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(Washington Post)   What makes a good dive bar?   ( washingtonpost.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, mac and cheese, Annandale, John Allen Muhammad, Frank Stallone, John Galliano, Falls Church, Sam Adams, VFW  
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9118 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2013 at 2:18 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



183 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
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 transformer 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 transformer 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 transformer 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
 
2013-01-31 03:07:42 AM  
Dive bars always seemed to have the best bloody marys. A local dive in Ventura, CA (used to open at 6am) made the best one in town.
 
2013-01-31 03:08:07 AM  
The bartender is drunker than you.
 
2013-01-31 03:10:40 AM  
Evie's in Dublin.  As with all dive bars, it's a place where it's rare that a non-local pops in.  One night I was in the mood for a mojito (which is unusual).  The bartender says he doesn't have mint, I say it's ok, I don't like mint.  So he whips up my mojito sans-mint.  Asks me how it turned out.  I say "too much lime".  So he pours two more shots of rum into it to fix it.  In other words, rum with a twist of lime.  Two pool tables. A dart board.  Table shuffleboard.  Jukebox with decent music.   A free spread on important sports nights.  Friendly people.  Never seen a fight there, but I'm sure it has happened.
 
2013-01-31 03:15:02 AM  
Cheap miller lite and a jägermeister machine are good starts.

Free popcorn is a nice touch

NTN trivia

Chicken wings
 
2013-01-31 03:22:51 AM  

WTF Indeed: One free of hipsters.


This.
 
2013-01-31 03:23:20 AM  
Good Pulled Pork and other BBQ style food with decent microbrews (near Boston, MA)

//Looking for something near Irvine or San Clemente like this.... sad that Mexican and Asian food rule the land of SoCal.
 
2013-01-31 03:30:02 AM  
Where every skank knows your nameand they're always glad you came.
 
2013-01-31 03:30:08 AM  
Man, after reading the comments before mine, maybe my input is actually needed.

A true dive bar must: be cash only, only serves cheap domestic beer and possibly cheap whiskey/bourbon (no mixers), no beer over $3 and no shot over $5, no music newer than 30 years old, no regular clientele younger than 40 years old, no food you can't make in a college dorm room, and no tables with chairs.  Either you stand or sit at the bar watching the game on a 13" screen behind the grouchy bartender's head.

One of my favorite dive bars ever is infested with retired Navy SEALs.  They don't give shiat, they don't take shiat.  But if you walk in and ask for a microbrew, they will look at you like you won't survive the night.
 
2013-01-31 03:30:52 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?



It's about going to a place where people aren't being pretentious or putting on airs. (Though those people are everywhere.) Some people go because they like to play pool or darts (steel tipped, FTW) and listen to classic rock (some people might say country, but technically I think those are classed as honkytonks). Good dive bars tend to have a mix of people from all different social, economic and religious groups. (I was a bartender at one for 8 years--luckily it was a college-town dive bar, so the women tended not to be your typical leathernecks and the guys weren't often sporting prison tats and knives longer than their cocks.)

Things you don't talk about at dive bars (or shouldn't): religion and politics. (That stuff will end in butthurt and, unlike on Fark, fights in dive bars have real--physical--consequences.)

Also: Each plate of food should contain enough grease to lube the axels of a prairie schooner.

Plenty of bar-top with enough TVs to accommodate all the important sports' games simultaneously is also important.

The building has to be old and a little run down. (Low rent = low prices. If the prices are high, it's not a dive.) Otherwise it's just a sports bar.
 
2013-01-31 03:32:33 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."


They should be forced by the Federal Trade Commission to carry a more accurate sign: "Only the beer here can taste like piss, not you."
 
2013-01-31 03:33:11 AM  
ilovethisthreadsomuch.jpg

Missing my old dive bar in my home town.
 
2013-01-31 03:33:52 AM  
Let me describe the Milwakee bar named the Avalanche on Wells just off the Marquette University campus in 1972.  You need a mafia owner.  You need a couple of nut case bartenders.  Some Old Grand Dad and Wilson Whiskey.  You need some street people, a queer classics professor, some blue collar guys...note helpful if one has a neck beard, and another one has a girlfriend from the strip joint downtown.  You need some hookers to come in and give some money to their boyfriends, you need some good looking co-eds, you need Hamm's on tap and PBR in bottles.  You need some college boys fighting over who's quarter is next on the foosball table.  You need an old couple that just sit and drink beer all day and just piss in their seats.  You need a 15" black and white TV that's always been on the same channel since it was put on top of the cooler in 1962. You need at least one schizophrenic that pics up cigarette butts and inspects them and hides them in the beer sign in the window when he's not busy answering every question on Jeopardy before anyone on the show rings the buzzer.  You need a drunk sorority girl in the ladies john who lost her skirt and panties and her lunch while she was shiatting herself.  You need a small package rack that sells cheap port and muscatel and a steady stream of Sterno sniffing homeless pan handlers to come in and buy them.  You need some pork rinds and pickled eggs.  You need at least one black guy with a white featured face that's dressed like superfly.  You need some Roy White level Yankee baseball players in town for the evening chasing some catholic girls.  At closing time you need to close the front door and give free drinks to the police detectives while you're counting the tills and enjoy their company to the bank drop. There's lots more....should I write a book?  Next stop the National Grill on the south side of Milwaukee.
 
2013-01-31 03:34:09 AM  

Feral_and_Preposterous: 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?


