We'll Miss You Pinkies

A dive bar, by definition, is an unglamorous neighborhood watering hole where friends and strangers come to swig light beer and throw a few darts. It’s a place void of pretention and fancy cocktails, where nobody gives a damn who you are yet most everyone already knows. The best dive bars have walls lined with cheaply framed photos offering grainy proof of the famous faces that were also once right here in this same dark space, lifting the lounge to legendary status that’s revered by locals.

Among dive bars in Savannah, Pinkie Master’s has been king for decades. And in January, it will lose its crown.

Thanks to a lawsuit brought on by an incident back in August, when bar back Leonard “Catfish” Scriven stabbed patron Jonathan Staggs, bar operator Guy Kirk filed for bankruptcy and is closing the Drayton Street pub on Jan. 1. Kirk has been quoted in local media outlets saying it started when Staggs was banned from the bar but came back to harass and threaten Scriven. Bar landlords Martin and Coleen Hogan also were named defendants in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages from the defendants for failing to keep customers safe.

Regardless of the reason, the closing of Pinkie’s marks the end of an era for Savannah’s pub-crawlers and political movers and shakers, particularly those who remember the now-infamous St. Patrick’s Day in 1978 when then-Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, a friend of Pinkie, climbed on the bar and announced his candidacy for the presidency. A plaque commemorating the event is embedded in the bar on that very spot, classing up the beer cans and gin and tonics in plastic cups that decorate the bar top on a typical night, the Stars and Bars hidden in plain sight behind it.

 

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