There’s been a place I’ve wanted to visit since the first time I heard about. It’s one of a kind at least in my area of the world. Since we would be traveling to Quartzsite and Phoenix along the I-10 in Arizona, I was hoping we’d have time to visit for a side trip.

What is it?

I know, you’re dying to know what I’m talking about! If you ever head to Parker, AZ or Lake Havasu you have probably heard of the Desert Bar or Nellie E. Saloon. It is a completely off-grid restaurant and bar sitting on an old mining camp where they have live music every weekend from October to April.

Church Steeple
1st Solar Panel Covered Patio at the Entrance


I get a jaunt to hear a little live music while sipping a chilled adult beverage and we can explore how this off-grid setup is built out. The road is a dirt road and very bumpy. It’s about 5 miles from the highway and can be very slow going. High clearance is mentioned but it isn’t necessary. The road is just rough, rocky and dirt. I’d never take my corvette (if I had one) on it, but a small sedan or SUV would be ok.

I found a Walmart at the northern end of Parker. Since we were towing jeep, it made sense to park Maximus at the Walmart, unhitch, and then drive the jeep in. It was crazy busy there and the lot was full of ATVs plus passenger cars and trucks. We could’ve driven Maximus but not sure we could’ve parked it easily; worked out better to just leave it behind and let Cooper relax and nap inside.

It’s curious to see how many solar panels (and where they put them) along with what type of battery bank and how large is it. Panels were used as patio covers and the batteries were in one huge area behind one of the main buildings. We show them in the video below.

The website, The Desert Bar, gives some background on the development of the land which started back in the 1980s.

The only gotchas that I picked up on are:

  • There’s no cheese for the burgers (can’t store enough of it to offer it)
  • Cash only (they can’t process electronic payment methods)
  • Cushions may make your stay more comfortable! As we arrived we saw several folks leaving with cushions in hand. But if you’re like us and didn’t plan on hanging out for hours, you can probably skip bringing a cushion.


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