The Cantina is located in the Schaffnit Building at 818 Lincoln Avenue in the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs, CO. The building is one of the finest surviving examples of 19th century river cobble rock structures in northwest Colorado.
The rear half of the building was built with rock that was hand carted from the Yampa River to the site in the late 1800s. The front half of the building was constructed several years later. The Lincoln Avenue facade is Dakota sandstone quarried from Emerald Mountain that originally included a high stone-capped gabled parapet that was damaged and subsequently removed during the mid-20th century. The hardwood floors in the dining room and bar areas are heart of pine planking culled from local old growth forests. Photos of the historic building taken throughout the 1900s and preserved by the Tread of Pioneers Museum can be viewed inside the restaurant. The building is highlighted in a weekly historical walking tour led by Yampatika.
Over the years the building has housed numerous businesses, including a grocery store, pub, folk music bar and pizzeria before becoming Steamboat Springs’ first Mexican restaurant in 1972. Since then the Cantina has changed hands several times and is currently owned and operated by Jeff LaRoche. With nearly 40 years in business, the Cantina continues to be a favorite dining locale for both residents and visitors alike.