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Bentley’s

M. John FayheePhotos by Mark Fox

For many of us, bars might as well serve as banks, since such a high percentage of our income is transacted in one form or another – credit, interest, loans, karmic debts, pleas for economic salvation – at watering holes.

Bentley’s is a rare bar in that both its bar and back bar actually used to adorn the inside of a bank – in England, no less. (And you wondered where all those extra pounds came from. )

Sirous Saghatolesami, who owned Bentley’s from 1981 until 1989, bought the bar and back bar from an antique dealer in Denver when he was remodeling the facility.”I know it came from a bank in England, but I’m not certain where,” Saghatolesami says. “I was looking for a bar and back bar, and somebody put me in touch with this guy, who was shipping the pieces over from England. He sent me some photos. I liked it and bought it. I don’t remember how much it was, but it was expensive.”

Both the bar and the back bar were already in pieces, to facilitate shipping across the ocean. In Denver, those pieces were stripped down to bare wood and stained. They were then brought by truck to Aspen.

“We hired local craftsmen who did an excellent job of putting everything back together,” Saghatolesami says. “You can’t even tell it was ever taken apart.”But you can tell that the bar once called the inside of a bank home. There are remnants of cashier cages, which, to this day, magically attract people to the idea of sliding their money across the polished wood.

And the bank motif is further extended to the storage locker, which has a vault as its entryway.


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