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In 1888 J. Campbell operated a saloon at 1236-1238, the original site of the PINE STREET SALOON before the 2003 San Simeon Earth-quake.  For many years, back then it served as a saloon, a billiard parlor and a card room.  It was one of the oldest brick structures in Paso Robles.  South and right next to the building at 1234 Pine Street where now the famed PINE STREET SALOON is kicking up dust nightly, the brick building that housed the first PINE STREET SALOON was completed in 1865, if not sooner.   "In 1971, Pat French bought the bar, when it had the only beer license and was called the Red Door.  Ms. French and Jim Johnson, the local sheriff's deputy, began collecting the mirrors, beer signs and other memorabilia that now cover the walls of this popular landmark and civic treasure."  In 1980 PINE STREET SALOON went through a remodeling session and at a time the name was changed from the Red Door to what is now known as "The PINE STREET SALOON".  In 1996, the Saloon started serving liquor from a full bar.  In 2001, the Saloon moved next door to its current location at 1234 Pine Street.

The trail was the main link between the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. When the S.P was built in segments in the 1870's and 1880's it followed the El Camino Real.

Pine Street and Skid Row Area Saloons​

In 1889, the same year that Paso Robles was incorporated as a city, construction began on a magnificent new hotel.  The hotel required over one million bricks and cost $160k.  The new El Paso de Robles Hotel opened for business in 1891.  Many of the buildings from that time period were built of these bricks.

Spring Street was once an ancient trail that came up from the ocean where Native Americans of the Salinas tribe had settled the area around North County and the Salinas River Valley for thousand and thousands of years...later called:

  • Old Spanish Mission Trail
  • El Camino Real
  • The Royal Highway
  • The Kings Highway
  • California Mission Trail
  • The 101

The road actually follows part of the San Andreas Fault.

The two-story redwood building, with the "Western False Front", which at the time, was for sure not "False" in that it was built during the true days of the wild west.  The exact date is not known but figuring right now might have been the present-day location of the PINE STREET SALOON was built 1857 circa.  Back in those early days it had a narrow balcony at the second-floor level. Old records give some indication, that the first floor was used as a saloon, and the second floor a boarding house, and as story again tells... a Bordello.  You can just see the ladies of the night out on the balcony luring the cowboys and ranchers up to their rooms...sometime in those early days it housed the Cosmopolitan Hotel and a saloon.  In the 1890's it was known as the Young Hotel.  It was a popular hotel where delicious food was served at reasonable rates.  In 1960, it became the Estrada Bar.  But, now and maybe forever known as the PINE STREET SALOON.

Known as "skid row" but the reference is from the logging days when logs were laid down to have horses to pull the logs along the logs to move them...it was prior called "skid road", where the road was a track made of peeled logs half buried in the ground...the term was associated with loggers, as you might have guessed, such that the part of town called that was where the loggers would hang out and spend their free time.  Just down Pine Street at 840 11th and at the corner of 11th and Pine was the Municipal Bath House and was a huge tourist and health attraction.  This is now a candy store, but if those walls could talk...1244 Pine Street in 1922 originally the Highway Hotel

Paso Robles, Wine, Cowboys and Pine Street

Written by: Benford "Buffalo" Standley​

Stage coaches, wagon trains, cattle drives, medicine shows, hucksters, health seekers, wine drinkers, miners, travelers, migrant farm workers, oakies, snake doctors, carpet beggars, cowboys, travelers on the Camino Real, people looking for the dream, and all coming to Paso Robles for the healing hot springs...coming down ole Spring Street...to what is now 10th and Spring to bath in the original Springs, that has now been covered with a parking lot.  There were a number of drug stores and other stores selling waters, tinctures, healing herbs, massages, and other healing related medicines and services.  Fact is the town was built on the healing business centering around the hot springs and the hot mud.

Visitors could stay in touch with the rest of the world, as there were two daily mails, a Western Union telegraph office, and a Wells Fargo agency with special rates for guests. As the springs became more and more a destination of the well-to-do as a place to go to socialize, the original purpose of the springs to heal became peripheral.

Right next to Ray's Card Room is the original PINE STREET SALOON, just to the right is the wood structure that is now the PINE STREET SALOON where you see the truck on the far right parked in front of the Saloon.

1234 Pine Street Paso Robles CA 93446 us              +1.8052381114            pinestsaloon@gmail.com

1901 Business Directory List, 15+ Saloons in 1901

After two years on the road with Merle Haggard working with him on his documentary and his work with me on my documentary on the Father of Country Music, I needed to leave the road and hang with my kids in Paso Robles.  When I mentioned to Merle that I was going to live in Paso back in 2006, he said, "Hey...What is the name of the old Saloon there?"   I said, "Hmmmm, Pine Street Saloon."   He said, "Yep that's it...I remember it from my days traveling out of Bakersfield." Hag was always complaining that there are so few Saloons left, now's there only theaters and big concert arenas.  He would say, "I'm a bar band and I am running out of places to play."  On the Department of Parks and Recreation Historic Resources Inventory regarding the Pine Street Saloon building it says, "This two story structure is one of the oldest buildings in down town Paso."  Rumor has it that in the late 1800's saw a raw wild west section of town down Pine Street, where cattle men drove herds into town, where cowboys partook of refreshments in one of the 15 saloons.  There were 3 banks in town during these times.  On Pine Street, also known as "skid row" every Saturday there were horse races as entertainment for cattlemen, ranchers and town folks.  It is said that these were going on during the days that Jesse and Frank James were hanging out in town, unknown to most people...

Spring Street, Paso Robles

Spring Street at 3rd looking North toward the town in 1900

Spring Street at 3rd looking North toward the town in 1900