September 21, 2017

Dividing Waters and Uniting Guests at a North Carolina Tavern

The Divide Tavern rests on the Eastern Continental Divide, which splits watersheds between the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Seaboard. Green Park Inn staffers often joke that half the water in this historic bar flows into the Atlantic Ocean, while the other half goes straight to the Mississippi River.

Geographical quirks aside, the Divide Tavern in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, also gets its name because of its ability to unite travelers who might seem divided. Whether they’re from New York or Australia and no matter their political affiliations, folks from all different backgrounds stop in for a drink and a good conversation at this local watering hole.

Bar at the Divide Tavern.

photo by: Green Park Inn

The Green Park Inn—a Historic Hotel of Americawas built in 1891 from the now nearly extinct American Chestnut, known as the Redwood of the East. The inn is as valuable for its wood, worth about $30 per board, as it is for its history. It is the last of North Carolina’s Grand Manor Hotels and has historically entertained famous guests like J.D. Rockefeller, Annie Oakley, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Green Park also possessed the first post office in the area, making it a social and economic hub in Blowing Rock for many years. In fact, a piece of the post office—as well as artifacts from renovations and other historic treasures—remain in the inn’s History Room, which guests can visit.

The inn’s current owners, lovingly called “hotel affection-ados” by staff and community members, purchased the Green Park in 2010. They thought it would be a shame to see the inn demolished and took it on as their passion project. The Divide Tavern, along with the rest of the hotel, was completely rehabilitated and refurbished with nearly all American-made furniture. The tavern’s bartenders are trained to make the perfect Manhattan (the owners are originally from New York) and serve up delicious drinks and food to locals and travelers alike.

Exterior shot of the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

photo by: Green Park Inn

Location: 9239 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock, North Carolina 28605

Hours: Dinner service is available seven days a week starting at 5:00 p.m.

You’re Having: Help yourself to an order of Elvis "Fry's," topped with jalapenos, bacon, salsa, and cheese sauce. To drink, enjoy a basil gin gimlet—made with basil picked from the inn’s vegetable garden.

Best Trip Advisor Review: "Steve Irace has outdone himself with the refurbishing of the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock, and I love this old fashioned bar. There are a few tables for dining, but also plush couches and chairs in the back room for intimate or cozy conversation."

Carson Bear is an Editorial Assistant at the National Trust. She’s passionate about combining popular culture with historic places, and loves her 200-year-old childhood farmhouse in Pennsylvania.

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