April 28, 2016

Glur's Tavern in Columbus, Nebraska

Glur's Tavern in Columbus, Nebraska

photo by: Tom McLaughlin

Glur's Tavern is known for its burgers and offers 15 Nebraska-made brews.

Glur’s Tavern opened in Columbus, Nebraska, in 1876. Legend has it that showman Buffalo Bill Cody, who patronized Glur’s roughly a dozen times, once stopped in with his Wild West troupe and bought a round of drinks for everyone in the establishment. He reportedly paid the tab with a $1,000 bill.

Originally named Bucher's Saloon by its founders—Swedish immigrant brothers William and Joseph Bucher—the bar was best known for selling cigars and tobacco in its early days. Joseph eventually sold his share of the saloon to William and shipped barrels of wine back to the family business from his new post in California.

In 1914, Louis Glur, who had worked at the bar under William since he was a boy, purchased and renamed the business. During Prohibition, Glur brought in decks of cards, cribbage boards, and slot machines in a desperate attempt to keep his barstools filled. The ploy worked, and the tavern never closed.

The two-story frame building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and current owners Todd and Carrie Trofholz estimate that the bar remained in the Glur family until 1978. The duo bought the property in 1992, and have worked hard to ensure that its rich legacy in the town of Columbus is kept intact.

More than anything, according to Trofholz, Glur’s is a family spot. “It seems to attract people when they come home for weddings, and funerals, and family reunions,” he says.

The tavern is known for its famous burgers, as well as its signature fried potatoes—the thick, skin-on slices sprinkled with Lawry’s seasoned salt. The walls of Glur’s are lined with stuffed deer, pheasants, and geese, as well as beer signs and memorabilia. Trofholz points out that he mostly used to serve domestic beers, but with the current craft-beer trend, he now has 15 Nebraska-made brews in stock.

Historic image of Glur's Tavern in Columbus, Nebraska

photo by: Todd Trofholz

This photo of Bucher's Saloon dates from 1899. Proprietor, William Bucher is second from the right.

If you find yourself in this neck of the woods, follow in the footsteps of Buffalo Bill and make your way to Bucher’s Saloon/Glur’s Tavern. Here are a few things you’ll need to know before you go:

Location: 2301 11th St., Columbus, NE 68601

Hours: Open at 11 a.m., daily.

You’re having: A cold draft beer and an order of fried chicken gizzards.

Best Yelp Review: “If you’re looking for a salad bar or an overly-perky wait staff, Glur’s is not for you. If you want a really good burger and a cold beer then it’s the place to be!”

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.

@kateallthetime

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