After a 35-year run, Steve Campbell and Andy Kaufman are selling their iconic Mintern Saloon, and they’re looking for the next set of owners to carry on the 120-year Vail Valley tradition.
Since it was built in 1901, the Mintern Saloon has operated continuously as a restaurant or inn, with plenty of other stories of use as a back-room gambling destination for railroaders in the last century.
Kaufman and Campbell bought the salon in 1986 and said they were now ready to sell, having driven the business through the toughest period of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have listed the 3,521-square-foot property for $1,995,000.
“We have been contacted several times by potential buyers over the years, but now we feel the time may be right to make a change,” Kaufman said in a release. “We were determined to see Mintern Salon and our staff through the pandemic. We have completed it. All our employees are employed and we are doing record business.”
Kaufman & Campbell’s three-decade stint with the salon has retained its current purpose. Before him, in 1976, former Yankee player Bob Cherry took over the business from the Eagle River Hotel, calling it The Saloon Across the Street. Cherry took over operations from the previous 38-year-old owner, Jeff Taylor, who was known to be a sparring partner of world champion boxer Jack Dempsey.
In the 21st century, Kaufman and Campbell continued to fill the salon with photos and memorabilia that tell the story of its vibrant heritage.
“It’s a special building with its original tin roof, beautiful back bar built in the 1870s, and huge fireplace,” Kaufman said. “Although the infrastructure has been updated, we have taken great care to maintain the authenticity of the salon.”
And their patronage has paid off, earning the saloon in its current form one of Esquire magazine’s Best Bars in America. It also remains a true Colorado aprs-ski destination, serving as a watering hole for back-country skiers after finishing the Mintern Mile.
“We still enjoy working,” Campbell said, “but it’s time to retire and pass the baton to the next owner.” Anyone will have a great time taking the Mintern Salon to the next level. “
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