Fast bikes, slow BBQ at new museum-restaurant combo

Publish Date: 
Aug 9, 2013

SALIDA, Colo. – Seven years running a vintage motorcycle repair shop can make a fella hungry. It sent Rusty Graves back to his southern roots, so two weeks ago he opened the Buffalo Smokehouse Barbecue and Cleora Museum in front of his shop.

The motorcycles are fast and the spicy Louisiana-style barbecue slow, cooked on homemade grills he built and has been using since 1983. When customers sit down in his restaurant, he says, they’re “sitting in the history of Cleora,” an old mining town predating Salida, just east of the city.

“We have a pre-1900s atmosphere,” Graves told the Montain Mail. “The exception is the motorcycles.”

Graves has built and restored antique motorcycles for 42 years.

Graves said the restaurant and museum are a “family-based business,” with his kids Leeland, Christopher and Julaine helping to run the restaurant. “It’s why I put this whole thing together, to try and build a future for my kids,” Graves said.

Posted by Holly Wagner