The Sordid Past Behind Wyoming’s Most Famous Saloon
It's one of Wyoming's most famous watering holes.
The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is located on the town square in the heart of Jackson.
Established in 1937 it has hosted countless celebrities, presidents, royalty, cowhands, as well as people from all walks of life.
Seen on the state have been names like Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., Asleep at the Wheel, Hoyt Axton, Glen Campbell, Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson, Commander Cody, and the James Cotton Blues Band.
The bar provides live local and nationally recognized bands such as Carly Pearce and Midland.
As with most bars that started way back when the old place has a sorted past.
But, then again, it would not be interesting if it didn't.
One of the most-known and most-visited businesses on the Town Square has been serving locals and tourists alike since the early 1930s.
It was known then as Joe Ruby's Cafe & Saloon. It became the Cowboy Bar when Ben Goe, Sr. purchased the business.
In 1953, a gas explosion resulted in expensive repairs to the building, and the moniker "Million Dollar" was added to the name when the business officially reopened.
It would take more than a gas explosion that took out the basement and knocked patrons off their feet to close this business, regular ads in the newspaper declared uninterrupted service, although somewhat limited.
The blast sent two men sitting by the front windows onto Cache Street, who were thankfully unharmed because the plate glass windows had blown out milliseconds before them, and a woman reportedly lost the heels off her shoes.
The neon marquee was added in the 1940s, and the famous saddle barstools in the 1970s. Today the Cowboy is one of the longest-running businesses in Jackson. (Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum).