When you think there couldn’t be any more reasons to love Fremont County, Cañon City offers yet another one. Unique to this Royal Gorge City is the Owl Cigar Store, which isn’t a cigar store at all, but an American diner. The name, however, does reflect the diner’s origins. Opened in 1903, the diner sold cigars, tobacco, and pipes, as well as fishing and sports equipment, ammunition, and hunting and fishing licenses. It wasn’t until 1929 that it started selling hamburgers and 1933, with the end of prohibition, that it started selling beer. Though the Owl Cigar Store fully converted into the diner it is today in only the mid-1990s, it remains a touchstone in the community with some customers claiming their grandparents frequented the store at its inception.
Today, there’s a sportsman’s calendar behind the bar from November 1951, which is pretty much when time stopped here. The walls are decorated with ancient taxidermy of huge trout, deer heads, and owls, and vintage posters and photos. There’s also a jukebox in the front and pool tables (added in the 1940s) in the back. The menu is basic—burgers, a variety of egg sandwiches, and malts—but the food is affordable and good, while the ambiance is a veritable time machine.
For more information, visit the Owl Cigar Store’s Facebook page.