Planning a trip or looking for a local restaurant that will also fulfill your love of coins and currency? There is a tradition to stapling dollar bills on the ceiling of bars. Sometimes, with the name and date you were there, and who you were with; other times with stories, wishes, or drawings.
Many say this tradition has roots in the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush brought over 300,000 transplants to California and with the influx of people came the decline of resources and supplies. Many wasted all their money hoping for gold and never were able to make it home, thus staying, and making California their new home. The struggle for jobs, land, food, and other mainstays left people wondering how they could get home and encouraged new transplants to stow money in a safe place, like on the ceiling of a bar. They would write their names on their “Get Home” money and staple it to the ceiling of the local bar. If they did not find gold, they could come back to the bar, still having enough money to get back.
Another theory of how the tradition began is with sailors. Sailors we’re said to have tacked money to the bars before they left for sea. This is so when they returned, no matter what occurred on the trip, they would at the very least have enough money for a drink.
Regardless of the history of the tradition, it has become a common way for eclectic restaurants and bars to stand out and provide a unique atmosphere for their customers. We have rounded up a list of restaurants across the United States (well, mostly in Florida) that are famous for using cash as decoration!
McGuire’s Irish Pub | Destin, Florida
McGuire’s Irish Pub first opened in 1977 as a small neighborhood pub in a shopping center. In 1982 McGuire’s moved to its current location; Pensacola’s original 1927 Old Firehouse. Inside the pub you’ll find a turn-of-the-century, New York Irish Saloon themed 615-seat restaurant.
They are celebrated for their atmosphere boasting more than One Million signed dollar bills hanging from the ceilings and walls of the Pub. In 1996, a second location, McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin opened on beautiful Destin Harbor with the same great food and live Irish entertainment.
Willie T’s | Key West, Florida
Willie T’s Restaurant & Bar offers some of the best home cooking in Key West Florida. Offering everything from savory steaks to mouth-watering hamburgers. Coupled with large 10-foot screen TV’s for the latest sports game enjoyment and a variety of alcoholic beverages to choose from.
The ‘World Famous’ Willie T’s offers the perfect respite in the middle of all the action of Duval Street.They are known for our constant LIVE MUSIC, daily drink specials, delicious food and friendly service. Visit for a festive hangout for tropical drinks & Florida-inspired American eats in a mostly outdoor setting.
Siesta Key Oyster Bar | Sarasota, Florida
Siesta Key Oyster Bar (or as the locals call it “SKOB”) is a hangout with a laid back, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. When you’re at SKOB you feel right at home, like you’re hanging out with good friends on your back patio (although chances are the ceiling of your patio is not covered in dollar bills).
Of course there are burgers and wings – they just happen to be award winning wings and some of the most delicious U.S.D.A. Prime mouthwatering burgers you can get anywhere
From Raw Oysters and Fresh Fish to Crab Legs and Crab Cakes – there is something for everyone on the menu. And with over 21 beers on tap along with Domestic, Imports, and specialty bottled beer – you will not go away thirsty!
Cabbage Key | Pineland, Florida
Located in the Old House at the Cabbage Key resort, the open-air restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. The main room of the restaurant is nestled among live cuban laurels dripping with moss. Previous visitors have taped thousands of one-dollar bills to every surface. You can ask your server for a black marker and tape to add yours to the collection.
The front room is the old porch with a view of the marina and sound. Look around at antique fishing gear, classic Cabbage Key photographs and replicas of tarpon, snook and other game fish.
Known by many as “the bar with all the money on the walls”, the Cabbage Key bar has been serving up drinks to boaters for over 60 years. With active fire places, original hardwood floors and Cypress walls, the bar and the formal dining room make up the other two dining locations.
Cantina Captiva | Captiva Island, Florida
The final Florida based restaurant, Cantina Captiva is located within the Captiva Island Inn. Enjoy a spicy and unique atmosphere while savoring the fine Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.
A customer from TripAdvisor reviewed the Cantina as ‘Mexican in the Tropics’:
Cantina Captiva is our must have lunch while in Captiva or Sanibel. This last visit, we four ladies had great Margaritas, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas for lunch. Everything was excellent including our server. The prices are reasonable and the outside seating is very nice. Definitely worth trying!
The Soup Cellar | Leavenworth, Washington
The Soup Cellar was established in 1988. The current owners took ownership in 1994 and ever since have been striving to create an experience that offers the highest quality of service, food, and atmosphere
A TripAdvisor reviewer states:
What a fantastic experience! It is located in the cellar and the decor is like a bavarian pub. They offer a fantastic salad bar and a soup bar along with the many different brats and other german foods–great saurkraut. The people are very friendly and the service was great! The dinners have great portions on them–so enjoy! They have a big selection of various beers to try also. Very clean place–even the bathrooms!
Bill’s Gyro Souvlaki | Atlantic City, New Jersey
This restaurant is the perfect place to stop for gyro while you stroll along the Atlantic City boardwalk. TripAdvisor user reviews it as such:
This is quite the place. The atmosphere is best described as very Jersey but it’s worth it. We all got the gyro sandwich was fantastic. The spinach pie definitely left something to be desired but I also ate it after eating the whole sandwich. The onion rings were pretty good and the fries were decent, but the gyro sandwich is what made me give them such a good rating. There is seating (a lot of places on the boardwalk only have tiny areas or no seating at all. We had a party of 6 and figured 2 of us would sit at the bar but they immediately pulled another table up to seat us together. The staff was pleasant, competent, and efficient. I would definitely go back!
Tortilla Flat Superstition Saloon | Tortilla Flat, Arizona
This saloon is located in Tortilla Flat, an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this historic stop along the Historic Apache Trail.
A visit to Tortilla Flat isn’t complete without a stop in the Superstition Restaurant & Saloon. The decor alone will send you back in time, from the Saddle Bar Stools, to the walls of dollar bills from around the world. The food is incredible; the website says they serves the Biggest burgers, hottest chili, and coldest drinks everyday.
Dollar Bill Bar | Oatman, Arizona
If you’re looking for an ice cold beer on tap while enjoying a simple Americana bar with a twist, look no further than the Dollar Bill Bar. Patrons are encouraged to sign a dollar bill and then hang it on the wall, ceiling, or really anywhere they deem appropriate. They tout to have over $100,000 worth of bills covering their walls.
The Hideout Saloon | Mariposa, California
The Hideout Saloon is a saloon/pub in the Gold Rush Historic Downtown District of Mariposa. You can find 150 yr old dry stack rock wall throughout main bar, original bar wood floor repaired always with reclaimed local barn wood, and first growth Doug Fir original wood floors in secondary rooms.
The Saloon is open every day into the wee morning hours for all. With live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights with special performances as scheduled Sunday through Tuesday. Karaoke Wednesday nights. Open Mic always available for performance and jamming any time scheduled entertainment is not performing.