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(Washington Post)   What makes a good dive bar?   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 183
    More: Interesting, mac and cheese, Annandale, John Allen Muhammad, Frank Stallone, John Galliano, Falls Church, Sam Adams, VFW  
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9088 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2013 at 2:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-30 08:47:08 PM
Cheap drinks and a blind, deaf and mute staff.
 
2013-01-30 08:52:36 PM
Juke box full of 60s-80s rock and a room full of people who love it.  Pool tables, real darts.
 
2013-01-30 08:56:21 PM
PADI certification.
 
2013-01-30 09:02:47 PM
There's got to be at least one dirty factory worker, one drunk biker, and one whore who always looks like she just clocked out after a particularly long day.

And a cheap, chrome pizza oven that hasn't worked right in ages.

And, there has to be a dice game being played.
 
2013-01-30 09:08:08 PM
The perfect dive bar is the one where you are so drunk that you puke outside or in the bathroom and they will still serve you.
 
2013-01-30 09:25:50 PM
an equal likelihood of being groped by a tranny or stabbed by someone who lives in a trailer park.

a maximum of 3 inches of bathroom wall or divider space not occupied with graffiti, glory holes, or crusty bodily fluids.

any band who may perform must know that the proper response to hearing 'play Freebird' is to...play Freebird.
 
2013-01-30 09:28:23 PM
One free of hipsters.
 
2013-01-30 09:30:23 PM
My favorite is in a basement of a house in Rumson, NJ that used to be a speakeasy in the 1920s and 30s. Right on the river for rum runners. Great for darts.

/very Irish and very close by
//parton for many years
 
2013-01-30 09:36:30 PM
When you can tell the time by how far from the pisser you have to stand to not be in the puddle.
 
2013-01-30 09:37:50 PM
deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com

the dank.
 
2013-01-30 09:59:04 PM
Sorry, it's patron...

/also the best shuffleboard in the state
 
2013-01-30 11:42:45 PM
static.tvguide.com

Drinks! For all my Friends!
 
2013-01-31 12:19:42 AM
How many exceptions did he make to every rule?
 
2013-01-31 12:21:12 AM
Anyone who doesn't know you is waiting for you to say the wrong thing so they can beat you up.
 
2013-01-31 12:27:09 AM
A place where I can smoke.
 
2013-01-31 12:35:43 AM
One of the best dive bars in Phoenix -- The Dilly-Dally

It was like a trailer inside, even down to the paneling. It lost a lot of its appeal after our anti-smoking laws. What made it a truly great bar is that every once in a while, Stevie Nicks or Alice Cooper would just show up. If you wanted to meet the greats of Arizona, you went to the Dilly Dally. Haven't been there since I moved away. :(
 
2013-01-31 12:41:11 AM
True story -- spent hours talking about time and space with this guy who I thought was a nut. He said, I wanna show you something. I have a healthy/morbid curiosity and he was driving, so I said, "Why not?" Drives me right up the foothills to a house I've been to before (did termite work there. It was Stevie Nicks's house). So he spends HOURS telling me about the different dimensions of space and time. I didn't give a shiat because he was serving Maker's Mark. Stevie comes out in a robe and I had pancakes with Stevie Nicks, some strange relative, and awesome preserves.

This is why dive bars are good.
 
2013-01-31 12:51:00 AM
My favorite dive bar is my favorite for a few reasons.

1. They serve buckets of ice-cold 10 oz. crap beer in tiny bottles for the price of one beer at many places.
2. The bartenders are borderline elderly power-dykes that don't take shiate from ANYONE
3. They open at 8 in the morning and there are still old-school bookies that show up for work every day
4. The jukebox was a cultural relic all Cher and Tom Jones.
 
2013-01-31 01:15:45 AM

brap: My favorite dive bar is my favorite for a few reasons.

1. They serve buckets of ice-cold 10 oz. crap beer in tiny bottles for the price of one beer at many places.
2. The bartenders are borderline elderly power-dykes that don't take shiate from ANYONE
3. They open at 8 in the morning and there are still old-school bookies that show up for work every day
4. The jukebox was a cultural relic all Cher and Tom Jones.


I would go here just to hang out.
 
2013-01-31 01:19:00 AM
More: John Allen Muhammad, Frank Stallone

Didn't expect those tags.

/stubmitter
 
2013-01-31 01:44:59 AM
If you look around and there are no actual working class people in the bar with you, you are not in a dive bar. No matter what the ambiance is like or how many people are drinking Pabst. Actually the more people with Pabst tallboys, the more likely you're in a hipster enclave.

