Historic restaurants and saloons keep the spirit of the West alive, and some offer a mean steak. Denver, Colorado, is home to the famous Buckhorn Exchange Saloon that was started by Henry “Shorty Scout” Zietz. According to Zietz himself, “Sitting Bull always called me ‘Shorty-my-boy. He took a liking to me after he saw me shoot.” The man and his saloon have a colorful history that began with Henry and his mother, “Lottie,” running a saloon at 2762 Market Street from 1888 to 1893. This also served as the Zietz family residence and home of the original German-imported backbar that still stands in the Buckhorn today.
In 1893, Henry relocated the saloon and the backbar to a former 1886 brewery warehouse across from the Rio Grande railroad tracks on 1000 South Osage and named it the Rio Grande Exchange Saloon. In February 1898, Zietz was robbed but managed to stash a roll of $100 bills into a coal scuttle before the thieves saw him. Zietz bragged about that in a newspaper story and that June, when he was robbed again, the robber said, “You won’t get a chance to sluff your money this time.”
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