A Rich History Born In Old Colorado!
Old West Origins..
In 1888 a rowdy, Colorado City resident named Prairie Dog O’Byrne (so named because of the prairie dog running in a wheel on the back of his wagon) purchased two bull elk and hitched them to his carriage. He named the elk Thunder and Buttons. O’Byrne and Laura Bell, another infamous West Side character from the red light district, would race the elk drawn carriage up and down Colorado Avenue and down into the heart of Colorado Springs — causing an upset to the gentry. O’Byrne spent most of his time carousing in the 21 saloons lining Colorado Avenue what is now “Old Colorado City”.
The New Age
In 1978, a local historian told this story to a young entrepreneur who purchased one of the old saloons on Colorado Avenue. He decided to name his new “saloon and eatery” after the two elk. Thunder and Buttons was born. A fire closed the doors to the original restaurant and bar in 1989. Thunder and Buttons II was established in 2004.