Legendary Zoo Bar’s Owner Diagnosed with Cancer; Bar in Danger of Closing; Daughter Launches Fundraiser

3000 Connecticut Ave, NW right across the street from the Zoo

Incredibly sad news out of Woodley Park. From Go Fund Me:

“Cheers, a place where everyone knows your name…

The Cheers show familiarized the world with the idea of a bar creating a sense of community and home. My father Steve McKinney, made this a reality in his own hometown of Washington DC with the Zoo Bar in Woodley Park DC.

Sadly, in one fell swoop both the livelihood of the Zoo Bar and my father are jeopardized after a double diagnosis of cancer – a reoccurrence of Liposarcoma in his leg and Leukemia (AML). The treatments and course for recovery would be tough on anyone, but for a bar owner who also bartends and who is not able to walk or stand strongly, one can only assume the complications and the need to ask for help.

What makes my father, Steve, and the Zoo Bar a special case is his dedication to the community and an even more special niche, the Blues community. The Zoo Bar has been a haven for Blues musicians in the Washington area to “jam” in a weekly open mic night and for bands to headline each weekend. As a customer…this is all free of charge. The Zoo Bar has remained in business for 15 years offering live music free of charge, FREE! This has been made possible because of dedication and compassion…My 61 year old father bartending 3 nights a week and using tip money to keep the bar a float.

Between the doctor’s bills and loss of revenue from not being able to work at the bar, Steve needs your help. His savings has been exhausted, credit cards are maxed out. Thousands have been spent on deductibles and co-pays, even from the initial cancer 2 years prior. All of this on top of an increased loss of business at the bar.. extreme DC weather, changing dynamic of the city and increased costs.

Without this help the bar will have to close – locals will be left without a home, Blues musicians will lose income they received from playing at the bar, the community will be lost.

Please help Steve and help keep the Zoo Bar and Blues music community stay alive!

You can donate here.

2 Comment

  • Oh no! Thanks for sharing this. I love zoo bar for the part it plays as both unpretentious neighborhood bar, and legit live music destination. I haven’t been in a while, but literally 10 minutes before i saw your post, i said “Damn, I really need to get up to zoo bar soon.”

    What’s also amazing is if you look at the gofundmepage, they’re already up to 11K in just a day!

  • I love the Zoo Bar and it’s been a while for me, too. This is sad news.

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