Thirty-Five miles from the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, lies the small town of Goodsprings Nevada.
Goodsprings is home to the Pioneer Saloon, the oldest Saloon in Nevada. The town itself was once a thriving mining community. Today, we were told, they might have 200 people at the most and their pride and joy is the Pioneer Saloon.
Built in 1913, by this historic landmark was put together using Sears and Roebuck stamped tin and the bar inside was manufactured in Maine by the Brunswick Company In the 1860’s. The bar is still equipped with the original brass foot rail it was installed with and features three cigar burns on one corner. The holes were placed there by Clark Gable after days of drinking away the pain of losing his wife, Carole Lombard, in a plane crash. Her plane went down in the Potosi Mountain range behind the Pioneer Saloon and that's where they set up the search parties. Mr. Gable was not allowed to venture into the rugged mountains with the group hence his day by day use of the bar. The memorial to them is not the only attraction to the Saloon. You will also find a nice grouping of bullet holes in a wall where a card cheat was shot to death, Wild West style in 1915. The coroner's report and an article from the newspaper, describing the event, hang on the wall nearby. Besides the bar the café serves a full menu and they are adjacent to the General Store for any swag you wish to purchase.
The décor on the walls describe its 105 year history in newspaper clippings and antiquities plus a stuffed Elk’s head and a grand potbelly stove really help you step back in time. The Saloon’s signature dish is the Ghost Burger. A half pound burger on a potato bun with choice of Pepper Jack, Swiss, or American cheese with jalapeño bacon and their secret "ghost sauce". They now feature a Ghost BBQ Sauce as well. The food is rumored to be delicious, unfortunately we arrived on a day they were remodeling their kitchen so the menu was limited but still delicious.
They offer 2 bar top video poker machines for the gambling man, an outside patio in the back with bean bags, horseshoes and the like. There are plenty of tables sheltered from the sun and occasional dust devil. It’s a popular stop among bikers and RV lovers. The Saloon has been featured on the all the History and Travel Channels and receives thousands of tourist a month. They like to accommodate groups, weddings, parties, even photo shoots in and around their dusty, old west setting. In fact many famous movie scenes have been filmed inside and outside the rusty sun beaten saloon doors.
Pioneer Saloon is open 7 Days a Week 9AM - Till “Drinking is done” and the Cafe serves Sun-Thursday 7a-9p and Friday-Saturday 7a-12a.
With this incredible attraction within a half hour drive from the neon signage of the Strip, I will return for my Ghost Burger very soon.