Arapahoe Cafe

About Us

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Featured awards

Doug Pierce & family would like to extend a huge Thank You to all of our patrons! 

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2016 BLUE RIBBON BACON TOUR

1st Place Arapahoe Café, Best Savory Dish

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2015 INAUGURAL LEADVILLE BBQ & BREW FESTIVAL, KEYSTONE, CO

1st Place Bonnie Q BBQ

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FRISCO'S 2015 COLORADO BBQ CHALLENGE

1st Place People's Choice

Serving Summit County since 1945

The Arapahoe Café, located in Summit County in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, is part of the area's rich mining and skiing history. Enjoy the history that's on the walls of the Café. If you're looking for a unique place to enjoy a great meal, we're off the beaten path, but just minutes away from Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge Ski areas. 

 

Our Historic Timeline

  • 1883 | Just a stop along the road

    The town of Dillon, in Summit County, Colorado was originally a stage coach stop and local trading post; it was incorporated in 1883. Back in the early 1940’s, when Max and Edna Dercum were developing the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A Basin), Faye and Lenore Bryant were building their Arapahoe Café in the Old Town of Dillon.

  • early 1950s - 1960 | Dillon on the move

    Dillon was moved several times–once to be closer to the railroad, then another relocation to position it between the Blue, the Ten Mile, and the Snake rivers.

    The biggest and last move however was in the early 1950’s when the Denver Water Board announced plans for the construction of a major reservoir which would flood the area. The residents were informed that they must sell their property and evacuate by 1961.

    The final and present location for the town of Dillon was selected on the shore of the new reservoir. Today, it’s an easy walk from the Arapahoe Café to Lake Dillon.

  • 1960 | Location, location, location

    Both the Town of Dillon and the Arapahoe Café were destined to vanish under the rising waters of Lake Dillon. Many of the local citizens abandoned their homes and businesses to the bulldozer, or moved them to Frisco, Breckenridge, or the valley below the dam which later became Silverthorne. There were a few hearty souls, including the Bryant’s, determined to see a new Dillon built among the pines on the shores of the lake which had forced them to move.

    In 1960 the Arapahoe Café, along with the Community Church (now the Dillon Historic Museum) and a scattering of private homes, were moved up the hill to the site of the new town. The move was not an easy one which explains why our floors are a bit uneven and the walls are somewhat out of square.

    The distinctive pine paneling is just as the Bryant’s installed it many years back.

  • 1972 - 1987 | Missing identity

    From 1972 to 1987 many people knew our present building as the Tappan House.

  • 1988 | A Café rises again

    In early 1988, under new ownership and management, it was returned to its original name and reputation as a great mountain café: the Arapahoe Café. Today A Café is one of the historic landmark site buildings in Dillon.

 
 

The History on the Walls