Demian Brooks, of Norwood, spent his childhood in Telluride. Growing up in the east end of the county, he played little league with his pals. Former miner Mo Carrier, of Norwood, was his little league coach.
Back then, Carrier drove an old green Chevrolet truck with step sides. After games in Norwood, Carrier would pile all of his players into the back of the truck and take them to celebrate, usually at the old Maverick or the Lone Cone Bar and Restaurant.
That’s when a young Brooks first noticed the old bar in “the Cone.” A lover of Western history, he’d become fascinated with that bar over time.
He knew “Chef” (Heinz Guggisberg) who owned the Cone for many years and told stories about what he knew about the history of the restaurant’s majestic wooden bar.
When Chef died in 2016, Norwood’s beloved bar and restaurant closed its doors. Chef left no will or heir, and the place sat in probate for two years, while public notices about the building were published and officials worked on a clear title.
Brooks watched that process unfold, eager to find out what would happen with the Cone and its bar. He was in contact with Arleen Boyd of Pine Cone Realty, since she had the listing. Once the title was cleared, Brooks made an offer to purchase the Lone Cone and get it up and running.
“I really can’t run a bar or restaurant, but I really wanted to see the place open,” he told The Norwood Post last week.
Besides his enchantment with the beauty and history of the old bar inside, Brooks knew the value of it, too. Chef told him years ago that a Telluride-based individual offered a large sum of money to buy the bar and move it up the hill. Another person offered even more to move it to Las Vegas. Brooks’ fear was that someone would do just that: remove the centerpiece from Norwood. He said the Cone would not be the same without it.
After working with an expert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, details of the bar were established. It’s an 1883 Brunswick, built in Dubuque, Iowa, and shipped by railway and then by wagon to Rico first, then Silverton, in the 1880s.
It sat in the Grand Imperial Hotel for years, and Brooks is convinced that the likes of Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp and more have been seated at it.
What’s even more special to Brooks is that during the 1920s many old bars were destroyed or repurposed. Somehow, the Lone Cone bar sat in a barn in Ouray County for years and missed being ruined.
In 1940, a man named Dominic Dalpez (the father of "Whispering Jim" Dalpez) moved it to Norwood and started the Cone, and it’s remained in that location ever since.
“I bought that bar to try and keep it here, to have the bar and restaurant open, as the centerpiece of Norwood,” Brooks said. “It’s beautiful. The first time I saw it I was 8 years old. I’ve been in there over the years ever since.”
Brooks said it’s something people marvel over and continue to tell stories about.
Craig Greager, of Norwood, who also has a real estate business, has a few of his own legends to tell. His family owned the Cone building years ago. He knows of at least two shootings that have occurred at that old bar during its life in Norwood.
“If this bar could talk. … ,” Brooks said.
While the Cone is currently closed down, since the previous food business dissolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brooks said he is now finalizing plans for a new tenant to open a restaurant business in the space. Those details will be announced as they become available.
Soon, Norwood folks can again come into the Lone Cone Bar and Restaurant, eat and drink, and enjoy the massive antique that Brooks said must remain.