Lariat Saloon doors swing open again
June 14, 2012
A popular bar in Grand Lake that closed last fall has recently reopened with new owners.
Brothers Dustin and Patrick Barnes, and Rachel Terry, are partners in the ownership of the Lariat Saloon on the final block of Grand Lake’s downtown boardwalk.
The team also owns and operates Grumpy’s Saloon in Grand Lake, and the Barnes brothers’ parents Greg and Carey Barnes have owned the Daven Haven Lodge in Grand Lake since 1990.
The Lariat Saloon is considered the legacy of the late Gene Stover, who owned the bar for 30 years until his death in October 2010.
The Barnes family has lived in Grand County since the 1970s and has long operated an arcade-game contracting business, through which they created close ties with Stover as his vending supplier at the Lariat, according to Dustin Barnes.
“Gene Stover built an iconic Grand Lake establishment, and we want to carry on the tradition,” Dustin said. “All of us have grown up familiar with the Lariat.”
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The sale of the Lariat from family members of Stover took place on May 31, and the bar opened under new ownership on June 7.
The new owners plan to keep the same atmosphere of the Lariat, they said, which is an eclectic mix of signs and decals on walls and ceilings that were collected over the years. “We’re not moving a single picture,” Dustin said. “We want to keep the same spirit alive.”
The only change to the Lariat Saloon is the implementation of computers behind the bar “to make service faster,” according to Lariat and Grumpy’s bar manager Cody Holt.
“Gene Stover ran a very friendly and successful business, and we’re going to keep it the same,” Holt said.
The Barnes family plans to add a shadow-box tribute to the late Steve Cormey, the musician who played weekend-nights at the Lariat for many years.
The new Lariat management team plans to host live music for which the Lariat became known. Artists already lined up to play on Friday and Saturday nights (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.) regularly are Gary Key, Bobby Walker, Arnie J. Green, Keith Synnestvedt and the Acme Band.
The Lariat will resume being open “365 days a year,” according to owners.
“It’s one of the most historic bars in town,” said Terry. “Unlocking it was rewarding.”