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Gus' Place

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c. 1905. 1201 Elm St. (southwest corner of Mesa St.)

Colorado's best-known blue-collar saloon is a small, one-story brick corner tavern that blends into a working-class neighborhood. Gus Masciotra went to work at the nearby CF&I steel mills at age fourteen and saved enough to buy this house. In 1926 he added a grocery. When happy days returned with the end of Prohibition in 1933, Gus opened a tavern in the front of the grocery. He also dispensed beer in buckets to go, from a takeout window on the north wall that has been filled with glass blocks. In 1937, 1939, and 1941 Ripley's Believe It or Not pronounced Gus' the national leader for beer sales per square foot.

Inside, booted steelworkers have worn out two steel bar rails. A section of the second is mounted in a wall trophy case. Clean design prevails in this little-altered saloon, which displays the green, white, and red colors of the Italian flag on its front awning, in the ceiling tiles and the linoleum floor, and even in the neon on the mahogany back bar.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel
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Data

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Citation

Thomas J. Noel, "Gus' Place", [Pueblo, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CO-01-PE24.

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 321-321.

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