Dining in Breckenridge can take you back in time in these four restaurants in historic homes. These venerable buildings once housed families; now in their new life in the 21st Century, they house some of Breckenridge’s favorite restaurants. From fine homes to fine dining, here are four restaurants in Breckenridge in an historic setting.
One of the best examples of late-Victorian architecture still visible in Breckenridge today is the O.K. Gaymon home at 207 North Main Street, now Doma 1898. The current name reflects the history of the building. In the Czech language, “Doma” means home, and 1898 is the year of construction. O.K. Gaymon and his wife Augusta were important members of the Breckenridge community. As publisher and editor of the Summit County Journal, Gaymon made significant contributions to Breckenridge’s history. Mrs. Gaymon was known for bringing an East Coast civility to Breckenridge with her cut crystal and delicate china. Today’s diners in the Gaymon home can sense that same refinement with the handsome architecture still visible in the interior finishes and stained-glass windows.
The Hearthstone Restaurant at 103 South Ridge Street also honors its historic roots. For many decades, spanning the height of the mining era through the quiet years before the beginning of the Breckenridge Ski Area, the building belonged to the Kaisers with several generations enjoying the family home. The Kaiser family had a major impact in Breckenridge as business owners and community leaders. Mrs. Kaiser’s precious milk cow was famously butchered in the snow blockade of 1898-1899 when the town ran out of food because the railroads could not reach Breckenridge. The Kaisers sold the family house in 1967 to an early restauranteur. Originally built in 1885, the building was extensively remodeled in the late 1970s and lost most of its exterior historical significance. But enter The Hearthstone Restaurant today and you are immediately transported back in time. The structure retains the floor plan and dimensions of the early home and the décor is of the period. Sit in the large bay window in the front dining room and you can image the Kaiser family gathering there around the Christmas tree many decades earlier.
Ember Restaurant at 106 East Adams Avenue, just off of Main Street, was the home of the Enyearts for many years. A long-time Breckenridge family with many branches, the Enyearts were ranchers, dairy farmers, miners, electricians, store owners, council members, a post mistress, and a County Commissioner. The history of the building is not well known, though it has a long association with the Enyeart family. Today, even after extensive renovations, Ember Restaurant continues the cozy feeling of a family home with several dining rooms spread throughout the structure.
While never a fine home in the style of the Gaymon or Kaiser houses, the Stuard Cottage at 208 North Main Street was a classic pioneer log cabin. Today it is the Canteen Tap House. The original log building, located near the center of the present structure, measures 20' square, and features hand-hewn squared whole log walls with square-notched corners. While the exterior of the building has been extensively remodeled and expanded over the years, obscuring the log home at the heart, the interior of the restaurant belies its early beginnings. The historic log structure is still visible in the bar area. The original cabin dates from around 1890 and is associated with the Ed T. Stuard family. Mr. Stuard was a miner and leased the well known Country Boy Mine for a period, and he also served as the County Assessor in the early 20th Century.
To learn more about Breckenridge’s historic buildings and the history of the town, take a guided Walk Through History Tour or Behind Swinging Door Saloon Tour offered by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. Many other historic buildings are home to restaurants in Breckenridge, some dating as early as 1880 - check out this blog post for information on restaurants in the oldest buildings. For information on the four oldest buildings extant in Breckenridge today, check out this blog post.
written by Leigh Grivin