Sometimes even The Face Bar can use a facelift

Friday, June 03, 2011


The Face Bar, home of the famous Face on the Barroom Floor inside Central City’s historic Teller House, was included in a two-year renovation project financed by a grant from the State Historical Fund.

Repair work, completed last year, included restoring the masonry and brick work on the west side of the building’s exterior along with the chimneys of the Teller House. When the Teller House opens this season on June 25 for Central City Opera’s performance of Carmen, opera-goers will see a newly spruced interior that includes refinishing of the hardwood floors, new carpeting and new paint throughout the first and second floors.

“The Teller House is on the National Register for Historic Places, and the carpet was 25 years old so it was time for some renovating,” said Valerie Hamlin, director of marketing at Central City Opera. “Care was taken to make sure that the carpet and paint used was historically relevant given the historical importance of the building.”

The Teller House, the jewel of Central City, was built as a hotel in 1871 on the corner of Eureka and Pine streets.

Tis (nearly) the season… Central City Opera is ready to rock with a new season that kicks off with the traditional Yellow Rose Ball and the debut of the opera “Carmen” simultaneously on June 25.

The Yellow Rose Ball, a 75-year event that coincides with the date the opera company started, this year features 37 debutantes taking part in an age-old tradition.

“It’s a big to-do to open the season,” Hamlin said. “It started when the miners were there. The whole tradition dates back to when the miners would throw coins on the stage when they were happy with a performance.” That ritual evolved into the practice where the debutantes perform a waltz with their fathers, followed by a dinner at the Teller House, a presentation of the flower girls and an opening night performance of the opera.

“They pass out yellow rose nosegays at intermission, and they throw them on stage in appreciation of the performance at the end,” Hamlin said. Yellow roses, Hamlin said, are native to Central City after they were brought over from Wales by Welsh miners. “The flowers still grow in Central City today,” she said.

New to this year’s opera season is the Fringe Festival, a series of come-as-you-are short performances, a 19th century weekend of history, jazz and tours. More information on the Fringe Festival and the opera season is available at

Poker face… The Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk held a charity no-limit hold ‘em poker tournament May 22 as a benefit to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Players had a $100 buy-in plus $10 entry fee, and an optional $10 dealer’s special add-on.

Alice 105.9 DJs Slacker and Steve and the rest of the entrants netted $1,000 to be donated on behalf of the Isle.

- Penny Parker is a columnist for The Denver Post. She’s always on the prowl for tidbits and tips from Colorado’s gaming communities. Call her at 303-619-5209 or e-mail

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