Why is a six foot wooden surfboard propped up next to the stone fireplace in Main Street’s Wild Horse Wine and Whiskey tavern?
I was curious as I walked around the warm, comfortable tavern that used to be Tiffany, Etc. The answer came from Scott Mijares, Wild Horse’ co-owner with Julie Mijares, his wife and partner of 39 years.
“Life is a journey,” Scott said, “Our youngest daughter decided that she wanted to go to college at C.U. Boulder,” he said, “and after 20 years in Kauai, we wanted to be closer to the family. “Our son is in San Diego and we have a grandchild there,” Julie added.
“I’m a surfer from highschool days in Florida,” he said. “Our family had gone to Hawaii on vacation and it was the best family vacation we’d ever had. In Kauai I surfed every day and I think about surfing and the water every day in Colorado.”
They had been living in Bradenton Beach, Florida and decided they’d give Hawaii two years.
“If we didn’t like it after two years, we’d come back.” Julie said, picking up the story. They found a comfortable connection between the laid back attitudes in Kauai, Ridgway and Telluride. “We had a friend in Ridgway who owns a graphics company and we brought our post card business with us.
In Ridgway the people seemed to be happy.
“Just as we began to open our wooden postcard shop,” Julie said. “COVID hit. We noticed after a year or so of Covid regulations, that they didn’t shut down bars, restaurants or marijuana shops.”
They purchased the Tiffany, Etc. building, but not the business, and set about completely remodeling it. Recently, they moved to Montrose to avoid the commute.
“The city of Montrose has been so helpful to us getting this project going. The stories we heard about the bureaucracies in Kauai, California, or even Florida is something,” Scott said. “Maybe because it’s a small town, the officials here aren’t an impediment–the building inspector, the fire marshal, the police, everybody has been so amazing.”
“Our marriage works because I love being on the ocean and she gets seasick. Julie loves horseback riding. “We are independent, not codependent,” he added. Scott doesn’t drink. He laughed when he said “two of the rules in the bar business for me are: stay away from whiskey and other people’s women.”
The Wild Horse is a tavern, not a restaurant. They offer charcuterie platters of fine cheese and meats. They don’t distill their own whiskey due to the number of distilleries in the area.
Because the Wild Horse is owner-operated, expect impeccable service.
The hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 4-10 p.m.
Come and visit, says Scott.
Mavis Bennett is a freelance writer and photographer for the Montrose Business Times.