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“Always a very enjoyable evening” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers

Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers
8080 County Road 250, Durango, CO 81301-8627
970-247-5753
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Ranked #52 of 150 Restaurants in Durango
Cuisines: Barbecue
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Famous Old West Music and Comedy Stage Show. This is not a restaurant or barbecue. The ticket price for the show includes a chuckwagon supper and an evening’s entertainment for the entire family. Serving sliced roast beef or chicken breast simmered in their famous barbecue sauce or an optional flame grilled ribeye steak with all the trimmings. Shows nightly Memorial Day Weekend thru Labor Day. Reservations required.
Tokyo, Japan
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Always a very enjoyable evening”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

First visited in the 1980s on a trip with a large family group, and I have continued to return every ten years or so to enjoy again the Bar-D Chuckwagon dinner and show. The Bar D has played host to three generations of our family since that first visit thirty years ago. It has gone through a few changes since then, and the location is well off the beaten path, but we still find it well worth the trip when we’re anywhere near Durango or Silverton.

There are a few signposts to guide the drive from Durango. Parking is plentiful. On arrival, you buy or pick up your reserved tickets. There are a few touristy gift shops here – spend some time there if you like, but the real attraction is the meal and show. If you can afford to do so, I suggest you arrive early enough to upgrade your meal to the rib eye—it was fairly tender and quite tasty on the night we last visited and the better option compared to past trips when we stayed with the beef and chicken combo. Tip: Tables are assigned in order of arrival, so arrive early if you can and send at least a few people in your party to the stage and dining area early for better seat selection at your particular table. Another tip: Take a jacket—even in summer, the evenings can be chilly.

Bar-D is not cheap, in the $25-35 range for adults, depending on choice of meal, but it’s the chuckwagon experience that you are buying. With the show and the food, it is not a bad value, particularly if you like this kind of entertainment.

The dinnerware is rustic, not deluxe – aluminum plates and cups from memory; you’ll be eating on a picnic table. If you need a hand with your plate (disabled, children, or just need a hand), there are plenty of staff available to assist you to your table. Our steaks were good but cooked to “well done” (if you’re visiting from Europe, be prepared for a steak that is extremely “well done”). The sponge cake was missable, but everything else was cooked to our liking and the portions were generous. And the kitchen offers seconds until the food runs out—a big plus with our 17 and 18 year old sons. The meal is served and done in a matter of perhaps 35-40 minutes, after which dishes are cleared away. Speaking of which, an older lady seated at our table, but not in our party, was a slower eater, and the woman who came by to clear the dishes could have shown a little more patience and understanding … several of us had to tell her to back off, and the guests finally prevailed. It was more awkward than it needed to be, but other than that the service was warm and friendly.

The program has changed a bit over the years with shifting public tastes and new performers. On the whole, I may prefer the programs from years gone by, but a few of the newer numbers in the routine had us all laughing. Some of the performers come and go, but it’s good to see a fairly steady cadre who’ve been with the Bar-D for many years. The show can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but some of the humor—all of it clean, I hasten to add—could be lost on younger children, who may not understand some of the dry wit. If I could change anything, I wish the show were lengthened by 15 minutes or so, and perhaps include only one patriotic number at the end. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, and maybe it is just me, but it feels just a tiny bit overdone compared to the last time we visited.

You might take a camera. Except for those who are cooking or attending to other chores behind the scenes, the cast are available both before and after the show, and all are approachable for a chat, photo, autograph, etc. If you’re a big fan of their music, recordings are offered for sale both before and after the show.

All in all, the Bar-D is still one of the highlights of our occasional trips to the four corners area and very recommendable if you plan to be nearby, especially if you enjoy the chuckwagon experience or live musical shows and entertainment themed around the Old West.

Hope this helps!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

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    60
    19
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    4
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Among the best in Colorado”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

In their fourth decade the bar d is a must do for the decerning Colorado visitor. Good food and good times await. We live nearby. This is the place we take out of town guest. And when you live here you get guest. So enjoy some chuck wagon BBQ with a side of opossum song. And be sure to visit Matt palmers farm.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A rich western cutural experance.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Folks I go every year. Its a highlight of the summer for my family. Come hungry and enjoy the show. There is a lot of comedy and fun. Beware, if you are a mean spirited big city type do every one a favor and just stay there.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chino Valley
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fun for the whole family!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

The Bar D Wranglers put on a great show and we even got to see the Riders in the Sky!! Amazing how they can put so many people thru the chuck wagon lines so quickly!! Yummy too!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durango
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Watch Out for Guest Stars”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

I was starvin' by the time we were allowed to eat. I wish they offered two shows - perhaps a lunch type show or even an early afternoon show. It's a lot of food, and I thought it was all pretty good. I wish the dessert was not just spice cake, but that's why they try to sell you chocolates at the store on site. Our party all liked the food but disagreed on which parts were the best and weren't. Like other reviewers, we liked the beef better than the chicken.

My main complaint is that before we could get the show started, they had to call out everybody and his brother to announce birthdays, anniversaries, and special parties. Frankly, no one in the audience cares, except the special birthday boy or what not. They could have made it simpler by asking people how long they had been married and how old they where when they got their tickets, then just giving a quick shout out to the longest married couple and the oldest guest. (Speaking of old guests, it as about 85% senior citizens).

BUT, the show was great. It was just starting to go along really well when they switched out and let Riders in the Sky take over. Now, the second group is the more famous and they did a great job, too, but in a different style. I've seen enough reviews on this site complainin' and whinin' about the patriotic and religious nature of the show, especially near the end. That was what cinced it for us to make us want to go, but we didn't get a chance to see that. I would shout out to the owners not to be intimidated by a few fuddy-duddys and keep the old west, patriotic theme alive - it is a chuckwagon dinner after all.

Price is great, considering it is dinner and a show, and it's a lot of food!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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