I don’t remember the exact day I first stepped into The Gin Mill on 1411 S Tryon St. in Charlotte, NC, but I remember who I was with: Timmy and Jennifer. I don’t think I ever really left after that night. My visits to The Gin Mill went from weekly visits to weekend visits to nightly visits. Having grown up watching Cheers, it was my own little version of Cheers. Behind the bar was Chris and Holly, night after night and weekends there would be an extra or two, but Chris and Holly would be staples. They became my family, my friends.
I gained more chosen family at The Gin Mill than all my years of school. The connection to the souls are based on a love and respect for a bar but mostly because of the people who work there. We’ve watched Chris’ three kids blossom into young men and have seen Holly (aka Mama Holly/Mama Bear) have her own kids. Let’s not even talk about the patrons and their families or the patrons who met, fell in love, got married and started their own families.
The Gin Mill and the Gin Mill family have been there for me through thick and thin. They held me when my mama passed away, they celebrated birthdays and life victories with me, they let me cry, laugh, and know that I was loved. We have had more laughs and shenanigans together, in the bar, outside of the bar and in all far corners of the world together.
No matter where any of us landed, The Gin Mill family at the end of the day, is family. We care about each other. I love and miss those mother fuckers so much.
As 1.0 of The Gin Mill closes for 2.0 of The Gin Mill to open (one building over), they are celebrating and from afar, I celebrate with them, remembering, laughing, crying, and honestly loving all the memories, photos, and shenanigans.
I posted this on Instagram with the photo below and I mean every single word written:
I love this crazy family & they’ve got me there in spirit (and cut out version). The Gin Mill is more than a bar, it is home where you can laugh, cry, celebrate and just be who you are with others who love you for you. These people are my #ChosenFamily and I love love and miss them all. 📷@BethCarline #PickYourPack#TheGinMill #TheGinMillFamily Thank you for including me 😘😍❤️
PS: I am fucking lucky and blessed to have these amazing souls in my life. The above photo isn’t even half of the Gin Mill Family!