Does the thought of eating another date night burger at The Mountain Sun or having yet another whiskey on The Bitter Bar’s patio make you yearn for a getaway?
Well, follow Barbara and Frank Finn’s lead and head West for the hills — The Gold Hill Inn, to be precise. Like them, you won’t be disappointed.
Follow the road and signs up Four Mile Canyon past gorgeous mountain retreats and charming bungalows, through vistas that give alternating views of Boulder’s twinkling lights and snow capped mountain peaks. The paved road turns to dirt as it leads up the mountain and back in time to the Wild West. And there, about 12-miles from progressive Boulder, are two log buildings built in 1827 and 1924 – Gold Hill Inn.
Barbara and Frank Finn, social workers from the East coast, purchased the buildings that were originally a tourist hotel and then a private vacation spot for women from the Chicago area who were teachers, nurses etc., in 1962 and started a mountain-gourmet restaurant.
“They were a little crazy,” said Brian Finn, son of Barbara and Frank and now co-owner of Gold Hill Inn. “They bought the two buildings and started a restaurant in the middle of nowhere back then, when there were no 4-wheel drive cars, no Subarus.”
But it was an instant hit. People from IBM and University of Colorado Boulder took a liking to the authentic Colorado experience, said Finn.
Today Gold Hill Inn continues to be a popular destination as a restaurant that offers either a six-course or three-course dinner menu that changes nightly, a wedding venue, the scene of murder mystery parties and a venue for national and local music.
Zak Keirn was one of the lucky ones who got into the sold out Gold Hill Inn to hear Bluegrass band the Railsplitters Friday night. Keirn is a fan of the Railsplitters, so when he found out they were playing at Gold Hill Inn he made the trek.
“I love this place – it’s really cool,” said Keirn.
Caroline Twitchell enjoyed herself at Gold Hill Inn Friday as well – though the venue was sold out when she arrived and had to check out the band through an open window.
“Luckily they were selling beer outside the kitchen window and we could hear the music from the large side yard,” said Twitchell. “Even though we weren’t able to experience it firsthand from inside, we had a great time and are anxious to return either for the live music or to try the restaurant later this summer.”
Twitchell and others will have plenty of opportunities to experience what Gold Hill Inn has to offer.
Memorial Day festivities at Gold Hill Inn include live music Sunday night featuring Cahalen Morrison & Eli West and a Monday Memorial Day BBQ featuring live music from The Yawpers, Shel, Strange Byrds, Nate & Tyler and at least weekly shows through June. If you are more of the gory type, murder mysteries are taking place June 29th -July 20th, Aug. 10th, 24th, Sept. 6th,13th, 27th and Oct. 11th,12th,19th,25th. The restaurant is open nightly with the exception of Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information visit www.goldhillinn.com
Image by Katie Drucker.