How it all began…

The legendary Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has been delighting locals and travelers alike since 1982, with its mesquite barbeque, live music, dancing, and friendly service. There is also a long history here. In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors with dreams of creating a living movie set — an 1870’s frontier town with facades for filming and interiors open to the public.

On the outside were stables, saloons, and jails, and on the inside, were ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Russell Hayden, and the Sons of the Pioneers (for whom the town was named) were some of the original investors and personalities who helped build and invent Pioneertown. More than 50 films and several television shows were filmed in Pioneertown throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s.

In 1946, where Pappy + Harriet’s stands today, was a facade used as a “cantina” set for numerous western films well into the 1950s. In 1972, Harriet’s mother, Francis Aleba, and her husband, John, purchased the building and opened “The Cantina”, an outlaw biker burrito bar. The Cantina rollicked for 10 years, and when it closed, Francis and John made sure the building stayed in the family.

In 1982, Harriet and her husband, Claude “Pappy” Allen, opened “Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace”. While the bikers still hung around, Pappy + Harriet’s presence created more of a family atmosphere. With family-style Santa Maria bbq and hearty comfort food and live music featuring Pappy and Harriet, P+H quickly became a local favorite with all walks of life getting along under one roof!

When Pappy died in 1994 his friends and fans flew from all over the world to be at P+H for a celebration of his life. Victoria Williams, a good friend of Pappy and touring partner wrote the song “Happy To Have Known Pappy” off her critically acclaimed record “Loose”, which talks about that day. Harriet sold the bar to a family friend who gave it up after a few years. The next owners were two New Yorkers who loved P+H and wanted to grow the business and see it back with more music and life the way it it was when they fell in love it. Several years later Joshua Tree National Park exploded with visitors, the secret was out, and Pappy’s because the place to be. Musicians from Paul McCartney to Lizzo, Lorde, Lucinda Williams, Arctic Monkeys, Robert Plant, Peaches and many more have graced the P+H stage. P+H patrons come from all over the world so you never know who you might have the most fascinating conversation with!

The legendary roadhouse is in trusted, new hands as of Spring 2021. A married duo that’s got history ranging from NYC, Kansas, Utah and Texas, as well as being longtime low and high desert denizens, are the new stewards. One with hair of silver, and one with red. Just like Pappy + Harriet. The legendary music venue, restaurant, and bar is a Country, Americana, Outlaw Country (and maybe a few local outlaws are sipping a cold one next to you at the bar) Indie Rock + Rock n’ Roll favorite with a vibe that can’t be matched. And it will stay that way. 

Pappy + Harriet’s continues the legacy and tradition of great bbq, good times and live music in memory of Pappy, Harriet, and all those who came for them, and after them!.