Afternoones, Staten Island, NY
Donny Dirk's Zombie Den, Minneapolis, MN
The Tank Room, Kansas City, MO
Hank Dietle's Tavern, Rockville, MD
While working on the book about our year of traveling to a bar in every state, one of the great moments of serendipity was finding a bar named “Church and State” a few blocks from the church where we were staying in Washington, D.C.
The bar was at the top of a dark staircase, and the decor was reminiscent of an old church building with pews, pastor’s office, and stained glass. The drinks, on the other hand, were all-American, focussed on ingredients from the Western Hemisphere. We really enjoyed chatting with various staff members, including the lobbyist-by-day bartender.
goal of visiting a church and a bar in every state, and we were encouraged to think we could accomplish that goal. So we were sad this week when we found that the bar is closing at the end of the month.
When we looked back at the bars we visited in 2016, we discovered that three others -- Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den in Minneapolis, The Tank Room in Kansas City (Missouri), and Afternoones in Staten Island (New York) have closed. Another, Hank Dietle’s Tavern in Rockville (Maryland), suffered a devastating fire this winter, but volunteers and donors -- and even the governor of Maryland -- are working to rebuild. It was (probably) the oldest bar in Maryland, with (possibly) the first liquor license issued after Prohibition, and we're glad to think we could walk in again someday.