In the busy “Steel City” of Pueblo, the historic Gray’s Coors Tavern is the perfect stop for a casual yet delicious meal and a cold drink. Though the building is quite discrete, the large vintage neon sign in the parking lot marking this iconic location can’t be missed.
The timeless impact of this bar is undeniable – its development was amongst some of the first efforts towards building what is now an international brewing company, and its signature dish is now a staple on many menus across the state.
The location originally operated as Schaffer’s Bar in the early 20th century, a popular stop for railway workers with a subpar reputation in the community. Shortly after prohibition ended and distribution could recommence, Golden-based brewer Adolph Coors sent one of his associates to the city of Pueblo to open a tavern where they could sell and promote their beer. The legendary brewing company teamed up with Johnnie and Joe Greco and converted Schaffer’s into Johnnie’s Coors Tavern in 1934.
The brothers quickly transformed the bar into a local favorite where friends and family gathered. In 1983, after nearly 50 years under the Grecos’ ownership, the bar was bought by uncle-nephew duo Gary and Don Gray. Besides adapting the tavern’s name, all other aspects of the bar, from its atmosphere to its menu remained virtually the same and continue to embrace the tried and true no-frills traditions established by the Johnnie and Joe.
Home of the Slopper
Gray’s Coors Tavern is the birthplace of the slopper – an open-faced burger smothered with green chili, and typically topped with onions and french fries. Diners can opt for red chili and select from additional toppings as well like cheese, guacamole, bacon, and fried eggs. The lightbulb moment for the slopper came when a customer in the 1950s requested a burger with green chili and commented when it arrived that it looked like “slop.”
Don’t be fooled by its perhaps less appetizing appearance – the dish was so well-liked that neighboring restaurants began recreating it, and eventually restaurants across southern Colorado. Gray’s slopper has been featured on the Food Network and is widely recognized as the home of this iconic dish.
If you still aren’t sold on the slopper, don’t worry – Gray’s Coors Tavern offers a wide selection of other delicious appetizers and entrees. Beyond American pub staples like burgers and hot dogs, they also serve many classic Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and tostadas. Another popular item is their “S.O.B.” sandwiches, Italian Sausage served on a Hoagie Bun with various topping options. Their fresh-cut fries are the perfect addition to any meal.
Check out their daily specials to get a hearty serving of your favorite dish for a fraction of the price, which makes pairing it with a cold beer or cocktail all the more affordable.
The drink menu includes a full liquor selection along with a lengthy roster of domestic, imported, and craft beers, on draft and by the bottle, of course featuring a variety of Coors beverages.
Seating is available indoors at the bar or at the surrounding tables, where sports memorabilia & the mitts of Pueblo high school baseball players line the walls. There is also a large outdoor dining area with plenty of shade, where patrons can enjoy their “Music on the Patio” series during the summer months each weekend, featuring live entertainment from local musicians.
Address: 515 W 4th St, Pueblo, CO 81003
Hours: Mon-Thurs, Sat – 11 am to 9 pm, Fri – 11 am to 10 pm, Sun – 11 am to 7 pm