The Saloon or the Wretched Hive
is where all men and women gather after a rough day out in the west, to make sure the place keeps the taps a flowing, the dancers dancing and the wenches wenching. The Saloon Owner is the guy to turn to. He is often connected to almost everything that goes within the pub from the Bounty Hunter
who just came by for quick respite being finding his quarry, the Railroad Baron
who has come to get frisky with one of the dancers or The Gunslinger
who just busted several jawbones. The Saloon owner is pimp, crime boss and owner of an ill establishment.
The Saloon owner has two different varieties, sometimes he is the somewhat sympathetic owner of a pub and is willing to help the sheriff or the protagonist out for the right price. Other times he is a ruthless bastard who cares nothing but power and is the de facto mayor of the town and this is his barracks as the clients are more than willing to help him for free service.
If the Saloon Owner's a miss, she is usually of the kinder sort, but not always. But you best be warned, most of the people working there are their eyes and ears. So depending on their moral fabric, some may bring you in to the deputy and others will use you for their personal gain.
See also: Miss Kitty
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- Skinny, from Unforgiven. Decides to put Ned's corpse on display (or was told to by Little Bill), prompting Clint Eastwood to blow him down with a shotgun and deliver one of the best lines of his career: "He should've armed himself, if he's gonna decorate his saloon with my friend."
- In Yojimbo and its remakes, the Nameless Protagonist is helped by the local tavern owner.
- Milt, the owner/operator of the saloon in Tombstone where the Earp brothers set up their card game. He really only has one scene and doesn't do much; he's mostly memorable for not believing Wyatt when he introduces himself.
- Mr. McGarrity in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn owns the saloon where Johnny Nolan indulges his alcoholism. He's a Jaded Washout type with rotten kids (he wanted a "refined" family and it's specifically mentioned that he hoped his children would be ashamed of him for owning a saloon; instead, they're proud) and a wife who fits the typical female mold of this character and cheats on him with the patrons. To combat the disappointment of all this, he begins to live vicariously through Johnny, listening to his stories about his wife and children and pretending they're his own, and even tries ineffectually to get in with Katie after Johnny dies.
Live Action TV
- Bea Arthur's part in The Star Wars Holiday Special was as the saloon owner of the cantina (yes, that one) on Tatooine which was inexplicably shut down by the Empire. A nice but gruff character, she treats all her customers to one last round on the house before singing a farewell song.
- In Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Hank is the owner of the town saloon. He is mostly a Jerkass, but has some Pet the Dog moments.
- Quark in Deep Space Nine is a futuristic version, with synthehol for booze and holosuites instead of prostitutes.
- Lou and Becky from Fallout 2 are the Pub Owners in Redding and The Den. Compare to their competition, they are tough yet honest. Lou actually lampshades you on how the hooker you just bought out is merely using the money to buy more jet. However the rest are usually much less honest and honorable.
- Fallout 3, in contrast, has Colin Moriarty, the inexplicably Irish owner of Megaton's main saloon. He lets his browbeaten ghoul debt-slave Gob serve the drinks, forces his worker Nova to prostitute herself to customers, and has the connections and blackmail material to rival Sheriff Simms as Megaton's boss. He's part of the main questline, so players will have to either bribe him (or break into his files) for information on where to go next, though he'll also offer you payment if you go kill his former worker Silver, since she ran out on him. Many players enjoy making the world a better place by killing Moriarty, so that Gob takes over the bar, Nova stops selling herself, and Silver starts a new life in peace.
- Trudy of the Prospector's Saloon in Goodsprings is the nice kind. She is willing to help form a militia when the Powder Gangers came knocking, though you have to sweet-talk her first.