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The Dillinger gives music fans good reason to visit Boulder City

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Dig good music and good beer? Consider checking out the Boulder City venue.
Mona Shield Payne
Leslie Ventura

The Details

The Dillinger
1224 Arizona St., 293-4001
Daily, 11 a.m.-closing (food served until 10 p.m.)
Live music Tue-Sat nights, no cover

Grant Turner, owner of the Dillinger, has a saying: “If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly.” That mantra seems to fit Turner and his Dillinger crew, who will celebrate the restaurant and bar’s one-year anniversary next month.

Boulder City’s first consistent live-music venue since Matteo’s Underground Lounge closed four years ago has created an entertainment buzz on par with what you might find in Downtown Vegas. Turner (who drums in Boulder City band Dangerboner) brought in Tsvetelina Stefanova—keyboardist for BC bands Dude City and Same Sex Mary—to book, and Dillinger’s recent calendar serves as evidence of her local-scene knowledge: Rusty Maples, Dusty Sunshine, Zach Ryan and the Renegades and more. Upcoming shows include Washington band Hooves (August 23, with Dude City) and locals The Mysteries Gone (August 24) and The All-Togethers (August 25, with Texas’ The Lonesome Heroes). An anniversary block party on September 22 will feature The Clydesdale, Same Sex Mary and others. “[Turner and I] are always on the same page with everything,” Stefanova says. “We’re both musicians.”

Side of tunes: Marty Feick plays to an eatin’ and drinkin’ crowd at the Dillinger.

Side of tunes: Marty Feick plays to an eatin’ and drinkin’ crowd at the Dillinger.

Named for infamous bank robber John Dillinger, the modern Western bar is located across from the Historic Boulder Theater. There’s no indoor stage to speak of, so bands usually play on the patio. There’s also no cover to get in. On busy nights, the bar can feel wonderfully cramped, like when folks gathered outside to hear to Rusty Maples last Saturday. Paintings and sculptures of John Dillinger—by local artists Barret Thomson and Mike Eby—reside within the bar’s wooden walls, along with photos of Boulder City residents like drumming legend Sandy Nelson.

It’s clear the Dillinger is homegrown, a community effort from its décor down to its food. “We call it the tap water theory,” Turner says. “There’s something in the tap water. You get some of the best from every field in Boulder City.”

The Dillinger serves up some seriously palm-worthy burgers, paired with live music Tuesday through Saturday. The namesake Dillinger comes served with beef brisket atop a burger patty. Or, in keeping with the mobster theme, you can order a Baby Face Nelson, a Capone or a Bugsy.

Thirsty? Microbrews on tap include favorites from Dogfish Head, Rogue, Deschutes, Lagunitas and New Belgium. And the Dillinger now offers Craft Beer Mondays, during which you can try three different crafts until kegs run out. We’d advise getting there early.

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