It's about going to a place where people aren't being pretentious or putting on airs. (Though those people are everywhere.) Some people go because they like to play pool or darts (steel tipped, FTW) and listen to classic rock (some people might say country, but technically I think those are classed as honkytonks). Good dive bars tend to have a mix of people from all different social, economic and religious groups. (I was a bartender at one for 8 years--luckily it was a college-town dive bar, so the women tended not to be your typical leathernecks and the guys weren't often sporting prison tats and knives longer than their cocks.)

Things you don't talk about at dive bars (or shouldn't): religion and politics. (That stuff will end in butthurt and, unlike on Fark, fights in dive bars have real--physical--consequences.)

Also: Each plate of food should contain enough grease to lube the axels of a prairie schooner.

Plenty of bar-top with enough TVs to accommodate all the important sports' games simultaneously is also important.

The building has to be old and a little run down. (Low rent = low prices. If the prices are high, it's not a dive.) Otherwise it's just a sports bar.


So a 'bar'.

What makes it a 'dive' seems to be the ironic search for authenticity that the patron lacks.
 
2013-01-31 03:35:19 AM  
A jar of pickled pigs feet and a ash tray.
 
2013-01-31 03:35:48 AM  

nemisonic: Good Pulled Pork and other BBQ style food with decent microbrews (near Boston, MA)

//Looking for something near Irvine or San Clemente like this.... sad that Mexican and Asian food rule the land of SoCal.


That is not a dive bar. That is a regular bar. Actually strike that. They take "reservations" for farks sake. That is the complete opposite of a dive!
 
2013-01-31 03:37:00 AM  
Used to go to a place that only served canned macrobrews and shots of brown liquor, and had a twice-weekly live polka band.  I was the usually only person in there that wasn't a longshoreman, a steel worker, or a prostitute.
 
2013-01-31 03:46:01 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Feral_and_Preposterous: 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?


It's about going to a place where people aren't being pretentious or putting on airs. (Though those people are everywhere.) Some people go because they like to play pool or darts (steel tipped, FTW) and listen to classic rock (some people might say country, but technically I think those are classed as honkytonks). Good dive bars tend to have a mix of people from all different social, economic and religious groups. (I was a bartender at one for 8 years--luckily it was a college-town dive bar, so the women tended not to be your typical leathernecks and the guys weren't often sporting prison tats and knives longer than their cocks.)

Things you don't talk about at dive bars (or shouldn't): religion and politics. (That stuff will end in butthurt and, unlike on Fark, fights in dive bars have real--physical--consequences.)

Also: Each plate of food should contain enough grease to lube the axels of a prairie schooner.

Plenty of bar-top with enough TVs to accommodate all the important sports' games simultaneously is also important.

The building has to be old and a little run down. (Low rent = low prices. If the prices are high, it's not a dive.) Otherwise it's just a sports bar.

So a 'bar'.

What makes it a 'dive' seems to be the ironic search for authenticity that the patron lacks.




Wrong.
 
2013-01-31 03:47:46 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So a 'bar'.


in as much as anything is better off with a lack of description, sure. but if you want to describe what kind of place a bar is, descriptive terms like 'sports/gay/shiat-on-the-walls/dive' help.

what people describe currently as 'dive bars' was just 'the local', but that was before owning up to being a dive was considered a good thing somehow....but it was a way to distinguish between the kind of place where you have to wear a shirt, shoes and pants, and the type of place where 2 out of 3 is probably close enough.

the world needs places where they put ice in the urinals and serve drinks in content specific glasses. it also needs places where the 'bouncer' is just the largest regular in the place at the moment (even if she's a grandmother). we've got to call the latter....something. dive works for me.
 
2013-01-31 03:51:46 AM  

heap: AverageAmericanGuy: So a 'bar'.

in as much as anything is better off with a lack of description, sure. but if you want to describe what kind of place a bar is, descriptive terms like 'sports/gay/shiat-on-the-walls/dive' help.

what people describe currently as 'dive bars' was just 'the local', but that was before owning up to being a dive was considered a good thing somehow....but it was a way to distinguish between the kind of place where you have to wear a shirt, shoes and pants, and the type of place where 2 out of 3 is probably close enough.

the world needs places where they put ice in the urinals and serve drinks in content specific glasses. it also needs places where the 'bouncer' is just the largest regular in the place at the moment (even if she's a grandmother). we've got to call the latter....something. dive works for me.


Does a dive = a pub?
 
2013-01-31 03:54:43 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: heap: AverageAmericanGuy: So a 'bar'.


Does a dive = a pub?


can't speak to anything more than my experience on that one, but most places i've been to that label themselves as a pub fit more into the 'sports/shiat-on-the-walls/500-microbrews' category.
 
2013-01-31 03:56:11 AM  
There's a bar near me that appears to just be a cinder block building with a door and a red neon sign that just says "BAR". No name, no advertising, no windows or decorations. Just "BAR". I've never been inside. I can't even imagine what I might find.
 
2013-01-31 03:57:56 AM  

taurusowner: There's a bar near me that appears to just be a cinder block building with a door and a red neon sign that just says "BAR". No name, no advertising, no windows or decorations. Just "BAR". I've never been inside. I can't even imagine what I might find.


casmarino.com
 
2013-01-31 03:59:32 AM  

heap: AverageAmericanGuy: heap: AverageAmericanGuy: So a 'bar'.


Does a dive = a pub?

can't speak to anything more than my experience on that one, but most places i've been to that label themselves as a pub fit more into the 'sports/shiat-on-the-walls/500-microbrews' category.


