Since the 1970's the tavern has become an oasis for many, its known for being "Madrid's living room", great live music, a biker bar, artist haven, tourist stop, the melodrama theatre and more!
Coal mining began around 1835 in "Coal Gulch", now known as Madrid (pronounced MAD-rid). In 1889, the Santa Fe railroad extended a spur line. Madrid was a "company town" which owned everything - administering law and order, operating the hotel, car dealership, stores and the tavern. The original tavern was established around 1895, it burned down on Christmas Day in 1944.
The current Mine Shaft Tavern was completed in 1947 with much of the interior the same today. It is one of the oldest continually run taverns in Santa Fe County. The 40 ft. lodge pole pine is the longest stand-up bar in New Mexico, built for the miners to stand in after a long day hunched over in the mines. Most of the mines were closed in the 1950's and Madrid became known as a ghost town for about 20 years. The Mine Shaft Tavern is said to be the most haunted place in Madrid. Odd occurrences that are noticed - glasses falling from their shelves; doors opening and swinging back and forth; mysterious sounds; furniture unexplainably moved to other locations and orbs showing up in photography.
In the mid 1980's, the entrance for both the Museum and the Engine House Theatre was located at the Old West Photography building.
In recent years it has become the Mine Shaft Cantina, with live music every weekend and great views of Madrid both inside and outside! Bring your leashed dog and sit outside looking over the beautiful town while enjoying the same menu and drinks that is offered inside the tavern.
The paintings by renowned Tinker Town artist Ross Ward (located above the bar and behind the stage) colorfully portrays Madrid's rich history, from mining days to recent past with its melodrama theatre. The Mine Shaft continues to serve to its diverse clientele - bikers on weekends, locals , artists and musicians, and travelers abroad …Ward duly cites the Mine Shaft Tavern as the "Cultural Gem of the Mining District".
Next to the Cantina is the Madrid Old Coal Town Museum...featuring the Engine 769! Check out the new giftshop and see the history of Madrid. Ring the bell on the Engine 769 - reported as the most complete non-operating steam locomotive in the United States!