Dining January 15, 2018
Quench Your Thirst Like A Cowboy At These 8 Historic Wyoming Saloons
When in Wyoming, do as the cowboys do – brand a herd of cattle, drive them to greener pastures, bust a buckin’ bronc, and then hit the local saloon for a cold one. That’s actually the condensed version of the cowboy lifestyle, but most do appreciate a familiar, comfortable place to relax at the end of a rough day. Fortunately for everyone, Wyoming has an assortment of taverns that fit the bill perfectly. In fact, many of the most popular bars are historical, dating back to the 1800s when practically all of the clientele were cowhands and ranchers. If you’re looking for the authentic experience, belly up to these 8 historic saloons in Wyoming.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. The Buckhorn Bar, 114 East Ivinson Street, Laramie
Built about 14 years after the U of W was established, the Buckhorn is not only the epitome of a college bar it's pretty much
one of the best in the country
. It's the oldest bar in Laramie - one that's been continuously open and operating since 1900.
2. College Inn, 105 North 2nd Street, Douglas
The College Inn, established in 1906, is the oldest business still open in its original location in Douglas - and the building was a saloon under a different name even before that, having opened in 1887. It's had a facelift or two over the past century or so, but the locals love the nostalgic, welcoming atmosphere.
3. Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, 25 North Cache Street, Jackson
Long before other bars started capitalizing on the concept of "flair," the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar was collecting memorabilia and displaying it in a cavernous saloon. The building, which was originally a café, was purchased in 1937 and remodeled to include gnarled pine beams and not quite a million silver dollars inlaid in the bar top. Years later, a different owner installed saddles at the bar in place of stools, completing the eclectic cowboy atmosphere you'll experience when you visit today.
4. Miners and Stockman's, 608 Main Street, Hartville
Tucked away in Wyoming's oldest incorporated town sits the oldest bar in the state, and it's still open for business. Established in 1862 as Miners and Stockman's Steakhouse and Spirits when Hartville was a booming mining town, this saloon's reputation is well-deserved and more than enough to keep it thriving even after the population shrank to double-digits.
5. The Mint, Bar 151 North Main Street, Sheridan
The Mint has been
the Mint since 1907, making it the oldest bar in Sheridan. It's always been a popular place with the local cowboys and ranchers, though it's cultivated a new, wider range of devotees with the new century. The owners proudly claim that the phrase, "Meet you at the Mint," is used world-wide, and they're happy to have the doors open when travelers from near and far arrive.
6. The Saloon at the Occidental Hotel, 10 North Main Street, Buffalo
The Occidental Hotel was founded in 1880, and the saloon quickly became
the place for cowboys, lawmen, and outlaws to stop in for a whiskey or a beer and a game of poker or farro. With that explosive combination, naturally more than a few shootouts occurred at the Occidental. Today, the place is much tamer, but the Old West atmosphere remains.
7. The Wigwam 2 inside the Historic Plains Hotel, 1600 Central Avenue, Cheyenne
While the rest of the saloons on the list remain, for the most part, just as they were back in the day, the last two have undergone renovations that have made them more modern. The first of these is the Wigwam 2, so called as a nod to the original bar (called the Wigwam) that was inside the Historic Plains Hotel. Still, as part of a building that, like many of the other saloons on our list, is on the National Register of Historic Places, this inviting western bar remains a great place for cowboys or anyone else to relax after a tough day on the range.
8. Wonder Bar, 256 South Center Street, Casper
Editor's Note: Wonder Bar is permanently closed.
This bar is in a building that was constructed in 1914, though it would house pool halls and other bars of various names before it became the Wonder Bar in the 1930s. It's always been where cowboys and their horses came for refreshment at the end of a hard day - yes, the horses were welcome and served inside the bar! After a recent remodel, the owners amended the name to "C85 Wonder Bar," but it's still a terrific place to get a drink and enjoy the Wyoming experience.
Have you quenched your thirst at any of these historic bars?
What Wyoming saloon is your favorite place to enjoy a cold one?