About Us

How It All Began... 

The legendary Pappy + Harriet's Pioneertown Palace has been delighting locals and travelers alike since 1982, with its mesquite barbecue, 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 Tex-Mex cuisine and live music featuring Pappy, Harriet and their granddaughter Kristina, P+H quickly became a local favorite with all walks of life getting along under one roof!

Pappy died in 1994 and his friends and fans flew from all over the world to be at P+H for a celebration of his life. Harriet sold the bar to a family friend who gave it up after a year. The next owners were two women from New York who loved P+H and wanted to see it returned to its glory days. They bought the restaurant and music venue in 2004. Joshua Tree was becoming more and more popular and on the national radar and musicians started to catch wind of this special roadhouse in the middle of nowhere in the high desert. Musicians like Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Vampire Weekend, Lordes, and Lizzo.

New owners took over in Spring 2021 and P+H just keeps getting better...mostly, by staying the same! They know it's a magical place and are honored to keep the honky tonk roadhouse to end all roadhouses, trucking' along The way Pappy + Harriet always intended it to be. Even during a pandemic they've brought in incredible music and implemented COVID standards so people can get their music fix, safely.

Patti Smith, Paul Cauthen, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Lucas Nelson, Wynona Judd, Hailey Whitters, Jesse Daniel, Lucinda Williams, IDLES, and so many more have graced the P+H stages since April. The legendary venue is simply an enduring favorite with a vibe that can't be matched.

Lisa + JB proudly continue the tradition of live music, great barbecue, and good times in memory of Pappy, Harriet, and all those who came before them.