behind the sauce

Our Restaurant

We specialize in providing world class customer service, gourmet quality food at a lower cost to you, in an casual atmosphere of history and country elegance.




Johnsville was founded in 1876 and named after William Johns who was the general manager of the Plumas Eureka Mine. The mine complex was started much earlier, in 1851, when a rich ledge of gold-bearing quartz was discovered midway up the mountain. The mine, a consolidation of four original claims, was owned and operated from 1872 on by a British firm, the Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company Ltd., of London.

Johnsville continued to grow and became the population center distributing goods and services to the miners; it was the third town on the mountain, after Jamison City and Eureka Mills. Approximately a year after fire destroyed Johnsville in 1906, the present building housing the Iron Door was built.

After producing an estimated $18,000,000, the mine slowed to a trickle in the 1890s...

Under a variety of ownership it was operated into the early 1940s. The nearby Jamison Mine produced about $2,000,000 more from the late 1890s until about 1919. In 1961 the Iron Door was established in the building which had housed a general store and post office. It is the only business establishment in Johnsville today. Population estimates vary widely; the mining payroll in the peak years was from 340 to possible 400, at least half of them being single men. The present population of Johnsville varies from 30 in the winter to 75 in the summer. Although Plumas Eureka State Park, part of the California State Park system, is an immediate neighbor, the historic community of Johnsville is all privately-owned property.

(The above information kindly furnished by George Ross of Graeagle, CA.)

Maziel Moriarity


This is Maziel Moriarity. Her portrait hangs on the wall of our restaurant. Maziel was a member of one of the original mining families that settled in the town of Johnsville during the gold rush era of the late 1800’s. Sadly, her life was very short and she passed away at the age of 10 from rheumatic fever. Although her time here was brief, her presence has remained throughout time and even still today.

It is common knowledge within the community and especially with restaurant employees that Maziel’s ghost resides in the upstairs section of the historic building. Restaurant staff will very matter of factly tell the stories of strange happenings, especially whenever someone attempts to remove her portrait or move it to another location. For that reason, it remains in it’s place, prominently displayed, as it always has. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a table within view of the portrait of the sweet little girl. Take a close look at her face and you’ll see that she had an old soul and note the evidence of difficult times behind those eyes. The ambiance of the dimly lit restaurant resonates through this picture and all the other antiques and old photos depicting the former mining town. Stepping into the restaurant is like stepping back in time.

modern Fine Dining in a

historic setting

In addition to our rich history, The Iron Door offers some of the best cuisine in the area and in a fine dining establishment. Our menu features perfectly-prepared steaks, prime rib, seafood, pasta creations and some German specialties like jaeger schnitzel. Our historic and beautiful bar area is worthy of a visit all on it’s own!