The first building at our location, constructed around 1880, was owned by Martin Mufich and Frank Shuty, and was later sold to Chris Vultich. It served the area as a tavern until prohibition, when it became the local pool hall. Pete Momich then acquired the building. dismantled it and, using many of the original materials, constructed the present building in 1929. He ultimately sold it to Bill "Sharky" Starika who named it Bill's Tavern (it was commonly known as Sharky's).
The bar and back bar of today originally traveled by train from Philadelphia to Leadville; and then, around 1895, were transported by horse-drawn wagon to Crested Butte. In 1918, then owner Mark Sodia sold the bars to frank Mufich, who in turn sold them to the Spritzer family. The Spritzers used them in their establishment The Spritzer Bar, from 1920 to 1930, then sold them to "Sharky" for $200.
Ownership of the building has changed hands many times over the years. Sharky sold to Tony Kapushion, and Tony's Tavern was born. After 17 years, Tony sold to Don Bachman and Lyn French. In 1971, Don and Lyn sold to Ric Holderith who changed the name to the Wooden Nickel. Ric's partners (1971 through 1979) included Dan McKinney, George Clous, and Jim Simmons. Ric and Dan are responsible for the fireplace (1973), with woodwork by Ron Makala. Our large elk head, in the front room, is Lyle McNeil's trophy, which he shot in Brush Creek in 1939.
Since 1981, "The Nickel" has been owned and operated by the McMillens and Roemers. In August 1985, while construction was taking place for the back dining room addition, the front portion of the building experienced a devastating fire which destroyed everything, save the historic bar - which was spared from the flames by the collapsed roof. With meticulous attention to detail, the front was rebuilt in ten short weeks - thanks to many of "The Nickel"s loyal construction patrons - and reopened in November of the same year.
The Wooden Nickel continues to provide consistent, top-quality, products complemented by a dedicated and friendly staff. We welcome you to enjoy your evening with us and hope to see you many times in the future!