AFTER HE OPENED HIS DISTILLERY, JACK DANIEL DID THE NEXT LOGICAL THING.
HE OPENED A BAR.
NOT JUST ONE, BUT TWO -- THE WHITE RABBIT AND RED DOG SALOONS.
Though Lynchburg, Tennessee, has been dry for more than a decade, there was a time when the town's tiny square was home to two bars - the White Rabbit and Red Dog saloons. Besides both having colorful animal names, they were also owned and operated by one of Lynchburg's leading citizens, Mr. Jack Daniel.
Mr. Jack may have been just 5 feet 2 inches tall, but he was a giant among small-town entrepreneurs. Not content to just make and mellow his signature Tennessee sipping whiskey and sell it to merchants throughout Middle Tennessee and Northern Alabama, he also opened his own bars on the Square in 1892.
At the White Rabbit, patrons could step up to a bar that ran the entire length of the room, rest a weary foot on a brass rail and enjoy the breeze stirred by the turning of palmetto fans overhead. If they were lucky, they would also be on hand when Mr. Jack walked in and set his friends up with a drink.
On more than one occasion, Mr. Jack used his two watering holes to raise the town's spirits during trying times. In November 1892, there was a fire on the Square that burned down most of the east and south sides. But Mr. Jack's saloons went untouched. In fact, they did a good bit of business while the town was rebuilt.
During the stock market panic of 1907, Jack helped avert a run on the local bank (where he was a director) by buying rounds for everyone at the Red Dog and White Rabbit saloons as he proclaimed to all those gathered that the Farmers Bank would remain open.
All that remains of Mr. Jack’s saloons today are the Red Dog and White Rabbit Saloon commemorative whiskeys, reminding us of the days when you could buy a drink of Jack's smooth sippin' Tennessee Whiskey in the town where it was made.