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Saloon Owner

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The Saloon 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 everything that goes on 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 a 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 some other heroic character) out for the right price. Other times he is a ruthless bastard who cares for 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. May overlap with The Bartender, but usually, the bartender is hired help.



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  • Joan Crawford's Vienna from Johnny Guitar is one of the most iconic protagonist examples in Western films, with a sympathetic and tragic backstory moreover. She was a moll to gunslinger Johnny Logan who abandoned her, leaving her to find work as a showgirl and prostitute until she saved enough money to become a legitimate competent businesswoman. Vienna takes so much pride in her work that even when her saloon is targeted by the vengeful and evil posse, she pays off her employees and resolves to stay in the saloon and go down with her ship.
  • No Name on the Bullet: Well-dressed Henry Reeger owns the local hotel and saloon, and spends most of the movie as one of the many townsmen terrified that he might be the target of hired assassin John Gant. This causes Reeger to take part in several efforts to run Gant out of town through legal chicanery or mob force (although he remains more sympathetic than some of the others paranoid about Gant). It's never revealed why he thinks Gant is after him, although it's implied that Reeger might be a retired outlaw or saloonkeeper from a less peaceful town, given that Gant seems to know his name (although it isn't Reeger he's after) and twice addresses him as "Dutch", a nickname no one else in town has ever heard Reeger called before, and which makes him more nervous and defensive about Gant.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a futuristic version, with synthehol for booze and holosuites instead of prostitutes.


     Video Games  

  • Lou and Becky from Fallout 2 are the Pub Owners in Redding and The Den. Compared 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.

     Western Animation  

  • Cat R. Waul of An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is of the villainous variety, as his saloon is used as a powerbase for his ultimate plan. However, he also wants to make it a good saloon, which is why he hires the mouse with the enchanting voice (Tanya) as his personal diva.


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