The Pioneer Saloon was established in 1862, as the Humboldt Exchange Saloon. It changed hands and names the following year, becoming the Pioneer - a name it retains to this day. Celebrating its 150th birthday in 2012, the refurbished Pioneer Saloon is about to become the newest/oldest favorite watering hole in Susanville and Northeastern California.
The saloon has changed hands numerous times over the last century and a half, but always retained its authentic Western flavor. The saloon building has also variously housed a barbershop, bank, tobacconist shop and liquor store, snooker and pool hall, card room, dart league, outdoor beer garden, and served as a live band venue and dance hall, topping the list of local and regional favorite hang outs.
Above the back bar is a green wall covered with hand painted ranch brands, including “PX” next to the name “Bing Crosby”. The legend is that Mr. Crosby stopped in for a drink and bribed the bar owner to paint his name and the brand of his Elko, NV, ranch among the rest. Long time Pioneer Saloon owner and manager Henry Matteucci said he had the ranch brands added to the wall
“because cowboys and ranchers were my best customers.” Local folks still come in to point out their families’ names and brands. If you look closely, you can also still find three bullet holes in the wall.
The legendary saloon, now home to Lassen Ale Works, features pool tables and shuffle board in the back room, a barbershop in the front and one of the longest bars in the state of California - at 36 feet it is most likely the longest bar in Northeastern California. The back room is also home to the Lassen Ale Works brewing tanks, and patrons can sip and sample while watching the beer being made through the new “brew view” windows into the brewery.