Throughout the past eight decades, Gus’s Place has become a historic staple in the Pueblo food-and-beverage scene — serving everyone from steelworkers to business executives.
“We’re the oldest bar in Pueblo,” owner Gino Mittino told the Business Journal in March. “We were the first bar to get a liquor license after Prohibition, and we’ve been continuously open since then. That makes 84 years — not bad!”
The tavern is famous for its “Dutch Lunches,” which are made with locally sourced lunch meats, provolone, pickles, peppers and freshly baked bread from the nearby Zoelsmann’s Bakery, which has been open for 123 years.
Gus’s came of age in the days of Colorado Fuel & Iron, which supplied the tavern with a consistent and hungry crowd of millworkers.
“There were three shifts a day,” according to Mittino, “and I think there were 10,000-12,000 workers at the mill. Now, the blast furnaces are long gone, and there are just 1,000 workers or so, melting down scrap.”
The mill now sits in a shadow of its former glory, but the same can’t be said for the historic tavern, which is listed on the Pueblo Register of Historic Places.
The Register listing states: “1201 Elm Street has functioned as an important community gathering place since 1892. The building served as … an early African-American church, and later as a Mesa Mission for immigrants … between 1910-1920. The current use as a neighborhood pub dates from 1934, the first year after Prohibition, and demonstrates the neighborhood and community’s dedication to this distinctive place.”
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