My understanding is mostly not in sync with that, putting pubs into the so-called 'dive' category, perhaps having a proper kitchen being the main differentiator. But whatever floats everyone's boat, I guess.

People that seek out 'dive bars' for the sake of enjoying the diveyness of the place are, IMO, hipsters in the sense that they are searching for an authenticity they feel they lack.
 
2013-01-31 03:59:33 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Feral_and_Preposterous: 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?


It's about going to a place where people aren't being pretentious or putting on airs. (Though those people are everywhere.) Some people go because they like to play pool or darts (steel tipped, FTW) and listen to classic rock (some people might say country, but technically I think those are classed as honkytonks). Good dive bars tend to have a mix of people from all different social, economic and religious groups. (I was a bartender at one for 8 years--luckily it was a college-town dive bar, so the women tended not to be your typical leathernecks and the guys weren't often sporting prison tats and knives longer than their cocks.)

Things you don't talk about at dive bars (or shouldn't): religion and politics. (That stuff will end in butthurt and, unlike on Fark, fights in dive bars have real--physical--consequences.)

Also: Each plate of food should contain enough grease to lube the axels of a prairie schooner.

Plenty of bar-top with enough TVs to accommodate all the important sports' games simultaneously is also important.

The building has to be old and a little run down. (Low rent = low prices. If the prices are high, it's not a dive.) Otherwise it's just a sports bar.

So a 'bar'.

What makes it a 'dive' seems to be the ironic search for authenticity that the patron lacks.


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?


what's not to like about a place where you can come in with filthy work clothes on, get falling down drunk for less than $30, and that's the expected behavior?
 
2013-01-31 03:59:38 AM  
Warped wood floors or peeling vinyl tiles
Either greasy food, frozen pizza, or no warm food at all (maybe a crockpot of "chili" that looks a few years old)
A pool table (what kind of place has room for 2?)
NO MICROBREWS on tap (a few skunky micros in the cooler is ok)
Cheap domestic beer
No loud music.  There's a jukebox, but the bartender doesn't want to hear it.

How come no one has mentioned the 8AM happy hour??
 
2013-01-31 04:00:51 AM  

taurusowner: There's a bar near me that appears to just be a cinder block building with a door and a red neon sign that just says "BAR". No name, no advertising, no windows or decorations. Just "BAR". I've never been inside. I can't even imagine what I might find.


3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-31 04:02:24 AM  

nburghmatt: what's not to like about a place where you can come in with filthy work clothes on, get falling down drunk for less than $30, and that's the expected behavior?


Nothing. Sounds great. Tell me where it is so I can wax my handlebar moustache and wear my best skinny pants and suspenders. I'd love to hang with you locals.
 
2013-01-31 04:03:06 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: My understanding is mostly not in sync with that, putting pubs into the so-called 'dive' category, perhaps having a proper kitchen being the main differentiator.


yah, that. when i went thru the mental checklist of self described pubs i've been too, it was well into the 10 dollar hamburger territory. dive bar is 3 dollar deep fried everything territory.

 

AverageAmericanGuy: People that seek out 'dive bars' for the sake of enjoying the diveyness of the place are, IMO, hipsters in the sense that they are searching for an authenticity they feel they lack.


i know nothing of hipsters, as i'm closer to needing a hip replaced than being trendy, but i fit in better in a dive. i guess i was into dive bars before dive bars were cool, so we're kinda full circle here.
 
2013-01-31 04:14:15 AM  
Even though it's full of yuppies and hipsters, and has even been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the Anchor Bar in Superior WI is still a neat place.1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-31 04:18:36 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: nburghmatt: what's not to like about a place where you can come in with filthy work clothes on, get falling down drunk for less than $30, and that's the expected behavior?

Nothing. Sounds great. Tell me where it is so I can wax my handlebar moustache and wear my best skinny pants and suspenders. I'd love to hang with you locals.


You are so not living up to your login tonight.
 
2013-01-31 04:21:26 AM  
Stop over-analyzing! It's a place where one may get drunk, in relative peace. Unless one is a jackass, then they'll do things to you. And stuff.
 
2013-01-31 04:27:17 AM  
Great place, but hard to get to in the MN northwoods.  Last time I was there, they won't take your credit card because there is no phone line.  They operated under generator-only power until somewhere around 2005-07
www.trestleinn.com
 
2013-01-31 04:30:34 AM  
The dive bar in my neighborhood was just bought by hipster douchebags who already own 4 hipster douchebag bars  within a four block area of the dive bar. They're going to gut the bar and rebuild getting rid of the stage & infamous drag shows.

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=68410

It's not so much a "gay" bar as a neighborhood bar welcoming to all. If their other bars are any indication it'll be like having a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks
 
2013-01-31 04:31:31 AM  
One of my favorites is the Salty Dog Saloon in Homer, Alaska.  Too many tourists visit during the summer, though.
 
2013-01-31 04:32:17 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.



I'll see you that and raise you -

Must have the appropriate piquant bouquet - the proper ratio of puke to urine smell - this is essential

Must NOT have a telephone...geeze people this is dive bar 101

Well expired Blind Robbins...duh

Gotta be dark and dingy, with a dusty buildup that began around the turn of the century

Couple of visible (well used) baseball bats behind the bar...

Creative use of duct tape prettymuch everywhere

Should be located outside any local police jurisdiction...

Should be prepared for just about ANYTHING to happen on a Friday/Saturday night

Gotta be open at least 7am

Throw in some Hank Sr. and Patsy Cline on the juke...oh and some David Allen Coe
 
2013-01-31 04:32:27 AM  
If you aren't guaranteed to die if there is a fire, flood, earthquake or excessive flatulence, then it's not a good dive bar.
 
