Iconic watering holes up for sale in LaPorte and Wellington

When former Cheyenne resident Sol Trujillo first saw what is now Sol’s Long Branch bar in LaPorte, something amazing happened.

“I don’t know what it was, but there was something about the bar that called to me,” recalled Trujillo, a mariachi musician who has owned the LaPorte landmark for nearly 36 years.

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Larimer County’s first bar opened in LaPorte in 1859 and was owned by John B. Provost. The saloon and general store provided food, drink and goods for Overland Stage passengers. Provost also received Larimer County’s first liquor license in 1867. Larimer County’s first microbrewery, owned by a German immigrant with the last name Melanger, was built in LaPorte in 1862 and operated along the banks of the Cache la Poudre River.

An anniversary party is planned for Sept. 19 to commemorate the day back in 1976 when Sol and his wife, Theresa, became owners of the Long Branch.

Sol said he believes the bar was given the Long Branch name by its former owners in honor of the saloon featured in the TV show “Gunsmoke.” Before it was called the Long Branch, Sol said it was called the Log Cabin Bar.

But nearly four decades of ownership and Theresa’s declining health have made the couple ready to sell The Long Branch, which sits at the northwest corner of the intersection of County Road 54G and Overland Trail in LaPorte.

Sol said they don’t have it listed with a real estate broker at the moment, but they would consider any bona fide offer for the establishment.

“It’s been a very good bar, but if anyone wants to buy it and they have the money, I’d sell it,” he said.

Sol declined to say what his selling price would be, but said anyone wanting to seriously discuss a purchase can call him at 307-635-9019.

Coincidently, the Bar Double S that sits on the southeast corner of the same intersection is also up for sale. Formerly known as the Swing Station, the 1968-built bar is listed for $339,000. The property also includes a rental house just to the east. Listing agent Chris Penner is handling the Bar SS sale.

Penner said owners of the property are a limited liability corporation called Bar SS Properties. He said the partners prefer to remain anonymous, but they are selling the property for business reasons.

“They have business interests elsewhere that are taking up their time and energy, so that’s why they want to divest it,” he said.

And another iconic small town establishment is also up for sale. The T-Bar restaurant and lounge in Wellington is listed for $799,000. Ken and Brenda Thompson have owned the 1950-built T-Bar since 1979, when Ken bought it from his parents who were the original owners.

Ken said after 34 years of operating the business, he and his wife are “ready to retire and live the dream.”

The T-Bar, located at 3803 W. Cleveland Ave. in downtown Wellington, is a favorite north county gathering place and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Ken said the sale of the T-Bar has been a slow process so far.

“We’ve had a couple of lookey-loos, but no serious buyers,” he said.