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The J-Bar

M. John FayheePhotos by Mark Fox

The J-Bar’s back bar is one of the most ornate in the Colorado high country. According to Jennifer Barnhart, director of public relations and sales at the Hotel Jerome, the J-Bar’s back macro-story has been lost to history. But certain salient facts are known.

“We know it was custom-made for the Jerome in 1889, but we do not know by whom,” Barnhart says. “We are not even certain what kind of wood it’s made of. We have tried to research its history further, but have only run into dead ends. It’s almost like there is some deep secret. We know that its oriental motif was a tribute to all the Asian people who worked in the silver mines.”

Though its intricate carvings and adornments are the things most likely to catch a visitor’s eye, the most popular component of the J-Bar’s back bar is “the drawer.”

“There is one drawer in which every bartender who has worked in the J-Bar since its opening day in 1889 has carved his or her initials,” Barnhart says. “There are hundreds of names carved in that drawer.”

If it’s not too busy, bartenders are likely to let curious patrons step behind the bar to eyeball the drawer.


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