In Paradise, Nevada, Mercedes Murphy, with her partner Slick Barney, owns and operates a saloon and dance hall called the Red Hen. A tough businesswoman while at work, Mercedes exhibits a tender side at home where she lives with her sister Olive. When a reform waves hits Paradise, the Reverend Gavin McGregor sets up a church next door to the saloon. Initially opposed to the church, Mercedes is so moved by the reverend's sermons that she orders her dance hall closed. Soon after, she discovers that Olive's virtue has been compromised and, believing that the minister is the cause, begins a vigorous campaign against the church. When it is uncovered that it was Barney and not the reverend who betrayed Olive, however, Mercedes orders the saloon closed forever and is preparing to leave town with Olive when the reverend professes his love for her and begs her to stay.