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The Columbine Roadhouse is located about a mile north of Silverton, heading toward Ouray on Highway 550. Built in the 1920s, the establishment initially operated as Columbine Tavern, a restaurant and saloon for miners. As Silverton evolved from a turn-of-the-century mining camp into a thriving mining town, the tavern served as a rowdy, raucous hang-out with a dining room where locals came to eat, drink, and dance. If the walls of the Columbine Tavern could talk, the stories would be boisterous and the history fabulously rich—not only in gold but tall tales.

In 2016, Inga and Mark (Lucky) McFadden bought the Columbine Tavern, which had been converted into a private residence for many decades. The McFaddens reverted it into the Columbine Roadhouse featuring an outdoor music venue with a lively bar, delicious homemade food options, and short-term rental or overnight accommodations. The spacious attached outdoor music venue showcases a hand- crafted stage where national acts, like Uncle Lucius and local favorites Desert Child, play during the summer months. Designed and built under Lucky’s supervision, the stage was constructed with locally sourced wood. Concertgoers can gaze in wonder at the ever-imposing Kendall Mountain looming in the background.

The Columbine Roadhouse hosts many summer events, including the annual Gator-Fest, which sets aflame a hand- built, 24-foot-tall alligator. Gator-Fest is the brainchild of the McFaddens and some of their local friends, who sparked the idea of crafting a more-than-life-size gator with the sole purpose of lighting it on fire. Festival goers savor gator vittles while bopping to tunes from various bands. This event has grown from a funky attraction to an annual pilgrimage.

The same group of friends then started a Monty Python festival with pop-up performances. The summer weekend finale, also known as the Holy Grail Festival, started last summer and celebrates all things Monty Python. The weekend culminates with a blaze as McFadden and friends carry on their tradition of igniting a hand- built wooden rabbit, sending sparks into the starry sky.

As in days gone by, the Columbine Roadhouse once again lights up the community of Silverton, breathing energy and creativity into this beloved mountain town. On any summer weekend night, mingle with a crowd of Silverton locals, guests taking advantage of the overnight lodge, or those driving along Highway 550 who stop to partake in a good meal and festive scene. Celebrating under the stars at this outdoor music venue with friends who feel more like family is the McFadden’s main goal.

“I want you to hear this because I say it all the time, and it resonates inside me: I never feel like I own this place; I always feel like we are just taking care of it,” Lucky said. “We are just the caretakers,” Inga reiterated. Inga is credited as the one who realized the vision for the revived Roadhouse. One beautiful San Juan Mountain kind of day, sitting in the big yard of the property where they were already having bonfires, playing music with friends, hosting outdoor parties, and BBQing, she pitched to Lucky, “Wouldn’t it be neat if …”. Lucky recalled that Inga began to walk around, talking about where the bar and food area should be, while Lucky immediately knew that Kendall Mountain was the perfect backdrop for his live music stage. With the dream planted in the summer of 2020, the Columbine Lodge became the Columbine Roadhouse. 

The lodge portion of the property offers a variety of rustic rooms overlooking the San Juan Mountains. Some rooms are perfectly perched above the outdoor music venue with a bird’s-eye view of the stage. Enjoy a private space, dipping into the bar area steps from your room whenever you please. The McFaddens plan to continue expanding the space by remodeling the interior of the Columbine and recreating the old miner’s bar and dining area while growing this already successful business into a year-round indoor venue. Check out the rooms or summer music series at

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