2013-01-31 04:38:20 AM  
Dive bar? It's late at night.The bar owner and his favorite bookie (three bookies in this bar, no waiting) are loaded to the gills. They start arguing who has the biggest beer belly. The owner, to make his point, takes off his shirt, the bookie does the same and takes off his pants. The owner takes off his pants. The two of them are at the end of the bar standing in their boxers, roaring, laughing, tears coming down their eyes. One of the regulars "HoHo Good Night Irene"  also bombed out of his mind, sees what's going on and takes off his shirt and pants, the scuz isn't wearing any underwear! Everyone in the bar is laughing so hard they can't breathe. The bartender, the customers, the owner and the bookie. In walks a new guy, he orders a beer. He gets his beer and looks around. Two huge guys are standing at the end of the bar in their underwear laughing like two maniacs and the guy sitting in the chair next to him, has no clothes on. To his credit he finished his beer before he ran out of the bar.
 
2013-01-31 04:39:28 AM  
Here's a local dive where you might get run-over by a truck, just for sitting at the bar.  Check out the surveillance footage: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/police-pickup-crashes-into-r e staurant-in-little-canada-6-injured/
 
2013-01-31 04:44:36 AM  

JT82: Here's a local dive where you might get run-over by a truck, just for sitting at the bar.  Check out the surveillance footage: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/police-pickup-crashes-into-r e staurant-in-little-canada-6-injured/


Little Canada?  Canadese people have their own inner city ethnic ghettos in America now?
 
2013-01-31 04:48:38 AM  
Smog Cutter in LA, Karaoke evening, sometime in the 90s ...

You look up once to hear who's singing Candle In The Wind (before lady Di Died) like a songbird and see a cross between an Eskimo and a cowboy from a 50s flick singing.

You look up a second time to hear who's singing some other tune again with a great smooth voice and it's the mad bum who pulled up his shopping cart full of crap just outside the door.
Good times.

I have no idea where I was : I was taken there straight from LAX at night time.

Jenny
 
2013-01-31 04:58:59 AM  
I'll take a stab at it... and I did read TFA.

First of all, the writer and his blog writing friend have never been to a true dive bar.
If you are even thinking about the quality of the food, you aren't in a dive.
The building should be made of bricks.
A dive bar needs 25+ years in business, minimum.
FTA: nothing over $10.
Please. $10 should get you started, and you're out of there for $30 tops. And that's on a Friday and on your second wind.
And it should have a rep. If it's your first visit, you should be a little bit scared.
 
2013-01-31 05:01:09 AM  
One of my local dives has a men's room so vile, most of the patrons go out the back door and piss on the building.
The utility company has to replace their gas meter every few years because of uric acid corrosion.

img.photobucket.com

Their best looking bartender
 
2013-01-31 05:05:19 AM  
AMVETS Post 9 here in Louisville seems to fit the bill. It's cash only, cheap drinks and domestic beer, non-locals are scrutinized, everyone is older, the bartender is a shade tree, a raggity pool table, illegal poker games upstairs, and everyone gets really shiatfaced every day.  Although I don't frequent it as much as I used to, I love it.
 
2013-01-31 05:09:49 AM  

HotWingAgenda: JT82: Here's a local dive where you might get run-over by a truck, just for sitting at the bar.  Check out the surveillance footage: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/police-pickup-crashes-into-r e staurant-in-little-canada-6-injured/

Little Canada?  Canadese people have their own inner city ethnic ghettos in America now?


Little Canada is actually the name of the city, but there is a ghetto apartment complex within named Montreal Courts....
 
2013-01-31 05:48:01 AM  
My dad called them "Beer Joints" Here in Rochester, "Marges" fits the bill. Former Speak easy, free popcorn, 45rpm juke box, floor so crooked, you can place the bowling ball anywhere and it will roll to the same spot everytime. On the beach, so winter time, it's usually just the locals. No credit, no beer on tap, bottles & cans.
 
2013-01-31 05:53:13 AM  
Opens when it is first legally able to do so, 5:30 AM!! Blue collar type people drinking before they go to work or after they got off work. Dank. Windows you can hardly see in our out of. Cheep booze, like Im not certain I can buy it a the store cheap. Semi-seedy area of town and a run down building. Sidetrack Cafe Cleveland ftw
 
2013-01-31 06:03:56 AM  
I went to an old old dive bar in Taunton, MA that had built into the ceramic tile floor a drain trough that allowed you not to have to leave your seat when the beer caught up to you. It hadn't been used for that since they had running water installed but there was a day it was used for that purpose.
 
2013-01-31 06:19:39 AM  
 Crap put on floor to pre-empt crap put on floor by patrons.
Also there has to be at least one almost identical bar within a block.....some sort of symbiotic relationship that seems to be the rule, rather than the exception.
 
2013-01-31 06:25:07 AM  
The best dive bars are located in the lobbies or basements of office buildings so pretty much only people who work in or near the building know about it.

The waitresses should be wearing regular street clothes like jeans, not cutsey-dutesy costumes. (I'd be willing to make an exception to this one.)

The menu should be of the soup-and-sandwich variety, or something of the Denny's sort. Bonus points if they serve breakfast all day.

Well drinks at Happy Hour shouldn't cost more than a couple of bucks, tops. If free food's provided during H.H. it should be practically inedible.

You should see the same faces there most nights. When a customer walks in, the bartender should have his usual waiting for him (or her) at his usual place by the time he sits down (while he's hanging up his coat and saying howdy to the other regulars.)
 
