Saloon Etiquette

Prescott Palace Restaurant and Saloon

There were certain customs that had to be respected in the Old West Saloons. For example, it was considered coarse manners to inquire of another man’s last name. He might be hiding it for some reason and curiosity was considered impolite. Men and women’s pasts were their own business and prying was a serious faux paw. Another was never as a man the size of his herd. That was as personal as asking him how much money he had in the bank. Cattle were considered “hairy bank notes.”

It was customary to offer to buy the man standing next to you a drink. And it was considered an insult to refuse to let him buy you a drink. If a man confessed that he was down on his luck and he needed a drink, few would refuse him. However, if he ordered a drink and knew he couldn’t pay for it, he might wind up flying through them swing doors and picking himself up in the middle of the street.

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