CAVE CREEK, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Fire destroyed the Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek last year, and now the owners are one step closer to reopening. Cave Creek residents broke ground at the Buffalo Chip location, preparing for the new saloon after the original burned down.
"We're gonna rebuild back a period correct building; that's going to make everyone and myself proud. But it's going to be up to code; we're gonna have fire sprinklers and new bathrooms," said Larry Wendt.
Buffalo Chip Saloon Owner, Larry Wendt, says the new saloon will be built from antique Mt. Shasta lumber. It will extend along Cave Creek Rd and connect to the exterior bar that survived the fire.
"It's so important to us. It's like hand and glove. The buffalo chip is Cave Creek; Cave Creek is the Buffalo Chip," said Thomas McGuire.
Jacque and Jim Szenasi had their first date at the saloon. Even after the fire, they've continued to attend the saloon's rodeos.
"Without it being rebuilt I think I'd never get over it, and I mean this is just a special historic spot that's been making everybody have fun forever," said Jacque Szenasi.
The Cave Creek Town Council helped expedite the new construction by 2-3 months waiving $20K in permit fees.
"They want us back, we're coming back bigger better than ever, just not as combustible," said Wendt.