2013-01-31 06:28:45 AM  
My friends and I had a dive bar that was our regular haunt on a Friday night. Our Zion was ruined when it became popular with the bears coming over from the gay bar across the road.

/csb
 
2013-01-31 06:29:05 AM  
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I know I have found the right place when I see a pair of couples come in, dressed all nice like a first or second date, and they stop, look around a minute then  leave.
.
.
.
.
.
 
2013-01-31 06:32:15 AM  

tallguywithglasseson: 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.

heap: an equal likelihood of being groped by a transformer 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.



Pretty much only this.  The place that stays open later, and the other bartenders and servers go to after their place closes.  That's your dive bar.
 
2013-01-31 06:35:45 AM  
Any dive bar that a blogger frequents and blogs about is not a dive bar, it is a hipster haven.  True dive bar clientele only use the internet for Facebook and porn.
 
2013-01-31 06:41:06 AM  
The GF and I love dive bars.  Fark anyone who thinks we're hipsters for that reason.   My fave is der Gute Stute in Frankfurt.  The owner is a psycho ex-hippie who, even though he refuses tips on principle will gladly pad your bill if you're dressed too nice.  If you insist on giving a tip, he insists on giving you a free shot of bad slivovice and you're not leaving til you drink it.

Runner-up was the old sailor's bar on the outskirts of Dublin where I actually feared being raped by a handful of 70 year olds.
 
2013-01-31 06:41:53 AM  
Advanced Open Water c-card.
 
2013-01-31 06:50:52 AM  
I've been in the beer business for over 20 years so i've seen my share. We have one in an old strip mall that's pretty low brow. I remember reading the banned customer list behind the bar and one name jumped out at me -  Scary Sherry.
 
2013-01-31 06:51:13 AM  
This is actually my new fave bar, yes it is named "The Drunken Clam".  It has 25 cent hot wings on Monday.
o5.aolcdn.com
 
2013-01-31 06:52:35 AM  
According to pilots, a good landing is any landing you walk away from.
I suppose a good dive bar is any dive bar you can crawl away from.
 
2013-01-31 07:01:23 AM  
Birthday parties for regulars.
Somebody brings in a BBQ on the weekends.
At least 2 blue hairs that flirt with everyone.
Bartenders that were hot 10 years ago.
Holes in the floor, ceilings or walls that are patched with stuff people found in dumpsters.
The best friends and the worst enemies you will ever have a beer with.
 
2013-01-31 07:03:29 AM  
Theyah was a bah in Lynn, MA, back when called the Shawmut. We use to get closed down outta tha spoorts bah down the street called "bleach-uhs" and then all wind up ovah theya. They called it "shawmut til ya vomit." Theya was always live music until they closed. Mostly because if the band stopped playin they get the eva lovin' crap kicked outta them. Especially if they sucked. This one time, Leeser's boyfriend Murph-Dog hucked a bottle at them and was like "You guy fahkin' suck!" and everyone chee-ahd. And when they stopped playin' and started packin' up he threw anutha bottle and said "No one told you to stop! You suck, but think of this as rehearsal time!" Everyone laughed and the band stahted playing wicked awesomne covah songs. Donnie and Belzah were havin' a fahkin clinic ovah on the coin-ops fah like tree owahs. Pal, you fahking missed a pissah night.
 
2013-01-31 07:06:41 AM  
Drunken Clam?

familyguycutaways.com
 
2013-01-31 07:26:07 AM  
Duffy's in Madison Village, Ohio. Wagon Wheel at Madison-On-The-Lake, Ohio. North Center Tavern, Geneva, Ohio. Sonny Lanes, Harpersfield, Ohio. Grand River Tavern, Austinburg, Ohio.
 
2013-01-31 07:32:31 AM  

WTF Indeed: One free of hipsters.


Indeed!
 
2013-01-31 07:38:50 AM  
My local "Dive" bar was in a rural area (The Doctors Lounge, though now it is called Captain Morgans, about 10 miles east of Zanesville) and was the closet one within 15 miles, it went through stages:

A "dive" bar with a pool table and a juke box.
then
A bar with a dance floor, where the local college (10 miles away in a dry town) kids would come (they even had a bus to/from the college)
then
Removed the dance floor and added a stripper pole, making it a half bar/half strip club (never went there when it was in this stage)
then
Removed the strip club half, put in a second pool table, and now it is a "dive" bar again.

Met my wife there when it had the dance floor.  Now I go there sometimes to play pool.  They also have church there on Sunday mornings.

There used to be another bar nearby (about 3 miles down the road from this one) that had one pool table that was warped from the leaking roof, a dirt floor, no door on the mens "bathroom" which was actually just a toilet (and people could easily see you using it).
 
2013-01-31 07:40:07 AM  

Burr: Zanesville


Ohio
 
2013-01-31 07:47:58 AM  
A lot of the "dive" bars mentioned in this thread are just bars. A real dive bar doesn't do much to attract new people. Instead it has a loyal group of regulars, many who show up in the AM and stay the whole day. A dive bar isn't some place you look forward to going to, it's where you go to get away from things. It's not a place where you feel good. It's where you can feel a little less bad. You're not really enjoying yourself, you're just numbing feeling in general. A real dive bar is a building that exists to provide as much alcohol as you need without any fancyness  4 wall, a ceiling and booze.
 
2013-01-31 08:00:01 AM  

SlothB77: [deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com image 512x384]

the dank.


