THE SMALL TOWN liquor store or bar rates as more than simply a place to grab a cold one or wolf down bar food.
Oftentimes, these rural establishments serve as community gathering spots. Locals belly up to trade stories, talk crops, solve the world’s problems. There’s a certain comfort in that, in the familiarity of sharing gossip and opinions and woes within the confines of a dark space, sheltered from reality.
Sometimes these places remain as the sole business along an otherwise vacant Main Street. On a Friday or Saturday night, vehicles line the streets. Folks gather to shoot a little pool, drink a little beer, tell a few jokes.
For awhile, troubles vanish, the body rests, a sense of community togetherness prevails.
All of this I imagine as I photograph the exteriors of small town Minnesota bars and liquor stores. Unique signage, creative names, architecture and more draw me visually to these watering holes.
Each holds a story. And if you, a stranger, venture inside, heads will swivel, eyes will bore and the locals will wonder. What is your story?
BONUS BAR PHOTOS:
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling