Clifton, Arizona: The Cave (Gone)

Underground bar called The Cave was dug into the side of a mountain.

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Sign outside The Cave.

The Cave

Clifton once had another underground attraction in addition to its cliffside jail. There used to be an underground bar called The Cave dug into the side of a mountain. Originally a storage tunnel for a bar on Chase Creek (Clifton's main street), the tunnel was expanded to include one large room with lots of interconnecting tunnels. The Cave opened in 1933 at the end of Prohibition and evidently was THE happening bar in the '30s and '40s. One of its appeals was that inside the mountain, the temperature stays a constant 65 degrees. In 1951 it was moved to its current location, mostly because a family member got tired of having the entrance to the bar in the back yard. These days the entrance to the old bar is there if you know where to look, and the sign on US 191 that once pointed towards The Cave now also points in the direction of the new Cave, a dark basement affair that serves mighty cold beer, but just doesn't seem to have the appeal that drinking inside a mountain must have had.

[Dean Jeffrey, 07/16/2002]

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