The Most Remote Bar In America: Welcome To The Desert Bar


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Desert Bar

In 1975, Ken Coughlin — no relation that we know of to Tom Coughlin, the former Giants head coach —  was living in Wisconsin and purchased a remote piece of land that was part of an old mining camp in the desert of Arizona, with the desire to open a bar. He had no idea how people would find out about it, or how they’d get there, as the five-mile stretch of road is a treacherous path that can leave most cars without a suspension, but he went ahead and opened it anyway.

After eight years of figuring out how he’d get water to the location — he wound up hauling water in on the back of his truck inside 50-gallon drums; luckily there’s now a well — he finally opened in 1983, starting with just five stools and a bar. People started to show up. Those simple five seats didn’t last for long. With the increased demand and attention, Coughlin began constructing new buildings every year, always with plans in his head for more improvements and additions. At this point, there seems to be a whole city built in the desert, with buildings, patios and multiple places to wet your whistle — we like to think it’s everything a desert oasis should be. And the bar is a constant work in progress; it’s never totally completed and it probably never will be.

Open on weekends from October through April, the bar’s popularity has actually been known to cause traffic jams along the dirt road visitors must travel to get there. On the weekdays, though, Coughlin has the bar all to himself — he lives in a home he also built on the property — and he’s come to appreciate the desert’s peaceful solitude.

The only advice Coughlin has listed on his website for people who wish to make the journey out to see him one weekend is this: Bring Water. Drive Safe. Bring Cash. And Obey The No Trespassing Signs.

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