Woody Creek Tavern

Woody Creek Tavern serves as the social hub of Woody Creek, Colorado. This restaurant and bar features a casual, welcoming atmosphere where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a cold drink and a delicious meal. Woody Creek Tavern's eclectic décor includes walls papered over with many years' worth of Colorado memorabilia, Polaroids, posters, and more. This establishment also has a connection to a famous author, making it a popular stop for bibliophiles.

The Details

  • Address: 2858 Upper River Rd, Woody Creek, CO 81656
  • Hours: 11 am – close, 7 days a week
  • Phone: 970-923-4585
  • Website: WoodyCreekTavern.com
  • Email: info@woodycreektavern.com
  • Reservations: Available through SevenRooms
  • Services: Dine-in, bar seating, outdoor seating, takeout

The Menu

Lunch and Dinner

Woody Creek Tavern's menu features a mixture of various cuisines. In addition to main dishes, customers at this eatery can choose from a selection of tasty appetizers, soups, salads, sides, and desserts.

Traditional pub foods like burgers, buffalo wings, and Philly cheesesteaks are included on the menu along with some seafood and Southern fare, such as golden fried chicken, barbeque baby back ribs, Creole shrimp and grits, and even oysters on the half shell. Mexican and Tex-Mex options are featured as well, like fresh guacamole, salsa verde nachos, chicken enchiladas, and tacos with carne asada (beef), cochinita pibil (pork), or pescado diablo (fish).

Although the menu mainly consists of hearty comfort foods, there are also some lighter options available as well, including black bean veggie burgers with vegan mayo, a kale and roasted beet salad, and grilled fish with curried cauliflower rice.

The dinner menu features a different special for each day of the week. Compared to dishes on the regular menu, Woody Creek Tavern specials are often a little more upscale, such as lechon with tamales, whole lobster with drawn butter and lemon, or filet mignon with enchiladas.


The bar at Woody Creek Tavern serves up an impressive array of beer, wine, and cocktails. Beer is available on tap or by the bottle, with a variety of options from domestic and international brands as well as local Colorado brewers.

Customers can order white, red, and rose wines, many of which originate from California or France. The bar even has some bubbly drinks available for those who would prefer a glass of champagne or prosecco.

Although the bar staff at this watering hole can mix up classic drinks on the spot, the drink menu also includes a list of classic cocktails like margaritas, bloody marys, and mimosas.

Best Sellers

A few standout dishes have become particularly popular among patrons of Woody Creek Tavern, including:

  • Crispy onion rings served with blue cheese and house-made steak sauce
  • 8-oz. bison burger with griddled onions, mustard aioli, and cheddar, American, or blue cheese
  • Rocky Mountain trout served with apple slaw and curried cauliflower rice featuring golden raisins, toasted almonds, and coriander
  • Colorado lamb stew with house-made lamb meatballs, aged cheddar grits, coriander, and tomato
  • WCT margarita made with Herradura Silver, orange liqueur, and fresh-squeezed lime

Woody Creek Tavern History

Woody Creek Tavern has served as a popular spot for locals and visitors alike for over 40 years. Before the tavern opened, the location was kind of a one-stop shop for residents called the Woody Creek Store. The log cabin structure featured a small country grocery store with a post office inside and a gas pump out front.

When the store was poised to close, Patti and George Stranahan and Mary and Jon Kent decided to create a restaurant in the space, which opened in September 1980. Later, the Stranahans established the Woody Creek Community Center next door, which helped to cement the tavern as a key fixture in town. Though the community center is now closed and the tavern has passed into the hands of new owners, the Woody Creek Tavern still serves as the main gathering space in town.

Hunter S. Thompson

Woody Creek was home to Hunter S. Thompson, noted author and founder of the gonzo journalism movement. After moving there in the late 1960s, he established his own 42.5-acre compound called Owl Farm, where he lived until his death in 2005.

Thompson was known to frequent Woody Creek Tavern and was well-loved by many locals despite his occasional drunken antics. He is featured prominently in the various photographs that adorn the walls of the tavern.

In the 2004 documentary Come on Down: Searching for the American Dream, director Adamm Liley can be seen speaking with Thompson about the American Dream over drinks at the Woody Creek Tavern.

Restaurant Group

Woody Creek Tavern is a member of CP Restaurant Group in Colorado. Other locations include:

  • The Wild Fig: 315 E. Hyman Avenue, Aspen
  • CP Burger: 433 E. Durant Avenue, Aspen
  • The Monarch: 411 S. Monarch Street, Aspen
  • Steakhouse No. 316: 316 E. Hopkins Avenue, Aspen
  • Steakhouse No. 316: 1922 13th Street, Boulder

How to Get There

Woody Creek Tavern is situated in Pitkin County's beautiful Roaring Fork Valley. To reach the tavern, take CO-82 to Smith Way, then drive north on Upper River Road for about 1.5 miles.

This hidden gem is located near a number of popular Colorado towns and attractions, which are just a short drive away:

  • Snowmass Village: 7 miles
  • Aspen: 8 miles
  • Basalt: 13 miles
  • Carbondale: 22 miles
  • Glenwood Springs: 34 miles