Covered Wagon offers handcrafted food

The Covered Wagon on First Street offers handcrafted food and a full bar. They opened in June 2018.

Covered Wagon is a restaurant & saloon located in the heart of Nederland. A century of history resonates within the walls and among the antique collections of this rustic gathering place featuring good food, good drink and good friends. “We strive to be a community-oriented establishment that is inviting to local folk and visitors alike, according to their website.”

Owner Jennifer Davis said that starting a restaurant was something she always wanted to do. Her manager, Martin Compel, has been in business in the food and restaurant industry for 30 years.

Compel managed the Black Forest Restaurant in Nederland until it closed in August 2017, and he officially retired. Davis said they were looking for a place for a restaurant and had looked at Black Hawk. Then the Pioneer Inn closed so they had the opportunity to open a restaurant there.

They couldn’t use the name Pioneer Inn because of liabilities from the previous owner, so they had to change the name. Davis had already named her LLC Covered Wagon, so they decided to use that name, and it helps continue the theme of the Pioneer Inn.


The Covered Wagon features food and beverages with friends and good food together. They have tourists come by in the summer months and ski customers in the winter. They have a lot of visitors from Boulder County.

They have live music, Karaoke, a pool table and game room, a large-flat screen TV for sports fans and regular music events posted on their Facebook page.

It is accessible by all age levels. They also have a new air purifying system.

They cater to the locals and are pet friendly. They have expertise in caring for large groups and can do receptions, weddings and parties.

Their food contains secret ingredients, and they offer handcrafted hamburgers made from scratch. They have a new smoker, and they offer jerky, pork and pulled pork sandwiches.


“Our vision is home-made recipes,” they said. Tad Miller is the cook. He won a tournament for his cooking and also makes chili and his own barbecue sauce.

They are open every day from 7 a.m. to close, and Compel is there every day. For breakfast, enjoy eggs benedict, Covered Wagon egg breakfast or gravy & biscuits with a $5 mimosa special.

The back patio is a perfect place for fresh air dining where leashed and wellbehaved dogs are permitted. Indoors, the Covered Wagon offers a variety of spaces for dining or enjoying your favorite beverage.

Everywhere you look, antiques and curiosities can be found, including a covered wagon collection, historic mining tools, a circa 1880 piano, a vintage cigarette machine and so much more.

Jen Davis has corralled a team of dedicated staff to represent the Covered Wagon’s vision of “good food and friendship,” where service is a priority. Davis said that we have a wonderful staff.


She has 15 employees and 10 to 12 in the winter. “They are dedicated, and they work with us. We are a team.”

“Staffing is a challenge,” Davis says. “The cost of living is so high and it’s a transit population. We have good people we want to keep. People want to work here.”

Their sole sponsorship for 2020 is Wild Bear Nature Center due to the shared values in nature conservancy and education. On Thanksgiving, Compel took turkey dinners to the fire department and law enforcement.

Compel said his favorite part of the business is consistent quality. Jen said that for her it’s the people and being part of the community.

Jen also has a graphic design business, which she has been doing for 34 years, and now she is doing both. She created the menu and all of the signs for the business.

The Covered Wagon is located at 15 East 1st Street, Nederland. The phone number is 303-258-7578. Check out their website at or Facebook at coveredwagonrestaurantsaloon.


Sponsored by the town of Nederland, with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here