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Mike Cutler, the current owner of the Canyon Bar, which has become a popular watering hole in Los Alamos during the past 16 years, said it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
With an eye on retirement and finding a warmer climate, Cutler, 48, said he tried many times to find a buyer for the bar, but there were no takers.
Through the years, the establishment has been known under several other names, including “Ma and Pa’s” and “Fireside.”
“I couldn’t find a buyer that wanted to take it over as a bar,” Cutler said. “People just didn’t come up with the right amount of money or the right amount of interest.”
It’s not known when the bar will officially close and Cutler said for now, they are still open for business, and will be able to still serve alcohol, though the liquor license has been sold to the Giant Convenience store in White Rock.
Cutler who also owns Automotive Professionals on DP Road, said he has no plans to leave the area immediately, either.
“I will still be up here for a while. I still own the shop here and my wife still works for the lab, but eventually we plan to get down to the Gulf Coast and do some fishing,” Cutler said.
Throughout the 16 years, the Canyon has built up a substantial poker and pool league and also became known as a place to take in some live entertainment. It was one of the few places that stayed open until midnight in Los Alamos.
“We tried to keep things going for people to do, so I think this is going to be tough for them,” Cutler said.
However, Cutler said he’s also trying very hard to keep those leagues going, even though the bar will be gone.
“I’m trying to organize with one of the other clubs in town to take over and possibly buy my part of the pool, and the same with the poker,” he said. Most likely those leagues will end up with the American Legion Post 90 or V.F.W. Post 8874 here in town, he added.
“It’s been a good run and a lot of fun, but it’s time to move on,” Cutler said.
According to fellow poker player and bar patron Bob White, or Roberto Blanco as he’s locally known, Cutler was the first person to bring World Tavern Poker League play to New Mexico.
Poker players who are a part of the World Tavern Poker league have a shot at playing in the “World Series of Poker,” a nationally known and popular poker event in Las Vegas, Nev. that is sometimes broadcast on ESPN.
White recently won a seat in the tournament and will go to Las Vegas in June,, along with Mike and possibly another bar patron, to play.
Others though just come to relax and hang out with friends; some even bring their pets, like one couple did Wednesday night.
They said they try to bring their dog Ms. Beedle every time they stop by. When asked what they are going to miss most when the bar closes, the patron jokingly said, “bringing the dog in for a beer.”
Pool player Henry Kana said he doesn’t know where he’ll go once the place closes for good.
“I’ve been here for three years, played pool here for three years and I’ve enjoyed it and had a real good time. I’m probably going to miss it,” he said. When asked what he liked most about Canyon Bar and Grill, he simply said, “It’s close to my apartment.”