WASHINGTON — Generous donors are digging deep in their pockets in a bid to rebuild Hank Dietle’s bar after it was destroyed by a devastating fire Wednesday.
A GoFundMe account was quickly set up in the aftermath of the blaze that authorities believe was started by “smoking materials” on the front porch.
More than $6,000 was pledged in less than 24 hours.
The fund was set up to assist with the recovery efforts to “help bring Hank Dietle’s back,” according to information on the GoFundMe page.
The money will be used for cleanup, “to help employees who are out of work, musicians out of equipment and purchasing replacement items for rebuilt space,” according to the fundraising page.
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue arrived at the tavern on Rockville Pike around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. They encountered heavy flames, but managed to get the scene under control.
The battle against the blaze closed a section of Rockville Pike between Edson Lane and Flanders Avenue for several hours.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said there was significant damage to the building but no injuries were reported.
Hank Dietle’s, Rockville’s oldest bar, is known far and wide for its live music and billed itself as the only bar in the county where people could either bring their own food or order food in.
The GoFundMe account is aiming to raise $20,000. It raised $1,800 in the first hour.
Donors remembered happy times spent at the bar on the GoFundMe page.
“This place holds a special place in my heart, as I’ve been going there since I was 3 with my dad,” Shauna Duvall commented on the page.
“Endless good memories at Dietle’s. It was a true honor to have graced the stage playing guitar there on a few very special occasions with very special people, knowing that it was known for it’s great music. I am so happy they are planning to rebuild, and knowing our amazing community, I guarantee they will raise the money to do so in no time. And rebuild and reopen even faster,” Chris Itteilag commented.
John Bennaman commented on the progress made so far at the building.
“Such a beautiful sight to see. Such wonderful work progress done today. We are nearing the end of the restoration process and soon the lights will come back on and music and beer will be coming back soon. Long Live Hank Dietle’s,” he wrote.