As hurricane blows, dive bar toasts 'Here's to Wilmington!'

Locals have a drink as they relax at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as  Florence threatens the coast Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (A

Locals have a drink as they relax at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as Florence threatens the coast Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (A

Kathryn Cloniger-Kirk, left, Michael Ussery, right, and Steven Harrington, back, chat as they relax at Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C.,

Kathryn Cloniger-Kirk, left, Michael Ussery, right, and Steven Harrington, back, chat as they relax at Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C.,

Locals riding out the storm toast Hurricane Florence as they relax at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens th

Locals riding out the storm toast Hurricane Florence as they relax at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens th

Two women that are riding out the storm dance to the music outside the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens the c

Two women that are riding out the storm dance to the music outside the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens the c

Jeff Egyp carries an American flag as he arrives at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens the coast Thursday,

Jeff Egyp carries an American flag as he arrives at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens the coast Thursday,

Jeff Egyp, right, and Brandon Fresin, left, park there bikes outside the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens the

Jeff Egyp, right, and Brandon Fresin, left, park there bikes outside the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as the Florence threatens the

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — As Hurricane Florence blew into Wilmington, about two dozen locals gathered behind the boarded-up windows of a bar that's survived its share of squalls and tempests. There they raised their glasses in a toast.

The Barbary Coast, which owner Eli Ellsworth calls the oldest bar in this North Carolina city, has a tradition of staying open in tropical storms.

Seated at the well-worn bar, Rick Bonney sipped on an ale. He and his wife figured it was their last chance to get out before hunkering down for days. The center of Florence was expected to barrel through sometime Friday.

Owner Eli Ellsworth says the 77-year-old bar has weathered all storms. He says he's stocked up and could sell nearly 500 Pabst Blue Ribbon beers by the time the storm departs.