.Best Rural Dive for Day Drinking With Ag Legends

The Bar at the Dry Creek General Store, Healdsburg

The wine country is crawling with beautiful dives. We’ve got a dusty back-road bar for every little rural subregion. They serve as community churches of sorts, where locals can come and buy each other a cold one and swap dirt on what’s really happening around here. I, of course, am partial to mine. It’s called The Bar at the Dry Creek General Store, and it’s a beacon of the old way of life in the agricultural Dry Creek Valley outside Healdsburg.

The place is nearly 150 years old at this point. Its walls and ceilings are crawling with old ag paraphernalia—rusty tools, farm signs, hard hats, the works—and enough taxidermy to run off the faint of heart. Some of the barstools are saddles. There’s a “suggestion box” with a hole in the bottom that hangs over the trash can; it was a gift to the bar from a regular named Dry Creek Pat, who lives down the way and wears only camo.

Folks from all walks of rural life commune here: wine bosses, vineyard workers, tractor kings, bikers, fishers, matriarchs, pretty little things, etc. You can take your drink out on the front porch, where the vineyard vista—and the tourist watching—is unmatched.

Rachel, head bartender, runs a tight ship: Act the part of “drunken asshole,” and she’ll cut you right off. But if you just need some food in you, she’ll serve you up a jumbo hot dog with all the fixings—or better yet, a giant chunk of cheese with a pile of saltines on the side. Welcome to the dream life of a Dry Creek barfly.


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