Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Bar None: The Long Gone Bars & Saloons I Grew Up In

 March 8, 2023

   When I was on the women's panel at the Tucson Festival of Books last Saturday, I went off on a tangent about all the bars and honkytonks I played in Tucson when I attended the University of Arizona. The list, off the top of my head, included, The Doll House, The Embers, The Cedars, The Hi Ho Club, The Dunes and the Poco Loco. And these are just the bars on Speedway Blvd that I played in. I also played quite a bit in the VFW at Speedway near Alvernon, but that is another story and venue. The main point is, every single one of those legendary bars are gone. History.

The Generation in The Doll House, 1967

   Same for the The Stumble Inn, The Oxbow, The Maverick, The Longhorn, The Hayloft, The Red Rooster and the Moose Lodge on Wilmot Road. All gone and paved over.

   In my old stomping grounds up in Mohave County, I played in The Smokehouse, The Sportsman Lounge, The Kingman Club, The Elks, The American Legion and even behind the bait shop at Katherine's Landing. With perhaps the exception of the bait shop and the Kingman Club, none of these stalwart watering holes is still standing.

   In Phoenix, I played at the Fifth National Bank, JD's In The River Bottom, The Library (a clever name for a bar adjacent to ASU), Dooley's and perhaps the most famous of all, Mr. Lucky's.

Mr. Lucky's on Grand Avenue

featuring Wanda Jackson on July 23, 1969

   What this long list of dried up watering holes from my misspent youth illustrate is just how special the ones that have survived—and that were conceived even earlier—and are still standing. Just in my neck of the woods, that would include The Palace Bar in Prescott, The Museum Club in Flagstaff and The Crystal Palace in Tombstone. Of course, there are many more throughout the West and we will run the full list—bar none!—in the next issue of True West.

"Last call for alcohol."

—A phrase that is burned into my brain


  1. Anonymous9:45 AM

    "You don't have to go home but you can't stay here."

    Recall "Shaky Drake's" in Flagstaff, Bob?

  2. Anonymous3:27 PM

    They started in at Kentucky Bar
    At the head of Whiskey Row
    And wound up at the Depot House
    Some forty drinks below
    They set them up and turns around
    And heads it the other way
    I’ll tell you the gawds forsaken truth
    Them boys got stewed that day

  3. Kevin Mulkins4:25 PM

    You bring back lots of memories for me. Poco Loco, Stumble Inn and the Hayloft how about the Buckskin where the Tucson Mall is now. Yep, them was the good old days... or were they. We had a lot of fun though. We're still here!

  4. Anonymous2:39 PM

    How about the Buckskin and the Bar M Cattle Co. ?? What a blast !


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