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    KICKING UP OUR HEELS AT THE RUSTY SPUR white logo
BY DONNA GARCIA AND WARREN J. SPINDLER
A few years ago, visiting Scottsdale, Arizona for the first time, Donna wandered through Old Towne, a tiny neighborhood of the city, charming streets adorned with galleries, shops and restaurants. This section of Scottsdale is steeped in Old West history. She came across a little storefront bar, quite ordinary, a virtual hole in the wall, but with the welcoming twang of guitar strings coming from within. So, to escape the heat of high noon, she stepped through the swinging doors of the Rusty Spur Saloon.      
    
This summer, July 2010, returning to Phoenix with my dear friend, Warren, I insisted we go to Old Town, Scottsdale. Once again, in the lazy afternoon heat, we entered the Spur and were immediately surrounded by a cool, dimly lit, tiny place. Little did we know we were stepping into the oldest cowboy bar in Arizona, a genuine registered historic landmark.  (It even has a hitching post out front.)
    
 Friendly voices of “Hi-ya” greeted us. Several small tables lined the walls of this 800 square foot room, a few in the middle. As every afternoon and evening, there was live country western music. And never a cover charge!  This afternoon we heard a terrific guitarist-singer. He happened to be from West Chester, Pa., a town next to where Warren grew up, though both guys pulled up stakes several decades ago. This cowboy had us chuckling and singing along.  The house band “Psychobilly Rodeo Band” draws a crowd whenever they take the stage.

Jimmy Hornick on Guitar at the Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale, AZ as seen in American Public House Review
JIMMY HORNICK SINGIN' TO THE COWBOYS  . . . AND GIRLS

Looking around the place, every inch of the walls was decorated with dollar bills, license plates and assorted Western and some Eastern memorabilia. A cleaning service would be smiling should they be hired to tidy up The Rusty Spur, but those bills are there for good, symbols of good luck and tokens of the esteem folks feel for this iconic establishment. There's evidence on those walls that John Wayne and Clint Eastwood both bent an elbow there at one time.
  
The bar spans the mirrored back wall, bar stools side by side. We sat in the corner, next to two charming regulars, Myron and Rudy, both hat-clad and friendly.  We chatted about local history and lore and general all around Spur etiquette. Myron commented on the musician’s attire. Warren was fascinated to hear that the singer was wearing his cowboy hat correctly – straight on his head, one inch above his ears.

Photo by Warren J. Spindler and Donna Garcia   
Trent, Rudy, and Myron at the Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale, AZ as seen in American Public House Review
TRENT, RUDY, AND MYRON

Our bartender, “Trent”, served up a terrific Margarita and a series of great local and micro-brewed bottled beers, including 8th Street Ale from Four Peaks Brewing. Later, we wished we had grabbed some grub, as the hamburgers looked and smelled scrumptious.  And Warren coveted Trent’s brim.

Ron and Susan Anderson co-own the Rusty Spur, 2011 will be the 60th anniversary for the bar.  Ron and Susan bought it back on October 3, 2000.
    
Susan gladly told us each year they take down the dollar bills tacked up everywhere by a year’s worth of appreciative customers,  "We do a Bike Run in conjunction with taking down the bills and collectively donate all funds to a local charity."
    
We were also introduced to the Spur’s version of the shot glass, to our eyes, considerably larger than what we know back East. And, of course, the whiskey being poured, not measured by an electronic shot maker, but by a sympathetic barman. When we asked Myron what determines the amount of libation poured, he glibly remarked “the more pitiful the patron looked, the more whiskey showed up in the glass!”
    
And although there was a television on in the corner, it didn’t seem to hamper conversation, laughter, calls across the bar or listening pleasure of us all.
    
So, when in Phoenix, get to Scottsdale within its city limits. Head towards Old Town. It’s easy to find the Rusty Spur.  Arrive at noon, at happy hour or at the end of a night on the town. Step through that door. You’ll squint, sigh and smile in this honestly real cowboy saloon. You’ll probably stay too long. And you will vow to return.



Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale, AZ as seen in American Public House Review
THE RUSTY SPUR SALOON IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA


Jan Carritt on Guitar at the Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale, AZ as seen in American Public House Review
JAN CARRITT ON GUITAR PROMPTING SOME DEEP DIP DANCING

Cowboys at the bar in the Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale, Az as seen in American Public House Review
AN AUTHENTIC COWBOY EXPERIENCE




RUSTY SPUR SALOON

7245 EAST MAIN STREET

SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85251


Owner – Susan Anderson

480 - 425 -7787

www.rustyspursaloon.com

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horses tied up at the Rusty Spur Saloon in Scottsdale Arizona as seen in American Public House Review

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