How a Cocktail Shaped the Future of Raleigh

Raleigh’s history can be traced back to a cocktail called Cherry Bounce, which significantly shaped the city’s future. How could an alcoholic beverage shape the future of North Carolina, you may be wondering! Well, it seems that the sweet beverage was on the minds of many a politician when North Carolina was looking for a new capital location. 

Politicians and Taverns

In the 1700s, North Carolina’s politicians and leaders had to travel to New Bern, a coastal city and the original capital of North Carolina, to conduct business. On these treks, they stopped at local taverns to get food, drinks and sleep — these taverns and local watering holes played a significant role in the political development of North Carolina.

A Delicious Sweet Cocktail

As larger communities like Fayetteville, Hillsborough and Charlotte vied to become the new capital of North Carolina, the political constituents decided they wanted the location to be more centralized. After several votes, no city had come out on top, and the delegates were given authority to determine North Carolina’s new capital. 

As time progressed, it was decided that the new capital should be no less than 10 miles from the politicians’ favorite watering hole, which they had often visited on their travels —Isaac Hunter’s Tavern. Hunter served a delicious version of a sweet cocktail made with aged cherries and smooth brown liquor, known as Cherry Bounce. Bloomsbury was chosen as the place where the new capital city, Raleigh, would be built because of the tavern’s location.

Joel Lane -vs- Isaac Hunter

However, the Cherry Bounce wasn’t done influencing history yet. The delegates had to determine whose land would be used as the center hold of the new city. While Hunter seemed to be the likely winner due to his tavern’s role in choosing the location of the capital, Joel Lane invited the delegates to his home and served an even better version of the cocktail. The next day, for reasons that have never been fully determined (but likely have to do with whatever happened the night before when Lane got them drunk on Cherry Bounce), the delegates chose to use Lane’s land instead of Hunter’s.

Check Out Tap Yard in Raleigh!

Today, Joel Lane is known as the Father of Raleigh, and his house has been preserved as a museum, while Isaac Hunter’s Tavern is decaying in the woods, with barely even a foundation remaining. However, the Cherry Bounce has a firm place in history and on the Tap Yard Drink Menu

Located just outside Historic downtown Raleigh, Tap Yard is an inclusive and collaborative community bar space dedicated to pouring drinks and embracing good times. With wonderful staff, amazing ambiance and a gorgeous beer garden…what more could you ask for?  

Be In the Know 

With events throughout the year and indoor/outdoor seating, you can enjoy the festivities no matter the weather. To stay in the know, check out our upcoming schedule and make plans to join us! Or, sign up for our newsletter and get exclusive offers and invites. 

Bring Your Family and Your Furry Friends

As a neighborhood beer garden and bar, we go the extra mile to accommodate our patrons. With outdoor seating for both pooches and people, we are family and pet-friendly during the day. Enjoy our rotating food truck lineup and tasty eats while appreciating good conversations with those you love. 

To learn more, feel free to visit our website at or follow us on 

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1610 Automotive Way
Raleigh, NC 27604


Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri
4:00 pm – 12:00 am

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12:00 pm – 12:00 am

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