The Apartment at 101 Main Street

In late April or early May of 2017 Martha and I spent a weekend in Bisbee. We stayed at the Gym Club Suites just up the street from the Copper Queen Hotel and Saloon. Although the Gym Club Suites hotel is not the most elegant of hotels, it is comfortable and relatively clean. The Gym Club Suites would be more aptly named The Gym Club Apartments. Anyway, at that time, it had become our favorite place to stay in Bisbee.

We have always found Bisbee a fun place to spend a weekend. Cafe Roka, located on Main Street, is one of my favorite Arizona restaurants. Live music can be found in several different venues (translated saloons) every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, both afternoon and night, and we both happen to like listening to live music in small venues. It reminds us of our days when we lived in New Orleans and could go down to the French Quarter on any afternoon and listen to live music for an hour or so just for the price of a happy hour drink. The saloons of Old Bisbee, where the music is generally also offered for the price of a drink, come as close to this as anywhere else I have ever been!

Anyway, on that spring trip we talked about renting an apartment for the summer. I had previously declared that I was not going to spend another summer hunkered in an air conditioned space to keep out of the searing Tucson heat. I was going to get out of the city for the summer one way or the other. My preference was to travel around the country in a motor home but Martha absolutely refused. When I found out she would be amenable to spending the summer in Bisbee I jumped at the chance.

Blog 2 Photo 1The apartment we found was at 101 Main St., the left half of the top floor in this photo.  The other half is occupied by The Copper City Inn and has a different owner.  We frequently shared our balcony with hotel guests.

The huge rock formation behind the building is Castle Rock, the base of which formed the cradle of modern (1870) habitation of Mule Pass.

There are stairs on the outside of the building up to a landing on the middle level.  An entryway leads to an inside staircase up to the top floor. From the top of the stairs, one turns back towards the front of the building, up a short set of four steps, to the hallway between the living room and bedroom. A laundry closet is located in the hallway. To the left at the top of the stairs is the kitchen.  Both the living room and the bedroom have doors opening onto the balcony.

Before it became an apartment available for rent on a month-to-month basis, each of the two front rooms were appointed as standard hotel rooms with a full bath. Conversion to the apartment appeared to have consisted of conversion of one bedroom into a living room with a sofa-bed.  Almost no other changes were made. Both bedroom and living room still have (or had in June, 2017) a wet bar area with a sink, under counter refrigerator, coffee pot and other amenities. Both of the full baths are very nice featuring a claw-foot tub in one and a corner step-in shower in the other.  There are spacious closets in both bathrooms.

The kitchen is to the left at the top of the stairs.  The biggest drawback to the kitchen (and indeed the entire apartment) was having no stove or full size refrigerator.  In the kitchen, there was yet another (this makes three total) under counter fridge, a single burner induction ‘hotplate’, a coffee pot (the third one of these also), toaster oven, microwave, pots, pans, dishes, etc. In addition there was a full size table that would seat four people, a love seat and a TV. Oh yeah, and there is a small, relatively private deck outside the kitchen.

Despite some of the drawbacks, we felt very lucky to get this apartment for the summer and, upon looking at it for the first time in mid May, wrote a check to cover the rent for a full four months. It had a wonderful view of Main Street/Tombstone Canyon, the Royale Theater, Tombstone Canyon Inn, Castle Rock Inn, and, on the other side of Rte. 80 visible in the middle distance, Bucky O’Neil Hill, Higgins Hill, and Hendricks Gulch! What was not to like? Besides, we were the very first renters after the space had been converted from overflow hotel rooms to an actual apartment, so much of the furniture and amenities appeared to be new!

The next installment will chronicle a little more of our summer, what we liked and disliked about 101 Main, and ‘other stuff’.

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