Pappy & Harriet's

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Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
Pioneertown pappys.jpg
Pappy and Harriet's in 2007
Restaurant information
Current owner(s)Robyn Celia, Linda Krantz
ChefC. Ward
Food typeBarbecue, lunch and dinner
Street address53688 Pioneertown Road
CountySan Bernardino County
Postal/ZIP Code92268
CountryUnited States
Coordinates34°09′23″N 116°29′35″W / 34.15638°N 116.49306°W / 34.15638; -116.49306Coordinates: 34°09′23″N 116°29′35″W / 34.15638°N 116.49306°W / 34.15638; -116.49306

Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace is a honky-tonk, barbecue restaurant and music venue near Joshua Tree National Park in Pioneertown, California. Accessible from California State Route 62, the restaurant lies four miles northeast of Yucca Valley.

In 1946, a group of filmmakers built a Western-style movie set in the high desert 25 miles north of Palm Springs for the cowboy actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.[1] Production designers decorated the facades of "Main Street" with a Western saloon, bank, chapel and a cantina. Pioneertown and its cantina were used in more than 50 films and television programs throughout the 1940s and 1950s, including The Cisco Kid and Judge Roy Bean.[1][2] In 1972, John Aleba and his wife Francis purchased the building and John further developed the property into a cantina.

The Cantina, 1946-1982[edit]

In 1946, at the site where Pappy & Harriet's stands today, filmmakers built a cantina set that was used in numerous Westerns during the 1950s. In 1972, Harriet's mother, Francis Aleba, purchased the building and opened The Cantina, an outlaw biker burrito bar. The Cantina rollicked for 10 years before its closing.[citation needed]

Pappy & Harriet's, 1982 onward[edit]

In 1982, Aleba's daughter Harriet and her husband, Claude "Pappy" Allen, bought The Cantina and renamed it Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace. With its family style Tex-Mex cuisine and live music, The Cantina often featured Pappy, Harriet, and their granddaughter Kristina, and became a local haunt for bikers as well as people from all walks of life.

When Pappy Allen died in 1994, hundreds of mourners from around the world attended his memorial, including Victoria Williams, who later recorded the song "Happy to Have Known Pappy" for her Atlantic Records release, Loose.

A local airplane pilot, Jay Hauk, owned Pappy and Harriet's for a short stint before it was bought by its present owners, New Yorkers Robyn Celia and Linda Krantz.

In the summer of 2006, the Sawtooth Complex fire threatened Pappy & Harriet's and the rest of Pioneertown, but the town and club were not among the 50 homes and over 60,000 acres of desert burned.[3][4]

Notable performers[edit]

Billboard Magazine named Pappy & Harriet's one of the Top Ten Hidden Gems in the Country in its 2012 Best Clubs issue. The club attracts artists and musicians from all over the world.

NY Times Magazine featured Pappy and Harriet's in its 2013 article "Listen Up | In The California Desert, A One Of A Kind Music Venue Blossoms."

SXSW featured the documentary The Pioneertown Palace in 2014.

Anthony Bourdain featured Pappy & Harriet's in the "US Desert" episode of his television show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

Performers who have appeared at Pappy & Harriet's over the years include Paul McCartney, Eric Burdon, Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, Rufus Wainwright, The Donnas, Grizzly Bear, Neko Case, Spiritualized, Lucinda Williams, Leon Russell, Arctic Monkeys, Daniel Lanois, Band of Horses, Alvvays, Sean Lennon, Billy Corgan and the Spirits in the Sky, Vampire Weekend, Wanda Jackson, Ricki Lee Jones, Lorde, and so many more.[1][2] A surprise appearance by Robert Plant in early 2006 led to a jam with the Sunday evening house band, The Thrift Store All Stars, which featured Victoria Williams.

Coachella Festival promoters Goldenvoice Productions and Santa Monica-based NPR station KCRW have presented shows at Pappy & Harriet's, although the majority of booking is generated by the club's co-owner, Robyn Celia.

A Monday night Open Mic hosted by musician Ted Quinn features hundreds of performers. Most of the Open Mic performers are local or lesser-known traveling troubadours, but many established artists, including Feist, Julie Christensen, and Ke$ha have also made appearances for this low-key event.

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven hold a successful annual outdoor festival, The Camp-Out, at Pappy & Harriet's each year. Gram Rabbit has an annual Halloween party and plays the part of The Grim Rabbit. Americana singer-songwriter, Jim Lauderdale, performs at Pappy & Harriet's every spring in a show known as "Jim-fest."

Babes in Toyland had their first reunion show here on February 10, 2015. It marked the band's first performance in 14 years since their breakup in 2001.[5]

Use as a set[edit]

The building that houses Pappy & Harriet's has been used as a set in many films and television programs from the 1940s to the present.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e McManis, Sam (April 14, 2013). "Pioneertown relives a West that never was - Travel - The Sacramento Bee". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Devereaux, Jackie (August 16, 2012). "Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace – A Must See Wild West Saloon". Desert Star Weekly. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Hi-Desert Star - Yucca Valley, CA: Sawtooth Complex Fire". Retrieved October 14, 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ Briggs, Billy. "BABES IN TOYLAND – REUNION SHOWS FROM PAPPY AND HARRIETS (2.10) & THE ROXY (2.12)". Glide Magazine. Glide Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-02.
  6. ^,%20California,%20USA>

External links[edit]