The Rancho Bar 7 was started as Jean’s Corral in 1937 by Jean and Lucille Salabert. Soon after opening Jean’s Corral, Jean Salabert came down with consumption (tuberculosis). At this point the timeline is not totally clear.
By the early 1940’s the bar part was in the hands of Ray and Peggy Bratton. The dining room was leased by Ted Woods and turned into a bakery run by his daughter, Judy, and called Judy’s Bakery.
In 1955 Ray and Peggy’s daughter, Sis Prince, and husband Bill, joined and took over the dining room to create the Bratton’s Bar 7. This transitioned to the Rancho Bar 7.
The Rancho Bar 7 sold one more time before it was purchased by the Brown’s and Killer’s in 1979. Tom and Bobbi Killer still own the Rancho Bar 7 today.
A story that Lucille shared with Tom Killer was that Jean and Lucille owned a bar on N. Tegner. Lucille took a cut for the house on all card games and saved a little from their sales every day until she bought the property for the Bar 7 without Jean’s knowledge. Lucille continued to save until 1937 when they built the building on the property. This is the building that the Rancho Bar 7 operates in today.
Lucille had saved enough money to purchase a back bar and other equipment from Brunswick, Balke, and Collander. This is still being used in the Rancho Bar 7 at the present time.
In 1942, at the age of 21, Wes Bodiroga went to work as a night shift bartender for Peggy Bratton. Wes continued to work at the Rancho Bar 7 until age 90 in 2010. He had put in 68 years of service to the Rancho Bar 7. Wes told Tom a story about the old days when Wickenburg was known as the “The Dude Ranch Capital of the World” and about the movie stars and numerous people from all over the country who visited Wickenburg. The ranch guests would come downtown to enjoy the nightly music and Wes would bring out wooden beer crates for them to sit on. Another story that Wes related was about the night a fight started and he had to come over the bar and take a gun away from a patron. Even though we lost Wes in 2012 his presence is felt at the Bar 7 daily.