No timeline for rebuilding Hollywood Bar

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The west wall of the Hollywood Bar was torn down last Tuesday. The building was burned late Aug. 2. An arson investigation continues with no leads. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo/Lara Branca

The west wall of the Hollywood Bar was torn down last Tuesday. The building was burned late Aug. 2. An arson investigation continues with no leads.

A small group of people watched as heavy machinery tore down a piece of Dolores history.

Bucketfuls of the Hollywood Bar and Grill were dumped into waiting bins to be hauled off. They were bucketfuls of memories to some, a new beginning to others.

“I have to rebuild the bar, I don’t know what else to do,” said part owner/manager Travis Giddings as he watched former bartender Lara Branca try to salvage what she could. A pressed tin panel here, a rock there.

“I just don’t know what else to do,” Giddings said.

But a pending arson investigation over who burned down both the Hollywood and the neighboring Fusion Studios late Aug. 2 and insurance payments have left both Giddings and Texas owner Louis Sims unable to pinpoint a timeline to starting the rebuilding project.

Giddings told a large audience during Escalante Days that he plans to rebuild, he just doesn’t know when. Sims owns and operates several auto parts stores in Texas, and has been busy with those.

Crews also began tearing down Fusion Studios. When contacted last week, owner Ruth Hensen was unsure about rebuilding.

Lt. Ted Meador with the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office said the case is still under investigation.

“It is still actively being investigated with no leads,” Meador said.

The bar was equipped with high-tech security cameras, but the hard drive for the cameras was burned in the fire, Meador said.

He said Thursday that detectives discovered after taking the hard drive to experts that no information could be retrieved or recovered.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is offering up to $5,000 for information that will lead to the person or persons responsible for the fire that led to the destruction of the Hollywood Bar and Fusion Studios. Call 1-800-89-ARSON if you have information.