I you're gettin' high off those fumes I'm gonna have to charge ya.
 
2013-01-31 08:02:43 AM  
Pickled eggs and pickled sausages in one gallon jars with hand written signs stating they are 50 cents each. Extra points if the ink is runny from the juices in the jar dripping out when serving. 5 points if the jars are dusty.

Urinal should not flush and there is no door on the stall.

There should be at least one stuffed dead animal in the joint. Preferably staring out from the shadows.

None of the women should be remotely attractive.

There should be an illegal lottery of some sort being played openly.

Anyone well dressed should stand out like a cold sore on a cover girl's lips. They should be made to feel uncomfortable immediately and be told to leave.

The cops should show up, talk to the bartender briefly, (points for having a beer while doing this) and leave without bothering anyone.

If there is chalk to play pool with, it's just a broken nub of its former self, just like that guy way down at the end, who probably killed more men in action than you ever tried to fight.

Stale popcorn, stale peanuts, or stale pretzels in bowls.

The draft beer should be cheap, and it should be flat. (bonus points for warm, too)

Mixed drinks should be old school and minimal. Tom Collins, or better yet, boilermakers.

 If they open at 6 AM to take care of a mill shift getting off work, and have a local paper folded over on the bar, it's OK.

Points for the bartender bringing a mangy old German Shepard with three legs to work.
 
2013-01-31 08:11:49 AM  
The place is so small that the dart board is directly across the path to the bathroom, so you risk getting impaled every time you return the beer you just rented.
 
2013-01-31 08:12:54 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: All of the above and more at Denver's Skylark Lounge, since 1943.

Farkin' jukebox still spins 45s. :-)


Dive bars are not on Facebook.
 
2013-01-31 08:14:35 AM  
It IS the dank!
 
2013-01-31 08:18:08 AM  
One of my favorites ...  http://www.intermissionbar.com
 
2013-01-31 08:19:12 AM  

bikerbob59: One of my favorites ...  http://www.intermissionbar.com


Yes, I know I said dive bars are not on facebook....
 
2013-01-31 08:20:18 AM  

Rocknutts: Here in Rochester, "Marges" fits the bill.


I stopped there once.
You are correct, sir.
 
2013-01-31 08:26:42 AM  

Mad Mark: Scary Sherry.


Tha would be "hairy Mary's" sister.
 
2013-01-31 08:28:50 AM  
Punters Pub in Boston, MA.

I spent my last 3 years of college there. Nothing like a quick beer between classes and some Big Buck Hunter.

DKM is still the high score on all the Treks (except Elk... goddamn you, RBS).
None of the stupid ditzy sorority girls went there, and none of the bros went there either.

/sigh, those were the days.
//I miss college
 
2013-01-31 08:41:38 AM  
We've got 4 bars in Presque Isle.  One is a "club" (lol, yeah, right), another is a pub, yet another is a lounge ...and the last is a dive bar.  It's located in the back of a Chinese restaurant on Main Street.  Yes, they have lights out.  Including on their outdoor sign.  Their jukebox plays almost solely 80s hits, there are plenty of rag-tag drunk locals, the seats at the bar are falling apart, and you can get a kick-ass Long Island Iced Tea for $5.  One of the bartenders is this big bear of a guy who usually wears either rock band T-shirts or tie-dye.
 
2013-01-31 08:47:49 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 might have to trek to B'klyn to find this place. My hangout is obviously far too frou-frou ... but it's close to kid #1's dance class so I can hang there while waiting for her.

My criteria? Dark, not crowded, cute bartender who sometimes comps me a drink out of three or four.
 
2013-01-31 08:50:37 AM  
Whether or not you can give or get a good blowjob in the bathroom without getting kicked out.
 
2013-01-31 08:57:00 AM  
Not sure why that guy references Galaxy Hut at all. That place is pure hipster (it just went 'meatless'), even if the customers aren't.

His other picks of dives are pretty good.
 
2013-01-31 09:02:07 AM  
ZzeusS: tallguywithglasseson: 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.

heap: an equal likelihood of being groped by a transformer 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.

Pretty much only this. The place that stays open later, and the other bartenders and servers go to after their place closes. That's your dive bar.


 Yeah, any place all the OTHER local bar-workers go to after last call, that is a true dive bar.  "At least I'm not these people."
 
2013-01-31 09:04:45 AM  
The coolness of a bar is inversely proportion to the number of hot ladies in the crowd.

Nothing against you ladies, but if it's a known hottie hangout then the douchebags come out in force trying to hook up with the meat.
 
das
2013-01-31 09:09:29 AM  
Floozies!!!!!
 
2013-01-31 09:22:04 AM  
One thing that definitely defines a dive bar is a bathroom where the toilet does not have 4 walls of privacy.
 
2013-01-31 09:30:20 AM  
You guessed it, Frank Stallone!
etrangermysterieux.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-01-31 09:31:00 AM  

Ebbelwoi: The GF and I love dive bars.  Fark anyone who thinks we're hipsters for that reason.   My fave is der Gute Stute in Frankfurt.  The owner is a psycho ex-hippie who, even though he refuses tips on principle will gladly pad your bill if you're dressed too nice.  If you insist on giving a tip, he insists on giving you a free shot of bad slivovice and you're not leaving til you drink it.

Runner-up was the old sailor's bar on the outskirts of Dublin where I actually feared being raped by a handful of 70 year olds.





I welcome 70 year old lady rapists
 
2013-01-31 09:34:28 AM  
I am really glad that Jays Saloon made the the list. That place is wonderful.

