The Golden West is the oldest bar in Fort Bragg, and some say it’s the oldest business in town. It is the last one standing of the 100 bars that served thirsty loggers in the early days of the town, and also took care of other needs in the brothel upstairs. In those days, the town’s red light district was bordered by Laurel, Redwood, Main, and Franklin streets – then, as now, the heart of historic downtown Fort Bragg. Instead of rough and ready pioneers ready to blow off steam after a long week at the mill, you’ll mostly find art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in this area now, but the Golden West remains a testament to those long-ago days.
The oldest saloon in Fort Bragg, popular among locals and equally welcoming to visitors, the beautifully carved wooden bar holds a wide range of liquors
You’ll feel as if you stepped back in time when you step into the Golden West. Habituės from more than a century ago would still feel right at home here, and the impressive wooden bar might be the same one they knew. Then as now, the bar is popular among locals, stopping in for a drink after work, meeting friends, or having a nightcap, but is equally welcoming to visitors, who will feel as comfortable as locals do, bellying up to the very well-stocked bar.
The current owners were patrons in their youth, and when they returned to Fort Bragg to raise their family they took the helm of this cornerstone of the community. They’ve loved it and looked after it well, restoring it while retaining everything that made it amazing.
The beautifully carved bar holds a wide range of liquors, and there is truly something for everyone’s taste, from beer on tap to fine old bourbon to rare whiskies and small batch gin. While retaining the heart of a Victorian saloon and the soul of a neighborhood bar, the Golden West’s bartenders can make you a fine martini or an artisan cocktail. Just don’t expect a fancy drinks menu or any pretension. That’s not on the menu.
As you might expect from a classic bar, there are pool tables, shuffleboards, and a jukebox. The atmosphere is laid back and convivial.
Don’t miss the make your own Bloody Mary bar on Sundays, the perfect way to start off a leisurely Sunday or repair the effects of an overly festive Saturday night. The convivial barkeep will give you a glass of vodka and ice, and you do the rest, choosing how much tomato juice, lemon, Tabasco, and garnishes like celery and pepperoncini your heart might desire.
The Golden West is located at 128 East Redwood Avenue in Fort Bragg. Open daily from noon until 2:00 am. Open mic night on Mondays. Wheelchair accessible. Call (707) 964-5914 for more information.