A Legendary Landmark
The Crazy Horse Saloon & Grill is a historic landmark in the vibrant heart of the Sierra Foothills. Built on an expansive foundation of colorful history, we feel like every day in Nevada City presents the opportunity for a new adventure.
Our identity is synonymous with world-class live music, elevated bar food using organic ingredients, a full range of libations, sporting spirit and an overriding comfort factor that makes us a home away from home for many.
The genesis of the Crazy Horse extends all the way back to 1862 when Nevada City was the epicenter of the gold rush. It is located just a half block from the border of what used to be a booming Chinatown. Sadly, the whole neighborhood was destroyed by fire in 1880. The first existing records of the building are from 1885 when it was J.J. Jackson’s Grocery. He was the mayor of Nevada City and quite an eccentric character, so the stories go.
After changing hands a number of times, the thread which links the past to the present began to be woven in earnest. In 1965, Ray Dallugge bought the place and fulfilled its destiny as a watering hole. He put his son Vince in charge of what was then Chief Crazy Horse Inn and Trading Post Tavern. Years before, Vince spontaneously hopped on a horse to ride in a local parade while donning ceremonial Native American attire. He was coined Chief Crazy Horse and the name quickly aligned with the identity of his establishment.
The Crazy Horse has always attracted a melting pot of diverse individuals, much like Nevada City itself. Anyone who frequented the saloon from the 60’s through the 90’s tends to reminisce fondly with wistful eyes and a mischievous smile. While we embrace nostalgia, we’re more focused on making new memories. We consider Nevada City to be one of the most culturally charmed, socially diverse small towns in the country. The Crazy Horse encapsulates many of its finest qualities. Good humor, progressive ideals, camaraderie and musically-induced euphoria are continually flowing within these walls.
The current chapter of Crazy Horse history began to be written in 2012. Serendipitous timing crystallized the opportunity for Terra Saxton to take ownership and lead a comprehensive renovation. The folding iron doors out front are the sole relics to the building’s origins. However, the spirit of the space transmits a palpable reverence of all that came before. Complementing the vintage western charm are captivating touches like imported Turkish light fixtures and modern art. The Crazy Horse staff is akin to a big family which inspires the saloon’s fun-loving vibe and all-inclusive attitude.
In August of 2019, Saxton sold the saloon to longtime bartender Kate Anderson. It has been a seamless transition as Anderson’s passion for the business runs as deep as anyone. The Crazy Horse is more than a bar, restaurant or live music venue. It’s the embodiment of a living, breathing legend, where the colorful essence of the past and fun-filled spontaneity of the present exist in harmony.