden
Patrons of the old Buffalo Rose will also notice modern touches like a retractable roof and a new bar space that's bright with floor to ceiling windows. Although they might not see the brand new kitchen, Cone hopes they will notice some significant changes to the menu.
“I think now we can seriously call ourselves a restaurant, the Buffalo Rose is no longer just an old bar," said Cone.