'We've risen from the ashes like a Phoenix'

Hollywood Bar celebrates
post-fire revival

Hollywood Bar owner Travis Giddings, middle, invites the community to come out and celebrate the bar's one-year anniversary this weekend at its new location.

An anniversary celebration of the new and improved Hollywood Bar and Cafe will take place over the Labor Day weekend.

Fans of the 114-year-old business are encouraged to gather at the bar for karaoke, pool games, and drink and food specials over the three-day weekend.

"We're a part of the community with a long history lasting generations. Our return has meant so much, and we want to celebrate with everyone," said owner Travis Giddings.

When the bar burned down in Aug. 3, 2012, it ripped apart the fabric of the Dolores community who socialized nightly in the classic honky-tonk on Central Ave.

Giddings retained the rights to the name and salvaged what he could after the fire. Just over a year later, he re-opened the Hollywood Bar and Cafe on the east end of town. Sunday is its one-year anniversary.

"I could feel the old souls and energy return the moment I put up the original sign, when I installed a portion of the original bar, when I put up the old memorabilia," Giddings said. "We've risen from the ashes like a Phoenix and are continuing the tradition as a welcoming, family establishment."

Giddings improved the bar, notching it up a level, while retaining the classic touches of a juke box, nice pool tables, and affordable drinks. Happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. featuring beers for $2.25 and well drinks for $3.

Improvements are designed to attract the lunch crowd and accommodate families going out to dinner.

"The food is awesome, and it is a safe, welcoming atmosphere where you can just be yourself," said regular Lottie Ozenne who works in oil-and-gas. "It's the only bar I ever go to."

The dining area was expanded to include a cozy cafe section away from the bar with table service. It can handle dinner parties of up to 50 people. In addition to the regular menu, the Saturday Nite Special features a multi-course dinner for $21-$28 per person. Reservations are needed by Wednesday night.

"Crab legs, prime rib, lobster, surf-and-turf are just a few of the specials planned," said staffer Ronda Swanner. "It is a way to have a gourmet meal that is affordable."

Of course it is the characters that make up any bar, and the Hollywood is famous for good conversation that is a bit on the wild side.

"The fire killed the old building but not the people. It's the people that makes a place, friends like Ms. Dolly or Bell Bottom Bob, who was with me every step of the way helping me with the remodel," Giddings said. "This weekend will be a real milestone. We're still a little wild, but I brought us into the 21st century with some class."

The revived Hollywood Bar 2.0 Era is at 18396 Colorado 145 next to the Fun Center. Hollywood's phone number is 970-882-7200. Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodBarandCafe