For some visitors, the Stockyard Inn and Saloon as much a part of the National Western Stock Show as the rodeo events and livestock.
There’s some uncertainty recently about whether the bar will be able to stay at its longtime home in north Denver after the National Western complex gets redeveloped. The city and county of Denver is looking to buy the land where the Stockyard Saloon sits and hopes to keep the business on site.
Stockyard Saloon sheds its regular customers for 16 days in January and becomes the “Yard Bar” for visitors of the National Western Stock Show. Owner Dean Maus books country acts each night and opens on weekends. The rest of the year, the saloon’s a Monday-through-Friday lunch and after work spot for industrial employees in the area.
Maus said he’s owned the Stockyard Saloon for the last 14 years, and he’s hopeful he will be able to stay on the campus.
“We have not received a 90-day notice to relocate,” he said. “The city has actually talked to me a few times about extending my lease and possibly having me stay here a couple more years if not longer because they’re uncertain about what they’re going to do with this spot.”
“It makes sense for them to keep this place,” Maus said, “this is part of the stock show history.”
As of October, Denver had 32 of the 38 parcels needed to transform the National Western campus “under control.” Businesses on the parcels, including near the Stockyard Saloon, were forced to relocate ahead of redevelopment.
The Stockyard Saloon is an important place to meet for stock show goers, said Gretchen Hollrah, executive director of the Office of the National Western Center.
“There’s a real history of it as a familiar part of the community that’s there both in January and year-round,” Hollrah said. “It’s a great asset for the site, it’s a part of the community and it’s something we would love to have continue as a future use.”
It’s not super clear how long the saloon, formerly known as Old West Tavern, has been on the National Western campus. The city is researching its history, but officials did not provide that info as of Friday. The bar sits in a building on the National Western Complex that was completed in 1919.
The bar is part of the Denver Union Stock Yard Building, 4701 Marion St., The four-story building was built in three stages. The earliest portion of the
building was completed in 1898, according to a 2014 historic preservation study. The structure between where Stockyard Saloon and the front building is located was damaged in a fire and will likely need to be demolished, Hollrah said.
It’s too early to say if the Stockyard Saloon would need to at any point relocate or whether its home will be remodeled, she said. Denver anticipates knowing more about whether the bar will be able to stay a part of the complex in coming months as negotiations to buy the land progress.
Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here bit.ly/DailyDenverite.