Honestly, don’t go out of your way to dine at the Mint Bar. There is nothing to eat and the drinks are minimal. Basically, people come to this place on the Main Street of Sheridan, Wyoming to drink beer or whiskey or both. So when the bartender asks, “What’re you having, sweetie?” we advise not asking for a brandy Alexander or a frozen margarita. Instead, request “a ditch.” That’s High Plains terminology for whiskey and water.
Despite its disregard for food, we do recommend visiting the Mint Bar if you are anywhere near Sheridan. Not just to have a drink and some peanuts, but to admire its beauty. Outside, a multicolored neon sign shows a wrangler mid-air on a bucking bronc with neon cattle brands like sparks around the hooves. Inside, the Mint is lined entirely in cedar and gnarled pine burls, with rough-hewn log booths and shingle walls that gleam like slick leather and bear hundreds of brands. The timber walls are hung with panoramic photographs of ranch life, circa. 1941 as well as portraits of rodeo stars, trick riders, and Western celebrities of every stripe who consider this rugged woody grotto the ultimate cowboy bar.
Many regular customers use the Mint Bar as a place of business. Sheridan has been the outfitting center of the region since before this amazing-looking place served its first drink in 1907, and its residents include leather workers, gunsmiths, cowboy haberdashers, and wilderness guides. (King Saddlery, the best tack shop on earth, is just across the street.) These pros use the Mint as their office, and it is not at all unusual to see a local artisan sharing beers in a booth with a client as they go over hides or silver conchos for a saddle-in-progress.