After nearly seven years sitting idle, Patagonia’s Misión San Miguel will again open its doors.
The forerunner of the Misión was built in 1915 as a private home. In the 1930s it became a cowboy tavern, where an occasional patron would ride his horse through the front doors and fire a few bullets into the ceiling. For many years it operated as the Big Steer Saloon, earning a reputation as a rowdy bar with good dance music.
The Big Steer closed in 2001. In 2004 it was purchased by Cecilia San Miguel, who also
owns and operates Velvet Elvis Pizza. She restored and rebuilt the structure, adding a concert stage, interior court with fountain, wine cellar and long bar, murals and antique architectural elements, all of which contributed to a uniquely appealing atmosphere. Its exterior appearance was transformed from cowboy saloon to Spanish mission.
La Misión opened in 2004 and once again became a popular place for locals, as well as patrons who came from as far as Green Valley and Tubac to enjoy the live music offered on weekends—including rock, flamenco, and blues groups from Tucson. But the business did not succeed financially and closed in 2008. The closure was a disappointment for many town residents, who enjoyed the musical performers, the striking murals, and the long, welcoming bar. Now, San Miguel is hoping to breathe new life into the landmark structure she restored, with scheduled events once again centered around musical performances.
The first will feature “flamenco nouveau” guitarist Robert Earl Longley. Longley, who refers to his style as “old world exotic, Latin, funk, blues, and Americana,” will perform songs chosen from his ten albums. His music has been described as “powerful, passionate and memorable.”
In addition to Longley, Dan Simonis, host of Arizona’s Americana Music Festival and the man behind the West Texas Millionaires, will preview tunes from his soon to be released new album. Songwriter/guitarist Roger Thoreson will also make an appearance.
The performance will be held on June 13. Doors open at 5 p.m., and food, catered by Velvet Elvis, will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. Beer and wine will also be be served. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.