March 24, 2023

Westsiders drank and drank and drank for approximately 100 years at the White Horse Bar, the place fights ended up scarce and the enterprise was primarily very good.

Acquiring sloppy never price too a great deal at the Westwood dive, at Alameda Ave. and Sheridan Blvd.

Neighbors would stumble around to fulfill friends and family. Musicians would belt out tracks. Website visitors to Denver, in city for the yearly Denver March Powwow, would spread the term that the White Horse was a residence absent from residence for Native people.

The bar has even been memorialized by creator Erika T. Wurth, who named her not long ago posted novel right after it.

The doorways are locked these days, although.

Cats wander the parking whole lot. Richard Senst, who owned the bar for about 4 a long time ever due to the fact his former bar was flooded out of Swift City, South Dakota, carries on to feed the strays from luggage of foodstuff donated by previous patrons.

Senst is not all set to promote the bar, but his health practitioner tells him it’s time. So he stated the property for $1.5 million pounds, and he’s not eager to just take a penny considerably less.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Senst, whose grandfather owned a pool corridor and father owned a bar, mentioned most of the White Horse previous timers are now lifeless. Even some of their young children are gone.

Though the bar is no for a longer period open, he needs it was — as do the neighbors and men and women coming to city for powwows.

Many, including Senst, hope the White Horse rides all over again. But the bar is trapped concerning everyday living and loss of life, outdated and new Denver, a rich history and an unsure future.

The White Horse Tavern before it opens. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Flip the vital and the White Horse Bar could quickly be resurrected as a single of the city’s oldest and final dives.

Liquor bottles line the scarred counter. The doors are nevertheless tattooed with COVID-19 warnings: “Masks essential.” Specials scrawled on indicators are affixed to wooden paneling: two photographs of Canadian Club for $6, any 5 shots for $20, or obtain two, get the 3rd 1 no cost from 4 to 7 p.m.

Senst served in Vietnam. He’s fond of grumbling with gravel in his voice, “Nobody questioned to be listed here.” Asked about memorable stories about consumers, he shrugged off the undertaking, citing his lousy back again. “It would just take a compact reserve for that.”

Behind the bar at the White Horse Tavern in Westwood. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

From the jukebox, Toby Keith sings “I Really like My Bar” and Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock croon about putting every single other’s pictures away. Xmas lights dangle above wobbly barstools. Pool tables hold out for any person to rack eight balls. Buried underneath a couple chairs, a makeshift phase is prepared for performers. Even superior, the White Horse cabaret license is still up to day.

The White Horse Tavern in Westwood. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The indicators about the dive say plenty: No gambling. Beware of pickpockets and drunks. Drinking is inspired. Please pay when served. B-21-Behave-Or-B-Gone. This institution is under 24-hour online video surveillance. We reserve the correct to refuse assistance to anyone.

But the bar, Senst said, served every person, and he has the pics to prove it.

There’s a black-and-white shot of the previous landlords and team from the ’70s, a colorful one particular of patrons grinning, yet another of scooter riders outdoors, and a headshot of John Elway, who normally dropped into the White Horse all through his Super Bowl several years.

Behind the bar at the White Horse Tavern in Westwood. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Sculptures and paintings of white horses are scattered in the course of, together with American flags.

A bible rests at the rear of the bar, a testomony to Senst’s personalized perception that sin — which fueled barroom fights about the a long time — happened due to the fact “people just have not been born once more.”

A Holy Bible behind the bar at the White Horse Tavern. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

“They have not approved their father in heaven and modified their techniques,” he claimed. “God loves them. He desires them to transform, as well. He wants everybody to alter.”

Rich Senst sits at the bar before his White Horse Tavern opens for the day. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Will the White Horse carry on as a bar? Senst hopes so. But he’s not in a position to rule out features.

Realtor Sofia Williamson, who’s representing the house, has experienced a couple persons demonstrate fascination. Like Senst, she hopes the new entrepreneurs preserve this little slice of westside background. But so much, it’s not preservationists keen to save the White Horse eying the home.

Sofia Williamson and her puppy, Pablo, inside the White Horse Tavern in Westwood. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

“Somebody known as the other working day, and they want to place a generate via,” she claimed. “There’s enough travel thrus. For me, it is unhappy, since I grew up listed here.”

Senst has watched regional restaurants and bars be bulldozed to make way for speedy-food stuff chains, like the nearby Burger King.

Sofia Williamson's puppy, Pablo, inside the White Horse Tavern in Westwood. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

“They’ve form of pushed the little mom-and-pop places to eat out of enterprise,” Senst explained. “Not fully, but they did not enable. Company America is what I contact it, and I don’t like that.”

The region has too lots of apartments to justify razing the White Horse and setting up much more, Williamson explained, although that is a person most likely final result in a city with way too several homes for the selection of individuals who now are living in this article.

Rich Senst cleans up before his White Horse Tavern opens for the day. Nov. 3, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

What Westwood demands additional than apartments, Williamson said, is anyone who would like to maintain what makes the neighborhood unique.

Potentially Elway could preserve the place, she mused, but also acknowledged it’s probable the White Horse will be demolished and replaced with something new.

“When I came below, wherever you went in the city, all the things had a little-town feeling,” Senst stated. “But that is not real anymore. Which is the only way I know how to say it. And I preferred it improved that way. You obtained the — I acquired to enjoy what I say. You obtained the large dollars jogging factors. I imply, big funds. Hell, I really don’t blame them. This is The usa.”