Not sure what makes it "good" other than a low likelihood of getting stabbed. If you're drinking cheap, cold domestic beer, I think that's a good start. Agree with TFA that a good jukebox can make a difference. A menu of fried things, or maybe just frozen pizzas, too.


heap: an equal likelihood of being groped by a tranny or stabbed by someone
Heh, first thing I thought to differentiate "dive bar" from "good dive bar" was not having to watch the guy who keeps looking at me like he might get stabby.
 
2013-01-31 02:05:11 AM
I can't define one, but I have a favorite dive bar that's in an undisclosed place in Los Angeles County.

It's in a "bad" neighborhood and the building has been there since around 1900.

One half is a bar, the side room is the owner's junk collection/thrift shop.  It's full of old books and you're welcome to sit in there and read.

You are allowed to smoke inside.  Weirdly, it's something of a cop bar and the owner is tight with the local PD, so they don't give a fark if you smoke.

It gets better.  The bar is home to three cats that were abandoned in the neighborhood.  Everyone treats them well and they get loads of handouts.  When I'm in there, a longhaired tortie hangs around my ankles.  Nice girl and I always share my food with her.

There's a taco truck a block away and you can get a  killer $4 burrito and bring it back to eat inside with your beer.

They have free popcorn!  They also put out free hot dogs for Monday Night Football and have spreads of free food for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.  They never close.  The bar opens at 6AM and closes at 2AM every night, every day of the year.

It has bullet holes in the walls.  Some years back, three guys came in with guns pulled and ordered everyone onto the floor.  They didn't know that there were two off duty cops in there drinking.  The cops killed two of them inside and the third died outside on the sidewalk.

Then there are the regulars.  They're  awesome.  One favorite is a welder with a degree in philosophy.  There's a grandfatherly bail bondsman.  I hooked up with a funeral director who drives a third gen Camaro and is deeply into country music.  (I should marry her.)  There's a crazy homeless guy who tells you that he's a billionaire and a former Navy SEAL.  One night, he got real serious and tells me that he has a cat.  That most people think the cat is a dog, but it's really a cat.  And the cat talks to him.  I buy him beers and get to listen to these amazing stories.  Oh, and the drug-dealing prostitute.  I know better than to get involved, but she's cool and she's my buddy.  And there are another 40-50 nutty characters who come in.

Oh yeah, you can get a pint of Sierra Nevada for $3.

I love that place  so much.  When I lived in LA, I went there every day.  Even on holidays, I'd find a way to get there.

Down here in Arizona, there's a crappy bar a block away.  It hasn't been updated since the late 1960s and the owner and bartender are damned cool.  So are the regulars.  I enjoy it, but it's not like my place in LA.

Though I have a favorite in Mexico, which isn't too far away.  It's a strip club, whorehouse and they have cock fights in the back.  Deeply, deeply sleazy.  But it's fun!  Not as much fun as my favorite, but still entertaining.
 
2013-01-31 02:15:12 AM

tallguywithglasseson: Heh, first thing I thought to differentiate "dive bar" from "good dive bar" was not having to watch the guy who keeps looking at me like he might get stabby.


it's all about the tranny to stabbing ratio. if you've got balance, it all works out OK.

either that, or you're in prison.
 
2013-01-31 02:19:28 AM
Hey, this isn't faux dive. This is a dive.
 
2013-01-31 02:20:24 AM
rails on the bar

sticky floor bathroom

everyone knows how to sing along to 'you never even call me by my name'

/high standards
 
2013-01-31 02:21:31 AM
Desperate women who come alone and strike up the conversation with me.
 
2013-01-31 02:25:57 AM
The ones I've been to almost always feature a Denim Dan (All in Denim) otherwise known as a Canadian Tuxedo.
 
2013-01-31 02:26:12 AM
Don't worry Point, your credit is always good here.

/did that ol' std clear up for 'ya?
 
2013-01-31 02:27:16 AM
Concrete floors.
Cheap beer on tap.
Ashtrays that the staff doesn't bother to empty often.
LOTS of Black Sabbath on the jukebox...which is LOUD.  MUST BE LOUD.
Real Darts (no lame-ass digital ones)
Pool Tables.
Bartenders that are more interesting than any people you would regularly talk to at a higher-class bar.
Patrons that are freshly out of jail and/or missing most of their teeth.

...That is a dive (aka "GOOD") bar.
 
2013-01-31 02:28:02 AM
People wearing lesbian librarian glasses don't talk about them on FB and Fark?
 
2013-01-31 02:28:09 AM
If you feel like you may catch a disease just from walking on their floors.
 
2013-01-31 02:32:58 AM
The bartender is more thwacked than you are
They still have a smoking area
You can pass out there
 
2013-01-31 02:36:16 AM

WTF Indeed: One free of hipsters.


Crap, beat me to it!
 
2013-01-31 02:36:22 AM
All of the above and more at Denver's Skylark Lounge, since 1943.

