Paisley’s charm was almost too good for John Steffes to turn away from when he made a motorcycle trip from Sandy to southeastern Utah, passing through the historic town last summer. So much so that he ended up purchasing the Pioneer Saloon recently from previous owners Terry and Sandy Leinbach.

Steffes said that a fellow biker gave him the route through Lake County for his trip with a stop at Summer Lake Hot Springs and the City of Paisley on his way. After leaving the area, he coincidentally came across Terry and Sandy in Susanville and talked to them about the sale.

After filing the paper work, he was back to Paisley to take the reins of the restaurant and bar.

With him are two experienced players in the restaurant industry. One met and worked with in the business in Portland and Colorado, Rebecca Steele, who will bartend and run the front of the house with 20 years experience behind her, opening five restaurant bars herself.

Helming the back of the house is Ben Breinstein as Pioneer Saloon’s head chef. Breinstein graduated from culinary school and has worked in restaurants for about seven years.

Steffes’ long-term plan is to get Pioneer Saloon running efficiently and then eventually go back to farming, a profession he had when he was located in Sandy. Along with getting a one-acre parcel of land for vegetable farming to be used at the restaurant, Steffes wants to contribute to the Paisley School lunch program. He reported that he talked with Paisley School’s Principal Bill Wurtz about the idea of a previous program at Lewis and Clarke Monetary School in Damascus. This would utilize students’ work on the farm to seed, weed and harvest vegetables to be distributed to seniors in the area with food.

“I would like to set up a program where they can work the farm, and the food can go to the lunch program,” Steffes added. Along with these efforts, he wants to contribute as a member of the community to local causes as well when and where it would allow.  

“The land is gorgeous, the whole area is beautiful,” said Steffes. “I am focused on making the restaurant so people can come for the food more than anything.”

Pioneer Saloon is located at 327 Main St. in Paisley and can be reached at 541-943-3289.

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