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A saloon for all seasons

by John Fannin PROSSER – Whether you’re thirsty for a local homemade brew on tap, hungry for a hearty helping of pulled pork or seeking a flair of the wild west, Prosser’s Horse Heaven Saloon pretty much fills the bill. Owned by Gary Vegar, a former assistant superintendent with Sunnyside schools, the saloon is an extension of the Horse Heaven Hills Brewery he founded in 2009. Vegar and wife Carol opened the saloon in late 2013 and it has been a Sixth Street landmark in old downtown Prosser ever since. Décor details abound, including western-themed murals both fanciful (winged horses) and historic (Prosser circa 1905). The seasonal menu has all manner of details, ranging from orange-ginger salmon to banana and pecan pancakes. There’s also a bit of the unpredictable at Horse Heaven Saloon. The murals include quirks such as a nod to Dr. Who – look for it, you’ll find it – and a life-sized portrait of Clint Eastwood during his spaghetti western days. Something for all palates…both artistic and gastronomical…sounds like a slice of heaven – Horse Heaven – on earth.

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Photo by John Fannin

Horse Heaven Saloon’s exterior on Prosser’s Sixth Street conveys themes of the old west found on murals painted inside.

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Photo by John Fannin

Made of old-growth Douglas Fir re-purposed from a nearby downtown Prosser building, the Horse Heaven Saloon bar makes for an impressive centerpiece.

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Photo by John Fannin

Old combine wheels help form a barrier wall to separate a dining area from the bar.

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Photo by John Fannin

No detail is overlooked at Horse Heaven Saloon. The exterior door handles add to the wild west flair as they are replica calvary single action revolvers. The interior door handles are modeled after Winchester rifles. The saloon’s front doors are made from Brazilian Purple Heart wood used in area hop kilns during the processing of hops used for flavoring and preservation of beer.

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Photo by John Fannin

The murals feature a touch both personal and regional in nature. This doorway painting by Herb and Allyson Leonhard depicts “Indian,” the horse that saloon co-owner Carol Vegar rides, and Prosser’s downtown cats.

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Photo by John Fannin

Larger than life murals gallop off the walls, forming an enjoyable backdrop for patrons at Prosser’s Horse Heaven Saloon.

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