Classic apres ski restaurant, the T Bar, asks city for five more years |

Classic apres ski restaurant, the T Bar, asks city for five more years

Tim Scalo and Michael Ricker enjoy a mild December 2014 afternoon on the deck of the T Bar. The owner of the bar at the base of Steamboat Ski Area is seeking to renew a city permit that would allow it to continue to operate in its temporary building for up to five more years.
file photo

— Steamboat Springs Planning Commission on Thursday approved a 5-year lease extension for one of the city’s best examples of an old school ski bum watering hole, the T Bar.

City regulations define a temporary structure as one that is intended for removal or termination within a period of two years However, there is precedent in the case of the modular building occupied by T Bar for longer permit terms. The business is also operating under a year-to-year lease on the site, a factor that could shorten its occupancy of the building.

The business is owned by John Holloway said. His eldest son, Tres, (pronounced Trace), a Swiss-trained chef, prepares the meals and manages T Bar, and his younger son, Coleman, also works in the kitchen.

The T Bar has received recognition from the New York Times and the mobile search app Foursquare. In 2014, Foursquare ranked T Bar second on its national list of top 10 apres ski bars, with the nearby Slopeside Grill also honored with a sixth-place ranking.

For an older generation of devoted Steamboat skiers, Slopeside and T Bar are the closest things to the gone, but not forgotten, Dos Amigos and Tugboat, for apres ski. The building occupied by T Bar, steps away from the Christie Chairlift at 2045 Ski Time Square, wasn’t originally intended by city officials to have a 15-year run when it was first approved in 2001.

T Bar’s building sits on an otherwise vacant development parcel that was previously used as a turnaround for Steamboat Springs Transit buses. It’s situated just west of the Antlers luxury condominiums and east of the expired Thunderhead development site.

The building first appeared at the base of the ski area, when the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. was approved to use it as a temporary triage facility, where ski patrol brought injured skiers and riders for evaluation and, if needed, transport to the hospital.

The building was originally approved for two years, according to city planning documents, but continued to serve Ski Corp. until the 2009-10 ski season when the ski patrol facility relocated to One Steamboat Place.

John Holloway successfully applied for a change of use permit with the city to allow a restaurant/bar in the temporary structure, expiring on Nov. 30, 2011. However, in September of that year, the T Bar was granted a permit to enlarge and make improvements to the facade of the building. The new development plan, approved for five years, extended T Bar’s footage on the edge of the slopes and allowed an expanded seating area, according to city documents.

City planner Jake Rosenberg, writing in his staff analysis of the T Bar application, said possible justifications for extending the restaurant’s use of the temporary building included its ability to add vitality to the area and the fact it does not preclude further development on the site.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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