Future Hollidays looking bright
It was the neon pistol that left an impression.Now, a little more than five years later, a former Los Angeles man is going to give running Doc Hollidays Saloon a shot.Rob and Cindy Rightmire purchased the famous downtown Glenwood Springs bar and eatery back in August, and the couple is loaded with enthusiasm and excitement.The Rightmires currently operate the Springs bar and restaurant next door to Docs, but the appeal of owning a business and the property was as appealing as a cold beer on a scorching July afternoon.”Owning the building gives us security,” Rob Rightmire said. He’s managed the Springs for five years and plans to keep operating the business along with Doc Hollidays. He said that the two businesses will remain completely separate.Hunting for an opportunityAs a native Californian, Rightmire first visited the region more than five years ago to hunt elk in the Redstone area.Besides bagging a five-point bull, Rightmire said there was one thing that caught his attention when he came through the area.”I saw that pistol sign and knew I had to stop in there,” he said.Rob and Cindy started an annual ritual of having lunch at Docs when they visited. One of the visits led to Rightmire taking over the Springs and they moved to Glenwood from Los Angeles.”I was always looking to get out of L.A.. I’ve always been a small-town guy (raised in Northern California) and was never going to get used to the city.”
But it was the infamous pistol sign that left the biggest first impression.”I’m not sure if we would’ve ever stopped in Glenwood if it hadn’t been for that sign,” the 42-year-old Rightmire said.Marty’s barFor more than 16 years, Doc Hollidays was owned by Marty Yoder, who put a special stamp and left an indelible mark on the business. She passed away at 59 on July 21, 2004.Yoder transformed the business from a biker bar into historical attraction that appealed to both tourists and locals alike.”To me, Docs is really three things – the sign, the old bar and Marty,” Rightmire said.The old wooden bar came from Leadville in the 1920s. The sign is one of two aging sign landmarks in downtown. People coming over the Grand Avenue Bridge have been greeted by the pistol sign at Docs and the Riviera Supper Club sign for decades.Rightmire purchased Docs from Yoder’s daughters, who live out of state. According to real estate documents at the Garfield County Clerk and Recorders Office, the transaction was for $595,000.When it comes to running Docs, Rightmire said he doesn’t plan on messing with something that isn’t broken.”We want to take what Marty did and polish it a little. Marty did such a great job,” he said.Western theme
The Western theme, wood floors and vintage photos is what Docs is all about.”You can walk into Docs and see the history. It feels like you went back in time. I always want to keep that,” he added.Like Doc Holliday himself, Yoder loved poker, and Rightmire said it took some time before he found an open spot at her table.”It took me three years to get into Marty’s Sunday poker game,” he said with a smile.With old photographs of Doc and some of his cohorts, history and memorabilia are part of the business – and there’s good reason. Doc Holliday remains one of the most intriguing characters of the old West. Although he spent little time in Glenwood, the gambling, gunfighting dentist came to town in search of the healing powers of the hot springs to help soothe his tuberculosis. He died in Glenwood on Nov. 8, 1887. His gravesite in Linwood Cemetery remains of one Glenwood’s favorite tourist spots.As many as eight books about Doc Holliday can be found at local bookstores and the Frontier Historical Society.Landmark establishmentDoc is famous, and the downtown business gets plenty of traffic because of it.The bar was even featured in the 1990 movie “Flashback,” featuring Dennis Hopper and Keifer Sutherland.Rightmire plans to shut the bar down later this month to do some remodeling. Plans include improving the beer tap system with updated equipment, newer bar stools and upgrade the ventilation system in the building.Maybe the only thing truly broken was the neon six-shooter sign. The job to return it to its full neon capability cost around $6,000, he said.
Simple philosophyHe has a simple philosophy when it comes to running a bar.”Cold beer, great food and a good time; you can’t go wrong if you do those things,” he said with a grin. “Do the simple things and it works every time.”Listening to Rightmire talk about Docs, it’s clear that he’s enthusiastic about owning the bar.”When I walk into a special tavern, I think there should be a certain feel and I felt that the first time I walked into Docs,” he said.The Docs purchase, along with running the Springs, and his new family, which includes 21-month-old Paige and 4-month-old Morgan, will keep Rightmire from exploring any other business ventures.He laughed at the thought: “With two restaurants and two babies I’ve got my hands full.”Docs will have a staff of 10-12 while the Springs staffs up to 13 people, Rightmire said.The success that Yoder experienced as Docs owner is something that Rightmire wants to equal. Her hometown philosophy made her and Docs the ideal match.”She was the consummate business owner and the perfect owner for Docs,” he said. “This will always be Marty’s bar.”For Rightmire, there’s really only one goal when it comes to customers.”When they leave, I want people thinking that they got to come back.”That’s what happened to Rightmire when he first spotted the neon pistol and shoved open the doors to Doc Hollidays – he kept coming back.
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Two local rivals may get an early crack at each other in the 3A state boys soccer playoffs as revealed in bracket releases on Monday.