Dick's Cafe in St. George

WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY     (Washington County, Utah)

DICK'S CAFE

St. George, Utah

LOCATION

114 E. St. George Blvd.
St. George, UT 84770
Telephone 139                           in the 1941 telephone book     (Dick's Cafe)
Telephone 139                           in the 1954 telephone book     (Dick's Cafe)
Telephone ORchard 3-3841       in the 1958 telephone book     (Dick's Cafe)
Telephone ORchard 3-3841       in the 1961 telephone book     (Dick's Cafe)
Telephone 673-3841                   in the 1972 telephone book     (Dick's Cafe & Gift Shop Inc)

The cafe was closed and the building demolished about 1999.


HISTORY

E. N. "Dick" Hammer came to St. George from California at age 29. At first he was employed at the Beaver Dam Lodge on Highway 91 and later at the Liberty Hotel in St. George. He was a restless fellow who tended to be a promoter. He opened an 8-stool hamburger stand in 1935 on the highway in downtown St. George when there was only one thin line of hardtop with plenty of dust on either side. From his profits and savings, Hammer expanded the site into Dick's Cafe with its horseshoe counter and two dining rooms accomodating more than 200 customers.

The atmosphere there was attractive not only to tourists and motel guests, but also to locals. It became a unique institution, partly because the Robert Redford movie, The Electric Horseman, featured the cafe's interior. John Wayne became a close friend of Hammer's. Other stars who frequented Dick's Cafe included Jane Russell, Gabby Hayes, and Slim Pickens. The cafe boasted a lot of photos and movie memorabilia. A regular morning coffee bunch spun yarns and talked politics.

Hammer was involved in the early Southern Utah Western movie industry. He also worked in many Westerns as an extra and stunt man. He competed in and announced rodeos. He had a small part in Stallion Canyon.


PHOTOS

Dick's Cafe in the 1930s
WCHS-00858   Outside and inside during the 1930s
        Dick's Cafe in the 1950s
        WCHS-00859   Dick's Cafe in the 1950s
 
Dick's Cafe
WCHS-00860   Dick's Cafe
        Dick's Cafe at night
        WCHS-00862   Dick's Cafe at night
 
Dick's Cafe
WCHS-00861     Probably in the 1980s
        Dick's Cafe
 

Dick's Cafe
WCHS-01391   Dick's Cafe

Front of a Dick's Cafe business card
WCHS-01810   Front of a business card
        Back of the Dick's Cafe business card
        WCHS-01810   Back of the business card
 
Front of a Dick's Cafe business card
WCHS-01813   Front of a business card
        Back of the Dick's Cafe business card
        WCHS-01813   Back of the business card
 
Other WCHS photos:
WCHS-02035     Photo of the inside of Dick's Cafe
WCHS-02036     Photo of Dick's Cafe in St. George
WCHS-02037     Photo of Dick's Cafe in St. George


REFERENCES

Whatever happened to ... Famous Dick’s Cafe?
by Tom Wharton
The Salt Lake Tribune,   May 19, 2015