The "Nellie E Saloon" (DESERT BAR)
is situated in the Buckskin Mountains,
in Parker, Arizona, on land that was
an old mining camp. The camp was
located on the portion of land that is
now the parking lot. When Ken
acquired the land in 1975, there was
nothing left of the old mining camp.
With the land and a liquor license from
an old business on leased river land,
Ken decided to give the "bar in the
desert" idea a try. In 1983, Ken
opened for business in the temporary
three-sided structure which is across
from the outdoor restroom's. He
operated there for the next five years,
until the current saloon was
constructed. The name "Nellie E"
originates from the old mining claim.
They used to mine copper and then
take it to the smelter and get gold.
When Ken opened the bar, he hauled
water in a 50-gallon tank loaded on the
back of his truck. Then he purchased
an old fire truck, which he used to haul
water. In 1989, he started using a well
in the canyon as his water source. In
the summer of 1997, Ken drilled a new
well on the north side of the saloon
that operates on solar power, with the
pump set at 360 feet.
The fire truck in the parking lot was
acquired from Scott Winter in March of
2001. The fire truck was used by
Scott's father in the development of
The "Nellie E" was completed in 1988.
The inside of the saloon is unique in
many ways. It has windows that are old
glass refrigerator doors, the bar stools
are made of steel and they sway from
side to side. The top of the bar is
brass and the ceiling is made of
stamped tin purchased from a factory
in Missouri. The saloon is powered by
solar energy and is stored in batteries
and run through inverters.
Built in 1991, the covered walk bridge
was the next big project. It was
dedicated in October of that same year.
The church was started in 1993,
completed in 1996 and dedicated in
October. The church is made of solid
steel and the walls and ceiling are
made of the same stamped tin used
inside the bar and the roof is made of
copper. The names inscribed on the
plaques in the church are people who
donated money to help build the
church. The church is a unique place
and great photo spot. There are no
services held in the church and all
religions are welcome.
Across from the saloon is an outside
bar, cooking area and stage.
The tall structures you see on the
property including Ken's house,
located across from the parking lot,
are "cooling towers". They work similar
to an evaporative (swamp) cooler,
except they don't have a fan. When
you wet the pads on top, cool air falls
and you get a nice cool airflow.
Behind the outside bar is a horseshoe
pit and to the right is a stage for live
music or D.J.
We have live music October through
April, depending on the weather. Music
is on Saturdays is from 1:00 p.m. Till
5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30
The "Nellie E Saloon" is located 5 miles
off the Cienega Springs Rd exit on
Hwy-95, approximately 5 miles north of
The Desert Bar is open Oct thru
April, Saturdays and Sundays only
from high noon till 6pm ,Az time .
THE BAR IS CLOSED DURING THE
HOT SUMMER MONTHS.
During the President's Day weekend in
February, we host the annual
"DESERT DASH", which is a 5k
run/walk and a 5 mile bike ride to the
bar for charity.
Thanksgiving weekend we are
open Thursday, Friday, Saturday
and Sunday, with music on Friday
and Saturday & Sunday
Ken has big plans for a future town, so
be sure to visit every year! He is
always working on a new project.
THE BAR IS CLOSED DURING THE
WEEK, SO PLEASE NO VISITORS
AND OBEY THE NO TRESPASSING
"NELLIE E SALOON" FULL BAR and
GRILL * TAKE WATER * DRIVE SAFE *
ID REQUIRED * FAMILIES AND
BRING CASH ! NO CREDIT CARDS !!
COVERED BRIDGE ENTRANCE TO THE DESERT BAR
NELL THE CAT
OUTDOOR FULL BAR
ORIGINAL DESERT BAR
NOW OPEN WEEKENDS