Gold Dust Saloon / Thomas Tavern

536 5th

Jacob Thomas obtained a license to sell alcoholic beverages in David City in 1888 and opened the Gold Dust Saloon two stores north of the location shown in the photograph above. In 1909, the town voted to discontinue such licenses, causing the city to go dry. The Thomas family then operated a cafe and bakery for a time, and then later leased the building to Cram-McDonald Restaurant. In 1934, after Prohibition was repealed, the tavern reopened as Thomas Tavern at this location. The storefront was modernized in 1963.

During its Gold Dust days, the tavern had a wild-west atmosphere, with frequent brawls. A picket fence was used to separate the rowdy customers from the more genteel ones. The tavern remained in the Thomas family for four generations: Jacob, John, Albert, and Gerald. Thomas Tavern closed in 2011.

Thomas Tavern, 1963 before renovations. BBQ, Burgers & More, 2023.

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East side of 5th St, looking north from D St, 1904.
East side of 5th St, looking north from D St — 1904.

In the photograph above, Thomas Tavern would eventually be located at the site of the 4th building from the right.

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