In 1852, this family-friendly establishment started serving whiskey from an "?obligatory' plank over two flour barrels," making it California's oldest bar. Now it's the colorful anchor to a city block of businesses (including a soda fountain and a general store), with scads of dollar bills hanging from the ceiling alongside rusted mining equipment, a menagerie of taxidermy, and odd little displays on such topics as the origin of Groveland's name and the career of Black Bart. The menu is fairly basic, with steaks and burgers and poultry as well as fresh fish and pasta. You can eat in the 150-year-old bar or the adjacent dining room, which is more upscale with tiled floors, rock walls, and historic photographs. Lunch features wraps and salads (and floats and shakes from the soda fountain). The food and service don't quite live up to the colorful atmosphere, but the Iron Door is a can't-miss nonetheless.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010