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Golden’s historic Buffalo Rose will receive overhaul

New owner plans to update popular music venue to also include banquet, wedding facilities


Renovation of the historic Buffalo Rose on Washington Avenue will be one of the most significant projects to occur on the main strip of downtown Golden in a number of years.

Estimated to be closed for about one year once construction starts, the Buffalo Rose, at 1119 Washington Ave., will be completely overhauled, new owner Chris Cone said.

His goal, he said, is for the longtime music venue to become “a popular destination for the local Golden community.”

Part of the Golden community since the mid-1800s, the Buffalo Rose — which has hosted countless kinds of music and bands over those years— is the oldest saloon in the state, local historian Richard Gardner said.

“It’s an iconic Golden property,” Cone said. “The prospect of redevelopment was interesting.”

Construction is expected to in the first quarter of 2017, sometime before March, and wrap up in early 2018.

Cone purchased the Buffalo Rose for $3.6 million with proceeds from a previous sale of a property in north Golden near Golden Gate Canyon. The sale was finalized April 1. He had considered at least 50 to 100 commercial properties, he said, but the Buffalo Rose location in downtown Golden differentiated it.

Cone has lived in Golden since 1998, and he said his main priority with the Buffalo Rose is to invest in the city in which he lives.

The barber shop and restaurant located at 12th Street and Washington Avenue — the corner of the Buffalo Rose property — will be demolished and rebuilt into a dining establishment serving contemporary American and Latin food. It will reopen under the name The Rose.

The live music venue and bar, which faces Washington Avenue, will not be torn down, but remodeled and refurbished. Cone described the work as extensive reconditioning and updating. The venue will continue to host live music and other performances, but will also be available as a banquet hall for weddings and corporate events. It will reopen as The Plunge.

Buffalo Rose general manager Mic McManus said the two names were chosen to differentiate between the two spaces. Both establishments will include outdoor seating, and share an updated kitchen.

The Rose will have a modern look and feel, Cone said, whereas The Plunge will go back to its historic roots — the space was a community pool in the 1920s — with characteristics of the art deco style of the 1930s.

Chris Thompson, a local musician with Coral Creek, an Americana/country-rock/jamgrass band, has high hopes for a new and improved Buffalo Rose.

There’s an opportunity for the venue to reinvent itself, he said, but he does hope it keeps some of its historical, honky-tonk charm.

“New ownership,” he said, “will create great opportunities for live music in Golden.”


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