Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Nov 4, 2021

In this eye-opening conversation with Bar Director Deke Dunne of Allegory here in Washington, DC, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How Deke transitioned from a life in politics to a life behind bars, starting by working security at perhaps DC’s most successful pop-up EVER and then making the switch to bartending.
  • What a surrealist Victorian novel by Lewis Carrol has to do with Ruby Bridges, a civil rights pioneer who was the first black child to desegregate a white school here in the US, and why the artwork at Allegory mixes those stories together and puts them on display.
  • Of course, we talk cocktails and drink development, explaining how Deke and his team use flavors to tell stories. And this might sound cut-and-dry, but when we explain how rum, bourbon, oxidized sherry, banana liqueur, and a purple tuber all came to reside in a Kefir-finished milk punch, your mind will be blown.
  • We also necessarily dig into the tricky balance that a bartender needs to walk when engaging with guests about historically charged and culturally sensitive subject matter. It’s possible to do it really well, but there’s also a lot of work that occurs behind the scenes to strike the right balance.

Along the way, we discuss the role of hospitality in a concept bar, why a Ramos Gin Fizz is like a baseball bat donut, what’s next for Deke and Allegory in 2022, and much, much more.

This episode was made possible with editing and sound design by Samantha Reed, spirits and infused cocktail wisdom courtesy of Kurt Maitland, and a little bit of interview magic by yours truly. This has been a Modern Bar Cart production, copyright 2021.

This episode is brought to you by Near Country Provisions. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and want to enjoy ethically raised (and delicious) meat from local farmers delivered to your door every month, then you need Near Country in your life.

Head over to and enter the code BARCART when you sign up for your subscription to receive 2 free pounds of bacon or ground beef in your first delivery.