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Whatever happened to ... Famous Dick’s Cafe?

First Published      Last Updated Jul 07 2015 05:58 pm

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Sharee Jones, who has preserved many photographs of the cafe and the barbershop where Hale, her father, worked, said she remembered the John Wayne memorabilia that seemed to be everywhere.

"The old cowboys would sit around the bar and eat breakfast without their wives' knowledge," she recalled. "There was a great family atmosphere."

Learn about her book of images of the cafe here.

According to the historical society, Hammer came to St. George from California when he was 29, first working at the Beaver Dam Lodge in nearby Arizona and then at the Liberty Hotel in St. George.

"From his profits and savings, Hammer expanded the site into Dick's Cafe with its horseshoe counter and two dining rooms accommodating more than 200 customers," according to the society.

The Western theme fit Hammer's interests. According to his obituary, published in the Deseret News after his death on Jan. 3, 1997, at the age of 94, Hammer was an accomplished horseman and cowboy who worked in many Western movies as an extra and stunt man.

Knell said Hammer served as an announcer at the Dixie Roundup Rodeo and was an expert horse cutter. He had a statue of his prize horse in the parking lot.

According to his obituary, Hammer served as president of the Intermountain Quarter Horse Association, director of the American Quarter Horse Association, president of the Utah Restaurant Association and was a lifetime member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.

Hammer's support of local tourism earned him spots in both the Utah Tourism and Utah Restaurant Halls of Fame.

Hale said that Hammer never owned the building or the property Dick's Cafe was located on until the late 1970s, when silver prices skyrocketed. Hammer collected silver dollars from barbers and customers. He used those to buy the building and property.

The cafe was closed in 1999 and demolished. The site is now the location of the Cache Valley Bank building.

Hale said some of the photos and memorabilia that used to hang at Dick's Cafe can now be seen at the Wagon Wheel Cafe in St. George.

As for Famous Dick's Cafe, it's just a good memory these days, though one that can be enjoyed by watching "The Electric Horseman."


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