The McKittrick Hotel and Penny Bar is the direct successor to the old Headquarters Hotel and Saloon built by Armando Bandattini in 1898. After the business was destroyed by fire in 1903, Bandattini rebuilt it here, in its original location at the center of town. Jean Iribarne later bought the hotel and operated it into the 1920's. The hotel was rebuilt once again in 1929 by Hugh Gene Devine who operated it until his death in 1937. He personalized it by putting a "D" above the front door. The McKittrick offered rooms, equipment, livery supplies, dry goods, food and drink to the oilmen and ranchers of West Kern County and became the social center for the area. Through boom times and depression, The McKittrick Hotel and cafe managed to stay in business through a series of successive owners.
In 1998, Mike and Annie Moore, who had leased the hotel for a short time in the early 1970's said that for "two cents" they would quit the business they owned in Eureka to buy the McKittrick Hotel and relocate here. And so they did, and The Penny Bar came into existence.
The hotel portion of the building had been closed for forty years, but instead of reopening it, the Moores' decided to concentrate their business on the bar and café. Starting with a large bucket of pennies, the Moores' began decorating the bar, the walls, the sign on the front of the building, and just about any flat surface they could glue Mr. Lincoln. Over 1,000,000 pennies later, The Penny Bar's unique beauty has achieved a fame that has stretched from coast to coast.
Television and newspapers have done stories about this unique establishment which has brought fame to this icon of a small Kern County town.