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Fayetteville bar closing after 27 years

'Tables and Ale' on Block Ave was opened in 1995 by Bob Craft and Jerry Stiles and will offer a "cheers-like" experience until 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Fayetteville bar "Tables and Ale" is closing its doors after a historic 27 years of service.

Owner and operator Bob Craft opened the bar in 1995 with Jerry Stiles. He was building homes before getting the opportunity to open the bar.

Jenny Didway moved to Church Street in downtown Fayetteville in 2003. With her job on East Ave, the bar was conveniently in the middle where she could invite friends.

"The first thing I do when I go to a new town is look for the dive bars. And they're hard to find nowadays, and this is one of the best ones... It's the best," said Didway. "I quickly became a regular. Everyone here is like family, I'll walk in the door, and they'll say 'Jenny!' It's a total cheers vibe. It's totally my second living room."

Craft explained that the building had recently been bought and that increasing rent forced Craft to make the decision to close.

"The pool industry has been on a downward trend for the last seven or eight years. So I've seen a gradual decline in my sales and my clientele base," said Craft.

For the self-proclaimed "Tablers", it was never about the bar itself. Instead, they focus on the relationships created inside Tables and Ale.

"We've done Chili Cook-offs. We do Super Bowl potlucks. Every year, we'll do potlucks just because the things I'll miss most are probably three ball and trash doggone. And of course, Bobby, I hope he knows how much he means to me and what this place means to everybody," said Didway.

"The memories will always be there for me, and what I'll do in the future is yet to be seen. I doubt if I'll get back into the bar business, but I imagine I'll do something," said Craft.

Tables and Ale will be open until 9 on Tuesday for its final day.

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