On our road trip back to Santa Fe from Tucson, we decided to go the scenic route and ended up in historic Bisbee just in time for lunch. It was a sunny day and so we decided to look for a place to have lunch outdoors. After all, once we returned to Santa Fe, it would be months before we could dine al fresco again.
Copper Queen Hotel
There’s nothing better than lunch at the hotel which once was a gathering place in the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco (in rural southern Arizona). Completed in 1902, the Copper Queen Hotel was Bisbee’s upscale hotel for dignitaries and investors. It still has an air of elegance with beautiful stained glass windows, elegant dining room, and overstuffed Victorian furniture in the lobby.
Originally, the hotel boasted 73 rooms with shared baths at the end of the hall on each floor. While retaining Victorian charm, the hotel now has fewer rooms but, of course, each room has a private bath.
Take a peek into the rich wood saloon and you’ll be taken back to the days of mining executives who enjoyed the luxury and wood tones of the bar. Of interest in the saloon is the 100+ year old, nearly life size, portrait of Lillie Langtry. Lillie was a stage actress from Jersey, England around the turn of the century. Legend has it that she was the love interest of Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be King Edward VII. She was Judge Roy Bean of Texas’ lady love, but he never met her.
We enjoyed lunch on the veranda overlooking the narrow street. Lavender tour jeeps appeared to pick up customers, mining trucks drove by and the sun warmed us. We enjoyed sandwiches. The waiter had recommended the Momma’s Mango Chutney chicken salad sandwich and it was excellent. The sandwich consisted of grilled chicken breast folded into a mixture of mango chutney, chopped celery and almonds served on a croissant. My turkey and pepper sandwhich wasn’t quite as memorable. But what the heck, it was a glorious place for a break from the road trip.
Since the Copper Queen Hotel is just steps away from the main street, we strolled old Bisbee after lunch enjoying the history, the shops and the rambling streets. It was an excellent lunch stop as well as a great place for a several-day getaway.