The name “El Moro” reflects Durango’s history, as in the early 1900s, 945 Main Ave. (the restaurant’s address) truly was the El Moro Saloon. The El Moro of 2013 will have some of the “feel” of the original saloon with bared red brick, tin ceiling, hardwood floors and heavy wooden tables.
Much of the design is derived from the “Steam Punk” style, which includes the Victorian vision of future technology (ala the classic television show and movie, “The Wild, Wild West”). The menu also capitalizes on this style.
El Moro also lays claim as the site of “Durango’s Strangest Shootout.” In January in 1906, Sheriff William Thompson raided the saloon in the midst of a poker game and hastily covered then confiscated a roulette wheel that was also in play. On the sidewalk in front of El Moro, Thompson confronted the city marshal, Jesse Stansel, for his lack of enforcement. The two men exchanged insults and guns were drawn. When the smoke cleared Sheriff Thompson was dead and Marshal Stansel was injured. At Stansel’s court trial, eyewitnesses gave conflicting reports of who drew and who fired first and whether or not drinking was involved. The marshal was acquitted.
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