Fraser’s iconic Crooked Creek Saloon may get facelift |

Fraser’s iconic Crooked Creek Saloon may get facelift

This photo of Fraser's Crooked Creek Saloon, taken by Byron Hetzler, was featured in Ski Magazine in 2007.
Courtesy photo |

Fraser’s iconic Crooked Creek Saloon and Creekside Eatery may be getting a facelift in the near future.

Toni Hallgren, owner of the Creek, spoke to the Fraser Town Council on Feb. 16 about the potential of a business enhancement grant. Exact numbers and details are still being ironed out, but Hallgren said she wants to give the signature local’s spot a renovation. Hallgren said one significant change would be the signage. Yes, the famous scantily clad lady in red that lies above the doorway to the local’s refuge may be moving on with her career. Hallgren presented a potential new image to the council to be placed above the doorway that she thinks will be a bit more family friendly.

Hallgren said she thinks that because of the cosmetics of her building, people often do not go inside. Hallgren said she believes she can drum up more business with a new look, which in turn will bring more tax revenue into the town of Fraser. Hallgren said she wants to be a presence in FroDo (Fraser Downtown) as Fraser tries to develop a downtown feel with restaurants and businesses within walking distance of each other. Hallgren wants to take part by combining the historic aspects of her business with a modern, artistic feel.

Though the beloved Creek may be going through some changes, Hallgren said she wants to keep the appeal of the saloon alive and be both “touristy and local.” She also plans to add new doors from the Creekside eatery portion of the business that open up onto US Highway 40. This will allow patrons that are at the business for the restaurant portion to enter the establishment without passing through the saloon or smoking deck area.

Hallgren said she also wants to expand into other markets, such as making the Creek a spot that is appealing for weddings and becoming a source of revenue for charitable organizations and education.

Fraser also has a distillery in their business development pipeline. The distillery, which will open within the next four years, will have a tasting room and a restaurant. Owner Barry Young said it’s important to serve food in mountain communities to attract tourists and the hungry post-ski crowd. There will also be an outdoor seating area with classic Grand County views.

The distillery will focus on whiskey, but Young wants to appeal to everyone including the non-whiskey drinkers. The business plans to distill several varieties of gin using the abundance of local juniper bushes, and sagebrush balanced with other aromas. Whiskey varieties could range from American single-malt, rye or bourbon, but those details are still being worked out. Young also plans to distill vodka at the establishment.

Young said he is excited about Fraser’s vision to develop a restaurant scene, and the overall vision of the county to expand and be a year-round destination for businesses and residents. Young chose Fraser as the location of his business because they are residents and are invested in the community. Young is on the Economic Development Committee and his wife, Debbie, is on the Planning Commission.

Eastom Avenue, U.S. Highway 40 and Doc Susie Ave will border the distillery. Young said he finds it important to be located directly off Highway 40 to be visible to customers.

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