Shepherdstown’s Mecklenburg Inn is an English-style pub with a beer garden that simply feels like home. Solar powered and cozy, and draped in historic architectural features, visitors can order a favorite drink and sip on the comradery inside, or step outside into a peaceful sanctuary of old-growth trees and flowering plants.
The historic building perfectly nestled into 128 E. German Street formerly housed a post office, gift shop, and a plumbing supply company prior to becoming the local watering hole initially named “Penney Post Card,” and owned by Wayne Skinner. In 1987, Sue Knott changed the name to Mecklenburg Inn, and in 1992, hired George Moody on the spot when he first walked into the pub upon returning to Shepherdstown to take care of his mother.
In 2004, George and wife Tracey purchased “The Meck” from then-owners Mark and Carol Outhier. That year, George and Tracey welcomed son Wilson, while George continued to work for Grafton School, cater part-time, and bartend. The bartending gig, being the most fruitful of the endeavors, made the opportunity to own the business one that George and Tracey could not pass up.
The Right Place
Throughout the 15 years of ownership, The Meck has twice earned the distinct recognition of Esquire magazine as one of the top 100 bars in the country. Other fun facts include the shooting of three documentary films onsite, and being the first bar in West Virginia to receive a shipment of Yuengling.
What makes the place special, according to George, are the patrons and his staff. Lilian and Dan Saum have been coming to the pub since 2002. Lilian reflected: “The Mecklenburg Inn is where we share our trials and triumphs, loves and losses … this place has a vibe that’s comfortable and safe.”
Long-time employees Emmett Keller and Lynn Kemper agreed. “George and Tracey have made working at the Meck easy,” said Kemper. “It’s a good place to be and I’m just as comfortable there as I am at home.”
The professionalism, humor, and friendliness of the staff reflects great leadership and a great workplace. Keller shared that George “… is one of the best bosses I have had. He’s there for his employees and knows how to run his business. He has even been known to give fatherly life advice at times.”
On the Menu
One memorable patron walked in on four legs many moons ago. “BK,” short for bar kitty, was a well-loved yet rugged cat who made the pub his home for 17 years. BK had a strong presence, a stubby tail, and a life that inspired both a Facebook page and a charity called Pawject BK. Pawject BK is an effort led by Tracey to raise funds and awareness for local animal shelters—promoting adoption and helping sheltered animals find their forever home.
Open-mic night has long been a favorite event at The Meck—hosting amateur to seasoned local musicians each second and fourth Thursday. Live music takes place weekly on Thursdays and every other Saturday, offering a broad range for lovers of Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Bluegrass. Popular annual events include Halloween and New Year’s Eve celebrations, in addition to active sponsoring and participation in community fundraisers.
And if you show up hungry? Well, the ever-popular and delicious “Mecklenburger” is available five days a week in addition to other favorites like steamed shrimp and cheesesteak subs.
— Follow the Mecklenburg Inn on Instagram and Facebook for more information. In the meantime, “I’m Going Inn!”By Wendy Baracka, LICSW