The Nellie E Saloon also know as The Desert Bar

The Nellie E Saloon (named for the copper mine that used to be on the site) is better known as The Desert Bar. It is just outside of Parker, Arizona.

Ken Coughlin acquired the land for the saloon in the late 70s and he was open for business in the early 80s. Over the years he has continued to add on to the bar and it's now a sprawling set of structures on multiple levels. It is solar powered, uses well water, and is cooled utilizing the tall towers you can see on the property. It's pretty ingenious - pads are wetted down creating cool air which flows downward.

If you want to visit the Desert Bar, you'll have to do it between October and April as it is closed from May to September due to the weather. Hours are noon-6pm Saturday and Sunday ONLY. Make sure to bring money as this is a cash only business. Once you get to the Desert Bar you can eat, listen to music and take in the sights.

The bar's creator, who lives on site, has had the area up for sale since early 2021. So far there have been no buyers but if you do take a trip up this way, it might be a good idea to check out their website and make sure everything is still up and running.


As you make your way towards the Desert Bar, you'll see the church once you are getting close.

entrance to The Desert Bar

This isn't an actual building or a real church, more just a facade. It's a nice little photo op area.

church at Desert Bar

Church ceiling - love that stamped work!

church ceiling at Desert Bar

One of the church walls with some more decorative stamped work.

church wall detail at Desert Bar

The floor of the church - so colorful, I love it!

church floor at Desert Bar

The footbridge leading into the main desert bar area. Under the bridge is another area with tables and also where you go to buy your food. I had an absolutely delicious pastrami sandwich when I was there.

bridge into Desert Bar

Lots of things made out of horseshoes! Here we have a chair and a turtle - or I guess he could be a low stool.

horseshoe chair and turtle

And here we have a horseshoe cactus.

horseshoe cactus

This was the original Desert Bar - just a shack tucked away in the middle of nowhere.

original Desert Bar

Old firetruck

old firetruck

I love things that are both functional and beautiful - here's a light fixture with copper wire.

pretty light fixture

Old tractor - I believe the sign on it says DON'T TOUCH.

old tractor

Old, very classic car

old car

There are bits of old stuff all over the property, a lot of it left over from its days as a mining camp.

old equipment

Looking over the main dining area with stage for live music.

main dining area and stage

An overview of the property

looking out over the Desert Bar




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