Lady Falconburgh’s Barley Exchange, often touted as Durango’s best-stocked watering hole, has had its doors closed for a week.
Efforts to reach the business’s most-recent listed owner, Miguel Ramos, have been unsuccessful, and it remains unclear what is in store for the subterranean bar.
A sign posted on the window to the entry hall to the bar reads: “Lady Falconburgh’s will be temporarily closed to undergo new management. We thank you so much for your business, and we look forward to pouring here soon!! Cheers, Lady Falconburgh’s Staff.”
Aaron Sinberg, who started the bar in 1995 with his brother, Zak, and his mother, Janet Spear, said the idea behind Lady Falconburgh’s came from family discussions after a move to Durango. The Sinbergs were underwhelmed by the selection of brews in town.
“We didn’t know how to brew beer, so we figured we’d just sell everyone else’s,” he said.
“At the time,” he said, “we just felt there was room for a neighborhood bar with good food and a good selection of beers.”
Lady Falconburgh’s sold 145 different beers when the Sinbergs were running it.
The Sinbergs owned the bar until 2006, when they sold it to Liana Smith, who ran the establishment before Ramos.
“It was just time to embark on other things,” Sinberg said. His mother was ready to retire and his brother was planning to move to Florida.
Tim Walsworth, executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District, confirmed the bar had closed, but he was unaware of what was brewing in its place.
He said he had heard a business was in line to quickly occupy the space, and the sign on the window implies only a management change, a happy outcome for Durango beer lovers.
Lady Falconburgh’s started offering a beer club when it opened in 1995. Smith kept the club intact.
“It is a tradition that, I think, everybody loves.” Smith told The Durango Herald in 2014. “It encourages people to try new beers.”
Chris Aaland, the bar’s most accomplished beer imbiber told the Herald in 2014 that through the years his taste for beer evolved because he had the opportunity to try many different brews at Lady Falconburgh’s.
“I’d like to say my favorite beer, I haven’t tried,” he said.
Aaland told the Herald he had drunk more than 3,000 beers to earn a spot on the pub’s wall, which honored the bar’s thirstiest drinkers.
Beer drinkers would earn a brick for every 100 beers put down. Aaland had 33 bricks.