Football morning glories roll into Vail’s Red Lion |

Football morning glories roll into Vail’s Red Lion

HL RL Bloody Bar DT 8-27-10

Forget Wheaties; a Bloody Mary is the breakfast of champions.

The Red Lion is launching Bloody Mary mornings for football fans who want to commune with kindred spirits while sipping kindred spirits.

“It sounds like something I’d want to do,” said Phil Long with the Red Lion. “A lot of people want to watch the game.”

It starts at 9 a.m. Saturdays for college game day, then Sunday mornings for countdown to the NFL.

“We did a grab-and-go breakfast last year, and that worked out. But we didn’t want to do breakfast all the time,” Long said.

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He strolled about the village and noticed no one was featuring the NFL. Yes, Vail Village is absolutely up to its eyebrows in Bavarian charm, but this is still America and we watch some football on weekends.

A Bloody Mary is not complicated, like football fans themselves. It’s vodka and tomato juice. You can fire it up with some Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, maybe some A-1 sauce, drop in some celery and you can feel the fog lifting as your day gets underway.

For the more adventurous, they have some special recipes hanging on signs from the ceiling that you can read even at that hour of the day.

Long and company have more than 30 items with which to doctor your Bloody Mary. If you start mixing and matching, you’ll end up with a combination more curious than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

But like aficionados of good blocking and tackling, you can never go wrong by sticking to the fundamentals.

Beignets (pronounced Ben-Yay) are $1 a bowl. They’re those donut-looking things covered in powdered sugar that are popular in New Orleans. Throw in some french toast sticks, some truffle fries and you’re set.

Red Lion’s long history

Strolling about the Red Lion is an educational tour through Vail’s colorful history, which you should do during breaks in the action. Photos on the wall are as accurate as any other historical record, maybe more than most.

The Red Lion was Vail’s first commercial establishment, the restaurant and bar downstairs and the hotel rooms upstairs.

The first Bloody Mary ever poured in Vail was poured in the Red Lion. When you order one, you’re required to raise a glass and toast the old stuff.

“We’ve been consistent,” Long said. “We’ve been around since 1962.”

College games start Sept. 4 and the NFL starts Sept. 12. They’re only doing Bloody Mary mornings on Saturdays and Sundays, and they’ll start working out the kinks this weekend. For football on Monday and Thursday nights, you can sip a beer like all Real Americans.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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