The Forrest Inn isnt so much a dive bar, as it is a place where the alcoholics go. Seriously, its 930 AM right now and I am sure that there must be at least one person pacing out front to let them in.
 
2013-01-31 09:34:56 AM  
Pickled eggs.
 
2013-01-31 09:37:15 AM  

Cythraul: Whether or not you can give or get a good blowjob in the bathroom without getting kicked out.



No such thing as a bad hummer
 
2013-01-31 09:59:47 AM  

trickymoo: The Forrest Inn isnt so much a dive bar, as it is a place where the alcoholics go


It is a lot less divey than it was 5 or 6 years ago.  The smoking ban seemed to be tipping point.  Since they took up the old bowling alley type carpet and put tile-type flooring and got TV's made after the 1980's it lost a lot of its "charm".  Then, I went in a couple months ago and they were doing Karaoke.  I turned right the hell around and left.  It's a shame.  That's been my neighborhood go-to since Luna Park closed.
 
2013-01-31 10:03:32 AM  
Not officially a good dive until this guy shows up...

www.thebraiser.com
 
2013-01-31 10:04:48 AM  
Eureka California had (has?) an old longshoreman's bar called the Vista Del Mar. We called it VD By the Sea. It was a perfect dive bar, made of plywood and Glit (glue and shiat) so that when there is a fight nothing of value gets broken.

My girlfriend and I stopped in there once after a day of crab fishing, and I ordered a beer. My glass had lipstick on it. I brought it to the ancient bartendress' attention, and she said "Oh, you wanted a clean glass?" Then she ran her tongue around the rim, set it back in front of me, and said "There! One clean glass!" I didn't know whether to be offended or ask her out for a date.
 
2013-01-31 10:12:59 AM  
There is a bar in San Francisco called "The Relapse". They will give you a free drink in exchange for your AA sobriety chip.
 
2013-01-31 10:22:40 AM  

lunchinlewis: trickymoo: The Forrest Inn isnt so much a dive bar, as it is a place where the alcoholics go

It is a lot less divey than it was 5 or 6 years ago.  The smoking ban seemed to be tipping point.  Since they took up the old bowling alley type carpet and put tile-type flooring and got TV's made after the 1980's it lost a lot of its "charm".  Then, I went in a couple months ago and they were doing Karaoke.  I turned right the hell around and left.  It's a shame.  That's been my neighborhood go-to since Luna Park closed.


The new beer garden is awesome though. Not at all divey, but I am a fan.

IMO, If you don't want to wait 45 minutes and pay a ton, the Stray Cat is better than Lost Dog.
 
2013-01-31 10:25:20 AM  
See the losers in the best bars
Meet the winners in the dives
Where the people are the real stars
All the rest of their lives.
As long as we can sail away

-Neil Young
 
2013-01-31 10:29:33 AM  
www.baltimoresun.com

Not a dive bar as such, but a lot of these criteria apply to the gone-but-not-forgotten Hammerjacks.
 
2013-01-31 10:33:09 AM  
My favorite dive bar says "FU" to the no smoking laws and has ash trays scattered all over.  The bartender is a 40ish bleach blonde with a massive fake rack and she always wears a tank top.  There is always some oldster alcoholic  nursing a drink at the end of the bar. The door to the men's room doesn't lock and it always smell like piss and Pine Sol. If you happen to walk through to the back and step outside there will always be someone smoking a doobie.

The Belvedere.
 
2013-01-31 10:36:28 AM  

fireclown: [www.baltimoresun.com image 582x375]

Not a dive bar as such, but a lot of these criteria apply to the gone-but-not-forgotten Hammerjacks.


Legendary.  Same could be said of The Bayou.  No-frills DC area venues of the past.  Throw in Jaxx for good measure.
 
2013-01-31 10:37:17 AM  
The Broken spoke in 'Hub City' with actual sawdust underfoot and the men's can was downstairs with the urinal draining into a hole in the sloped floor.
 
2013-01-31 10:39:28 AM  
Anecdote from my favorite dive bar in Brooklyn:

Hipster Dude who walked in: "Can I have a PBR?"
Old-ass Grandpa Bartender: "NO."
 
2013-01-31 10:39:53 AM  
Dirty glasses and dirtier women.
 
2013-01-31 10:46:24 AM  
A real dive bar has an outside that looks like this:

syphon.com

A men's room that looks like one of these:

syphon.com

syphon.com
syphon.com


And the only food served should be whatever chips are on the pegs behind the bar and whatever is pickling in the mystery jars.
 
2013-01-31 10:54:11 AM  

lunchinlewis: Not a dive bar as such, but a lot of these criteria apply to the gone-but-not-forgotten Hammerjacks.

Legendary. Same could be said of The Bayou. No-frills DC area venues of the past. Throw in Jaxx for good measure.


That place was my french foreign legion.  I had a crazy stalker GF when I was at UMBC who would hound me to the ends of the earth, but once inside Hammerjacks I was unfindable. I remember that there was usually a guy in the parking lot who would offer to watch your car for $5.  I always figured that what he meant was "if you give me $5, I won't put a cinderblock through your windshield".  I always paid him, and no harm ever came to my car.  A man of his word.

I am astounded that the whole place STILL doesn't reek of urine, hair spray and bud light.  A friend of mine, now a doctor, always said that he wanted to discover a venerial disease that he would name "bacillus Hammerjackius".
 
2013-01-31 11:01:09 AM  

nemisonic: Good Pulled Pork and other BBQ style food with decent microbrews (near Boston, MA)

//Looking for something near Irvine or San Clemente like this.... sad that Mexican and Asian food rule the land of SoCal.


