Dillon’s Grill has a short but interesting architectural and business history. Many of the families involved in its history are still members of the Prineville community today. Lot 2 of the property supported early transportation with liveries, food stores and blacksmith shops. In 1895 L. Dillon purchased the site and connecting parcels running north to Ochoco Creek. He constructed and opened "Dillon's Saloon and Livery" where he became known for rolling and selling his own cigars and cigar boxes on Lot 2. Because of the colorful history of the region, the Saloon was nicknamed “Blood and Buckets.”
In 1901 the site changed hands, Swalley and Son opened a blacksmith shop just north of Dillon's Livery and Feed Station. W. H. Young purchased the business from Swalley in 1903. Alex Baldwin purchased Dillon Feed Yard and opened a livery stable called "Baldwin's Barn" from 1907 - 1908. The newspaper reported that Mr. Baldwin died from injuries sustained in a horse accident in April of 1908. From 1908 - 1910, the livery site was then run by a series of businessmen, including B.F. Wilhoit and J.M. Montgomery. In October of 1910, Hughes and Lee bought Young's blacksmith business and continued to offer the community blacksmith and farrier services out of the shop. In 1918 the site changed its longstanding use when A.M. Hardenbrook opened a vulcanizing business.
In 1905, J.G Cantril purchased Lot 3 to open a livery stable at the Old Dillon Stand, according to the Crook County Journal (November 16, 1905). This site also housed a farrier business operated by F.J Cramer. In 1906, the team of Ennis and Hill formed a company to buy, ship and market horses from Crook County. They leased the Dillon’s Feed yards and used them as a department division.
In 1905, a saloon called "The Bucket," opened on the site. RC Danly owned "The Bucket." Historical notes on early photographs and oral history passed down since then refers to the saloon as "THE BUCKET OF BLOOD" a reminder of the original nickname for Dillon’s Saloon and livery “Blood and Buckets”.
In 1908, Crook County became a dry county for one year. White & Gullford acquired the saloon in 1909. They opened a soda works in the old Bucket Saloon, manufacturing soda pop. A confectionery store was connected to the soda-works.
In 1928, the buildings burnt down and the property was used by BLM and others as a storage site until 2001. Dillon’s Grill opened in 2006 with restaurateurs Ken & Glenna Nelson, who also owned and operated Club Pioneer – a historic restaurant established in 1942 in Prineville. In 2013, Jim & Donna Roths proudly became the current proprietors of both Club Pioneer & Dillon’s Grill.
Dillon’s Grill exists to be a fun & casual local destination where people gather to enjoy good food and good friends. The location itself is a treasured gem to remind us of Prineville’s humble beginnings and celebrate the success of our wonderful community. We welcome you to stop in and enjoy the friendly folks, authentic BBQ, gourmet burgers, and our ever-growing selection of Northwest craft beers.