The Oldest Bar In Northern California Has A Fascinating History
Northern California is full of various historic places. It’s always nice to visit these places and pretend you’re living in the Wild West. The Iron Door Saloon can be found in Groveland and it’s considered the longest running bar in the entire state. Visiting this bar is like stepping hundreds of years into the past. Take a look at the oldest bar in California. It’s easy to see why it’s stayed around!
The Iron Door Saloon is a popular stop on the way to Yosemite. Located in Groveland, the Iron Door Saloon has been operating since 1852. This place is a unique look into California’s fascinating past.
It was originally called “The Granite Store” and was owned by the community’s postmaster, James Tannahill. The post office was run from the store and it wasn’t until 1896 when it actually became a saloon under new ownership. The iron doors you see on the front entrance today are the same exact ones that were originally fitted for the building. This place really makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the days of the Wild West.
The doors were manufactured in England and sold to the saloon to protect it from fires.
If a wildfire was raging outside, at least the saloon would be safe.
The saloon is a popular attraction not just because it’s the oldest bar in the state,
but because of the bar’s eclectic character. This isn’t your average bar, that’s for sure.
The saloon almost feels like it could be a set to some Western movie.
Gigantic mirrors line the wall behind the bar and the bar itself looks like it could be the one from 1852. The place definitely looks like it’s seen a lot of action over the decades.
The saloon boasts itself as a “family friendly establishment”.
People under the age of 21 are allowed entrance and the bar even doubles as a restaurant.
The menu is made up of typical bar fare with a specialty in cheeseburgers and fries. The food is simple, but it’s the atmosphere that makes a visit to this bar so memorable. Historic pictures of famous figures like John Muir and various Yosemite Valley landscapes decorate the walls. The bar is big on kitsch, with everything from animal heads to mining artifacts lining every inch of the walls.
One of the most prominent “decorations” are the hundreds upon hundreds of dollar bills that are stuck to the ceiling.
It’s rumored that the tradition began back in the town’s mining days. Miners would tack up a dollar bill to the ceiling before going out to look for gold. If they didn’t have any luck, at least their dollar would be waiting for them at the bar so they could buy a drink. Today, tourists continue this long tradition by throwing their own dollar bills up on the ceiling. The bar has seen a lot of people and heard a lot of stories over the last 166 years. This is by far one of the most unique places in California, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
You’ll find the Iron Door Saloon at 18761 Main St, Groveland, CA 95321.
They are open 9:00 am to 9:00 pm from Saturday through Wednesday.
They are closed on Thursday and Friday.