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Mine Shaft Tavern, Madrid, New Mexico


Mine Shaft Tavern, Madrid, New Mexico
photo by Andrew Collins
I received a very nice note (part of it reprinted below) not long ago from the owner of the Mine Shaft Tavern (2846 Hwy. 14 (right in middle of village, where Hwy. 14 bends to the west, by the Old Coal Mine Museum, 505-473-0743) in the tiny village of Madrid, New Mexico, letting me know just how gay-friendly and supportive of the northern New Mexico GLBT community they are. In fact, this rambling, friendly, and totally cool tavern and restaurant is lesbian-owned and operated, and it's a cherished landmark along the historic and scenic Turquoise Trail, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

This rollicking, atmospheric roadhouse serves fantastic New Mexican and home-style American fare (incredibly tasty green-chile cheeseburgers, breakfast burritos, blue-corn beef tacos, plus a great beer, wine, and margarita selection) three meals a day. From the drinks menu, I'm partial to the "Horny Cadillac" (Sauza Hornitos, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice). It's adjacent to the Old Coal Mine Museum and Engine House Theatre (the latter is currently closed while the owners seek donations and funding to bring the building up to fire-department code).

By day, the Mine Shaft draws a mix of tourists and locals, families and adults - it's a fun place to break up a stroll along the village's main street, which is lined with arts and crafts galleries and vintage-furniture shops. In the evening, the Mine Shaft draws a more adult crowd and has live music (emphasis is on blues, rock, folk, and soul) and dancing. It's not strictly a gay bar, of course, but you'll always find a great mix of patrons, and a welcoming vibe.

A drive up the Turquoise Trail, with a stop for cocktails, green-chile burgers, and conversation at the Mineshaft, is a must if you're visiting this part of the world.

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