“Oh, it was like a second home.”, said patron, Geno Duval.
“I’ve been coming here since I was 14.”, said another patron, Mark Ruhl, as he and other longtime patrons gathered outside what now remains of Dietle’s.
Dietle's, which many have said started out as a gas station, has been a local watering hole for decades.
“It’s going to be a loss to a lot more than this community because many people been coming in here for 50 years or so… I mean, rich people, poor people… It didn’t really matter the variation of what you did or what you had.”, said Ruhl.
Christopher Shea, who could be seen wearing his father's Dietle's t-shirt, said that her grew up going to the tavern.
“I think, pretty much any guy growing up in this area had their first legal beer here and it was probably their dad buying it for them.”, said Shea.
According to Montgomery County Fire & EMS Spokesperson Pete Piringer, calls came in from a passerby around 2:45 Wednesday morning that the tavern was up in flames.
He said it took crews about 15 minutes to bring the fire under control.
“They determined that the fire was started on the area of the porch, which is on the exterior. Accidental in nature, but likely caused by a discarded cigarette.”, said Piringer.
Luckily no one was hurt.
Dietles is one of Rockville’s longest standing establishments which holds the oldest liquor license in Montgomery County.
For the generations of people who’ve frequented the tavern, many are hopeful that it will one day return to its former glory.
Duval said, “I hope he gets it together and is able to bring it back because it’s the last of it’s kind in this area.”
Piringer estimates the damage to the building to be around $500,000.00.