Outer Range: Is The Handsome Gambler a Real Bar?

‘Outer Range,’ a blend of sci-fi and neo-Western, is a show that revolves around several big mysteries with a giant inexplicable time-traveling pit at the narrative center. The pit/time void materializes at the Abbot Family Ranch around the same time as a strange woman, Autumn’s entry into Royal Abbot and his family’s lives. As a result, as eerie things begin happening around the Ranch, the Abbot family finds themselves facing new revelations about their past and future. Simultaneously, an old feud with the rivalry Tillersons invites further trouble that threatens The Abbots’ complete ownership over their family land.

Thus, while the show dives headfirst into a mystery-filled narrative about time travel and its fallacies, it also remains a community drama at heart. Consequently, as with any small-town-based story, this show also sports a signature social hub, the Handsome Gambler Bar/Lounge, where characters often cross paths with one another. However, is there any real-life basis behind the on-screen bar?

The Handsome Gambler: A Fictionalized Small-Town Hotspot

The fictionalized narrative of ‘Outer Range’ employs fictionality for most elements, including characters, places, and plot devices. Therefore, within the fabricated Wyoming town of Wabang, The Handsome Gambler, a known local hangout spot, remains a similarly fictitious addition. While viewers may be able to spot identically christened establishments, such as Nashville’s Handsome Gambler Geist Bar + Restaurant, the Wyoming-based small-town dive depicted in ‘Outer Range’ remains confined to its on-screen depiction.

For the show, The Handsome Gambler’s scenes were shot at Bridge Blvd in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Even so, prop signage was used to distinguish and identify the bar as its on-screen branding. Similarly, the interior shots were filmed in a mix of Albuquerque I-25 Studios sound stage and Los Angeles locations. Thus, despite being a notable element of iconography for the show, The Handsome Gambler isn’t an actual place fans can visit.

Nevertheless, in-universe, the establishment serves its purpose of providing a convenient spot for different characters’ storylines to collide in a plausible turn of events. Furthermore, the general style of the bar shapes the town’s aesthetic, wrapping it up in familiarity and enigma all at once. Cyndy McCrossen, the assistant location manager on the show, spoke about the same, specifically the bar’s contribution to the show’s unique, timeless aesthetic.

“I don’t ever remember there being sort of a defined era for the show,” said McCrossen in a conversation with Den of Geeks. “It quickly becomes evident it is contemporary, but there’s a certain attraction to that aspect of being forgotten by time. For instance, the Handsome Gambler, the lounge the characters are in— that is timeless.” The second season further builds upon this idea by showcasing the bar’s longstanding presence in the town, dating back to even before the 1980s. Ultimately, the Handsome Gambler remains a crucial addition to the tale. Nonetheless, it lacks a real-life basis.

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