Fatty1s renovation unearthing a historic past
BRECKENRIDGE<The renovation of Fatty1s Pizzeria is turning into an archeological dig of sorts.Owner John Daisy recently received approval from town officials to restore the popular eatery to its original design, with a false front, large windows facing the street and doors with transom windows above.3I was looking for something different, Daisy said. 3But buying something would cost $1 million, and then another half-million to restore it.The structure was built in the 1800s, and over the years has served as a boarding house, hard goods store, bar and restaurant. The building has been remodeled numerous times over the years, adding decks, porches, the current bar and improving the kitchen. Upstairs<the part few people see<comprises storage, an office and what1s left of the building1s history.Daisy didn1t know what to expect when he began removing walls, siding and doors, but he1s uncovered a variety of relics that show how people lived in the late 1800s.Underneath the exterior siding on the south side of the building Daisy found original wood lap siding. It1s not in the best of shape, but it1s better than Daisy expected.Upstairs is comprised of what appears to have been seven rooms. Walls are made of layered wood, on top of which are two layers of flowered wallpaper. Daisy hopes to use some of the better wood inside on the exterior of the building. And he hopes to preserve as much of the oldest wallpaper<which is nailed to a thin piece of cloth and features light purple flowers<and replicate it in the new dining room.Cloth, not wood or drywall, is affixed to the ceiling upstairs<a common building method at the turn of the last century<and painted pink.3When they caught fire … that1s why whole towns would go, Daisy said. 3There was no insulation.A board in the existing hallway reads C.W. Baldwin, Breckenridge, Colo.Twenty years ago, when Daisy purchased the restaurant, he ripped up five layers of carpet and found underneath a newspaper proclaiming Colorado as the safest place to live in the United States because it cannot be bombed by ships from either ocean. Digging around behind the restaurant, Daisy found bones and other remains left from the days when peoples1 ideas of trash removal meant pitching it out the window. He also found shot glasses with handles and little glass feet.More recent finds include receipts from the Engle Bros. Exchange next door, an Elks Lodge newsletter dated 1921, a life insurance policy for a man working at the Wellington Mine, newspaper cartoons, tobacco ads and a handwritten letter in an envelope with a 1.5-cent stamp affixed to it.He expects to find much more when the restaurant floor and ceiling is ripped up in May.The unknowns, most of them surrounding the numerous remodels and additions the building has seen over the years, are expensive, Daisy said. But with it will come an array of solutions to numerous existing problems.3The sewer is in the lowest part of the kitchen, he said. 3And it1ll be nice not to have the bathroom exhaust blow out onto the special board.The restaurant and bar will close shortly after the ski area closes for the season and work will take place all summer. Daisy is hoping for a fall re-opening.Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or email@example.com.
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