Farkin' jukebox still spins 45s. :-)
 
2013-01-31 02:37:54 AM

L.D. Ablo: that's in an undisclosed place in Los Angeles County.


Is The Roost still open? That place was a terrific dive.
 
2013-01-31 02:38:10 AM
A good dive-bar permits underaged drinking.
 
2013-01-31 02:41:16 AM

Tellingthem: The perfect dive bar is the one where you are so drunk that you puke outside or in the bathroom and they will still serve you.


TomD9938: A good dive-bar permits underaged drinking.

 
2013-01-31 02:42:58 AM
Seriously? I don't get the fascination with "dive bars". The past couple years I've been back stateside, I've heard the term thrown around much more than any other time in my life. Everyone wants to go to dive bars. Did you go to that dive bar out in Belltown? Or the dive bar in the U District? Or the dive bar on Capitol Hill?

A place is a dive if it's dirty, run down, and has sketchy clientele. What's the point of going to one? A desperate search for authenticity? What is less authentic than pretending to be of a social class other than your own?
 
2013-01-31 02:43:49 AM
You can get a beer " to go".
 
2013-01-31 02:43:59 AM
Capacious urinals.


www.urinal.net
 
2013-01-31 02:44:35 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Seriously? I don't get the fascination with "dive bars". The past couple years I've been back stateside, I've heard the term thrown around much more than any other time in my life. Everyone wants to go to dive bars. Did you go to that dive bar out in Belltown? Or the dive bar in the U District? Or the dive bar on Capitol Hill?

A place is a dive if it's dirty, run down, and has sketchy clientele. What's the point of going to one? A desperate search for authenticity? What is less authentic than pretending to be of a social class other than your own?


We are Farkers.  What makes you think we're 'pretending'?
 
2013-01-31 02:46:52 AM
Popcorn Johnny:

Desperate women who come alone and strike up the conversation with me.

How is my mom?
 
2013-01-31 02:47:10 AM
Like I'll tell you farkers where the good dives are.
 
2013-01-31 02:47:45 AM

The One True TheDavid: Capacious urinals.


[www.urinal.net image 578x400]


Is that Jaxx?
 
2013-01-31 02:51:21 AM

Rufus Lee King: [stallsandwalls.com image 512x384]


There's a bar here in downtown Portland that has a sign behind the bar that says "You cannot smell like pee and drink here."
 
2013-01-31 02:53:41 AM

ChewbaccaJones: Concrete floors.
Cheap beer on tap.
Ashtrays that the staff doesn't bother to empty often.
LOTS of Black Sabbath on the jukebox...which is LOUD.  MUST BE LOUD.
Real Darts (no lame-ass digital ones)
Pool Tables.
Bartenders that are more interesting than any people you would regularly talk to at a higher-class bar.
Patrons that are freshly out of jail and/or missing most of their teeth.

...That is a dive (aka "GOOD") bar.


Sounds like my old haunt. I prefer a good dive over a nicer bar any day of the week.
 
2013-01-31 02:58:38 AM

fusillade762: Rufus Lee King: [stallsandwalls.com image 512x384]

There's a bar here in downtown Portland that has a sign behind the bar that says "You cannot smell like pee and drink here."


Too classy for a dive then.
 
2013-01-31 02:59:59 AM
A dive bar is kind of like pornagraphy.  I can't explain it to you, but I know it when I see it.

I've been to several different types of dive bars over the years.  Random basement bars in DC and NYC.  a little Tiki bar in hawaii that was off the beaten path enough that tourists never knew about it.  Redneck bars in the florida panhandle that did way too much karaoke.  And a absolute dump next to my old apartment in Virginia Beach.

There are only 2 things that I see in common with all of these: a don't-give-a-fark attitude with the clientele, and genuinely interesting bartenders.

Oh and no hipsters, they ruin everything.
 
2013-01-31 03:02:01 AM

duffman13: A dive bar is kind of like pornagraphy.  I can't explain it to you, but I know it when I see it.

I've been to several different types of dive bars over the years.  Random basement bars in DC and NYC.  a little Tiki bar in hawaii that was off the beaten path enough that tourists never knew about it.  Redneck bars in the florida panhandle that did way too much karaoke.  And a absolute dump next to my old apartment in Virginia Beach.

There are only 2 things that I see in common with all of these: a don't-give-a-fark attitude with the clientele, and genuinely interesting bartenders.

Oh and no hipsters, they ruin everything.


Truth. The one thing I miss about my old place was being a block walking stumbling distance from one of the best dives in Atlanta.
 
2013-01-31 03:07:24 AM
I just came in here to point out that NoVA is a community college.  Not a place.

/the N stands for kNowledge
 
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