A roof garden, heated year-round, was added to serve the restaurant and its patrons - a perfect place for private parties, family reunions, rehearsal dinners, or simply to take in the ambiance of the Old West. Zietz's failing health forced the family to sell the restaurant in 1978 to a group of local investors known as Buckhorn Associates, headed by Roi Davis and the Steve Knowlton.
Under the direction of designer Lanny Garland, the new owners took great care to preserve the important memorabilia of the past and were careful not to disturb the basic exterior of the structure, which was designated an historic landmark by the City and County of Denver in 1972.
In return, Zietz handed each man a token good for a free lunch and a beer.
The Buckhorn Exchange, which has liquor license Number One in the State of Colorado, was founded on November 17, 1893 by Henry H. It was during the years that Henry rode with Buffalo Bill that the great Indian leader, Chief Sitting Bull, dubbed him "Shorty Scout" due to his diminutive stature.
"Shorty Scout" Zietz, easily recognized as one of the most colorful figures of the Old West. "Shorty Scout" Zietz became a lifelong friend to the Indians, and when he died in July 1949, the last of Cody's famous scout band was gone.
But it was Zietz's restaurant, the Buckhorn Exchange, which chronicled the robust and lusty days of early Colorado.
The 125-piece gun collection includes Colt .45s, Winchesters, Derringers, a Sharp's sporting rifle dating to 1889, and a rare palm pistol dating to 1891 and the Minneapolis Firearm Co.
The Buckhorn's ornate white oak bar and back-bar, made in Essen, Germany in 1857 and brought here by the Zietz family, was relocated to the second floor where it anchors the Buckhorn's Victorian lounge. Zietz's son, Henry Jr., acquired the restaurant perpetuating its rich history and dcor, adding many animal displays from his own hunting expeditions along with other memorabilia.