Saloon No. 10 (657 Main St., 605/578-3346, www.saloon10.com, Sun.–Thurs. 8 a.m.–2 a.m., Fri.–Sat. 8 a.m.–4 a.m.) is an Old West saloon with a great bar and restaurant in addition to its gaming rooms. Billed as the only museum with a bar, the saloon is filled with historic artifacts and bears the name of the place where Wild Bill Hickok was killed while playing poker in 1875.
The original Saloon No. 10 burned down in the fire of 1879, and was across the street from the current location—but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone, as the new Saloon No. 10 reenacts Wild Bill’s death several times a day during the summer months. The bar is a favorite of the younger crowd, featuring rock and roll most nights of the week. The quieter Martini Bar (summer Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–1 a.m., winter Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.) is located upstairs.
Head to the Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall (622 Main St., 605/578-1100, www.visitluckynugget.com) for entertainment beyond the scope of gaming. One of the biggest establishments in town, the Lucky Nugget offers several entertainment venues. The Wild Bill Bar (summer daily 8 a.m.–2 a.m., winter Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–2 a.m.) features karaoke on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights and frequently hosts trivia contests.
Calamity’s Saloon & Grill (summer daily 8 a.m.–2 a.m., winter Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–2 a.m.) hosts rock and roll or alternately modern country music every weekend beginning at 9 p.m. Upstairs, look for stand-up comedy and theater performances in the Bella Union Theater. Check with Lucky Nugget staff for events at the time of your visit.
If you’re up for dancing, check out the Buffalo Saloon (658 Main St., 605/578-1162, www.buffalo-bodega.com, summer daily 8 a.m.–2 a.m., winter Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–midnight, Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–2 a.m.) at the Buffalo Bodega Complex. On Friday and Saturday nights 10 p.m.–1:30 a.m., you’ll find a DJ and a dance floor. It’s all about buffalo in this saloon. There are portraits on the wall made out of buffalo nickels and there are some buffalos hanging from the ceiling—rope buffalos, that is, made from over three miles of rope.
Looking for a comfortable, cozy, small bar tucked away from all the casino noise? Bully’s (Bullock Hotel, 633 Main St., 605/578-1745, www.historicbullock.com, daily 7 a.m.–1 a.m.) serves a limited breakfast and brunch during the daylight hours, but at night it turns into a wonderful little bar to have a drink and share stories with friends.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition