Menu Price: $35.00
740 Front Street: A Brief History
At the turn of the last century, this historic building was built and owned by E.J. Defrancia who was Louisville's agent for Tivoli Beer. Tivoli was the largest brewer in the state and up until it closed in 1969, one of the largest and the second oldest continuously operating brewery in the country. 740 Front is one of Colorado's two oldest bars, the oldest ongoing tavern license in the state and, to the community, a priceless treasure steeped in memory and local lore. 740 Front is the last remaining saloon of the original thirteen that lined the 3-block strip of Front Street.
THE BAR: Before finding its home in Louisville in 1904, the bar spent the best part of ten years in Leadville, Colorado. Tivoli worked with Defrancia to bring the bar to Louisville from Leadville, by wagon, not an easy feat in the Rocky Mountains. The awesome, room-dominating back bar was built in the 1880s by the Brunswick Company, in Dubuque, Iowa. Cherry, birch, and mahogany make up this "Del Monte" model which was cut-to-fit constructed, without nails. Due to dangerous gases in the coal mines, the miners could not smoke so most chewed tobacco. The copper spit trough, once equipped with running water, still exists along the floor of the front bar and functioned as a stable, easy to hit, spittoon.
THE SALOON: During its early days, the saloon had an icehouse operating and connected to the building. The original hand-crank elevator was used, until recent renovation, to bring ice, beer barrels and the occasional drunk to the basement. Rumor is that most of Louisville's saloons, relegated to Front St to keep “the sinners” off Main Street, were connected by tunnels to facilitate clandestine imbibing, gambling and womanizing. In the event of an unscheduled visit from the revenuers, state police or an errant wife, a handy exit was available. Miners assisted digging the tunnels only during the summer months. The grade of coal mined in Louisville being weak and brittle, mining for profit only took place in the winter months. The bricked up tunnel entrances in the basement attest to the credibility of this rumor.
Additionally, legend has it that 740 Front was the heart of the “red light district”, a brothel operating in the rear of the building. Railway hands were accommodated by the “full service” saloon, by repute, drawing business from the neighboring train stations. In addition, the tale is that the basement and its environs are still the home to a mischievous ghost named Samantha, a harlot who was stabbed to death by one of her less than satisfied customers.
Historically, Louisville was the only "wet town" in Boulder County up until the late 1960’s. Notorious for its drinking, gambling, and illegal activities, evidence of the occasional misunderstanding is the .22 caliber bullet hole in the lower right corner of the front bar. During prohibition in the 20’s, windows were covered up to hide illicit activity, two skylights were installed to bring in light. The main bar skylight was replaced with the chandelier that currently hangs there, installed during 740’s recent renovations.
The 740 Front building was designated historic and landmarked in 2014 by the City of Louisville. As a result, the exterior has been renovated and restored back to it’s original 1904 design. In the interior, original material and artifacts have been re-purposed and incorporated into the tabletops, upper dinning room ceiling, hostess stand and whereever else deemed practical. The partition walls, ceilings, floors and fixtures all have a story.
The abiding philosophy of the owners and operators is a commitment to the enduring and timeless standards that are of a time bygone, but faithfully reflected in the renovation as well as the operating standards of the business.
Tempura style fried tender calamari and lemon
with a creamy Caesar dipping sauce
Grilled Artichoke (GF)
Half Castroville “Globe” artichoke steamed and
finished on the grill with a garlic lemon aioli
Shrimp Cocktail (GF)
Three large wild caught gulf whites
with our cocktail sauce
740 Hot Cheese Dip with Spinach (GF)
Deliciously addictive unique blend of white cheese,
spinach, onions, jalapeños, tomatoes,
and sweet red peppers
Deviled Eggs (GF)
Four, traditional, with our candied bacon bits
Slow roasted Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar
House Salad (GF)
Sweet and tender butter lettuce, tomato, red onion
with 740 fresh herb vinaigrette
Fresh romaine, house made Caesar dressing,
garlic croutons, and Grana cheese
Flat Iron Steak
Considered to be the second most tender cut of beef, served with a wild mushroom and
Madeira demi-glaze reduction with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach
Lean, tender and full-flavored, fine-grained with sturdy texture with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach
Grilled Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp
Gulf shrimp wrapped in smoked pancetta skewered and grilled,
served over arugula and Tuscan beans dressed with balsamic vinegar
Grilled filet with a lemon caper butter sauce and roasted vegetables
Pork Shank Osso Bucco
Braised Berkshire pork shanks served with stone ground white grits, honey cured bacon collard greens
topped with a braising liquid reduction sauce and gremolata
Chicken & Artichoke Truffle Pasta
Balsamic marinated sliced Chicken breast with roasted artichoke hearts,
garlic, shallots, carrots & wild mushrooms with truffle oil
and chicken stock over egg fettuccine
Baked pasta stuffed with ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella in sausage Pomodoro sauce
(Vegetarian option available with Pomodoro sauce)
Breaded, baked with mozzarella cheese and Pomodoro sauce