"Microbrew?"  GTFO.

I'm from New Orleans, born & raised.  Put it this way: I met my wife at Snake & Jake's ... being that it's one of the more upscale joints I frequented.
 
2013-01-31 11:02:03 AM  
Where The Simpsons got the idea for the Bart/Moe prank calls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DyRfybrgrM
 
2013-01-31 11:06:02 AM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Where The Simpsons got the idea for the Bart/Moe prank calls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DyRfybrgrM


I'm convinced that Moes was modeled after Guidos of Fredneck MD.  I saw a 9 year old thrown out of there just a few weeks ago.
 
2013-01-31 11:16:53 AM  
My favorite dive has a 3rd floor pool hall w/ smoking, over 100 different beers, a gigantic outdoor patio, Happy Hour and "Halfie Hour". During halfie hour, all imports/microbrews are half price. Add $2 bourbon/$3 Bloody Marys on Sundays, and was voted "Best Place To Get Drunk At Noon".

/guess where I'm going
 
2013-01-31 11:28:43 AM  
The one I'm most familiar with was called Second Place in Greensboro, NC.  It was maybe a mile from my college but you'd never hear about it as it wasn't popular with the college set.  I was 19 or 20 at the time and most of my friends were older and I'd often tag along with them on weekend nights and like any true dive bar they didn't ask for ID.  The place was like walking into a Bukowski novel.  Professional alcoholics, lights that were dimmed to movie theater levels to try and mask the despair in the air, no beverages that weren't from American macrobreweries or utter crap, a juke box consisting of only rock and country made between the late 60s and late 80s, large confederate flag hanging over the bar, you name it.  In addition to the older professional boozehounds you got your punks, metalheads, bums and other sorts.  There was always the token guy with a tracheotomy that would talk to you through his electronic stick thing, the veterans who would just drink and stare off into space, and one other guy who was always there - he was a neatly dressed guy in his late 40s-early 50s who would just walk up to people and rant about nothing in particular that ever made any sense.  Not stark raving mad, but that articulate-yet-incomprehensible style of ranting that I think is reserved for a specific subset of drinker/mentally unstable.  He'd often just stand there having conversations with a wall or pool table during a band's set if no one was there to listen.  The bar would occasionally host live music (usually unknown local bands) on a postage stamp sized stage.  I don't think I ever left that place without feeling a little deader inside.
 
2013-01-31 11:38:15 AM  
Late to the party, but saw this in a dive bar in San Francisco:

www.azsportbikes.org

Yes, they were storing the new kegs of Pilsner Urquel two feet from the toilet in the bathroom.

In their defense, it already tastes like urine, so...
 
2013-01-31 12:00:33 PM  
There is a dive in town I wont frequent, though. When asking the waitress where the bathroom was, she replied "You mean you can't smell it?"

/run away!
 
2013-01-31 12:26:36 PM  
blog.wfmu.org

One of my favorite stills from Lionel Rogosin's "On the Bowery" (1956).
 
2013-01-31 01:29:42 PM  
"Bar None" in Virginia Beach, I always go by there if I have a 0800 tee time, they open at 0530 or 0600, depending on how drunk John got the night before. Great food, cheap booze and good people. One of the regulars  was fired from her job as a cashier at Food Lion for weighing her tits in the produce scale, I still laugh when I recall her telling the story the day it happened, and BTW 14 lbs.
 
2013-01-31 01:48:28 PM  
I used to go to a great dive bar in DC. Funny thing was it was in a nice area. Right on 20th and K st. It was called the Crowbar and it was in an old house that was surrounded by office buildings. It was like the end of Batteries Not Included. There were bikers there all the time, darts, pool a crusty old jukebox. It was a fun place til they sold it and made another office building there. Off my lawn!
 
2013-01-31 02:00:12 PM  

lunchinlewis: fireclown: [www.baltimoresun.com image 582x375]

Not a dive bar as such, but a lot of these criteria apply to the gone-but-not-forgotten Hammerjacks.

Legendary.  Same could be said of The Bayou.  No-frills DC area venues of the past.  Throw in Jaxx for good measure.


Jeez I remember all those old places. Saw 311 at the Bayou and the stuff I saw at Jaxx.........the horror the horror. Dont forget the Capital Ballroom down from Jaxx not so much a dive bar but it is where I saw my first murder.
 
2013-01-31 02:13:55 PM  
This may be the archetype, up until 2001, I logged many days here.
Go Devils
\blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com
 
2013-01-31 02:15:52 PM  
Current hole
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2013-01-31 02:51:59 PM  

groppet: lunchinlewis: fireclown: [www.baltimoresun.com image 582x375]

Not a dive bar as such, but a lot of these criteria apply to the gone-but-not-forgotten Hammerjacks.

Legendary.  Same could be said of The Bayou.  No-frills DC area venues of the past.  Throw in Jaxx for good measure.

Jeez I remember all those old places. Saw 311 at the Bayou and the stuff I saw at Jaxx.........the horror the horror. Dont forget the Capital Ballroom down from Jaxx not so much a dive bar but it is where I saw my first murder.


My first show was at the Capital Ballroom. I was in elementary school. Long before it became Nation.
 
2013-01-31 02:56:14 PM  
Went to a dive bar in Ponce de Leon, FL with my buddy.  We are both bankers.  We walk up and all the rednecks are sitting outside around a picnic table.  We go in to get our beers from the beerwench and no one else was in there.  So we walk outside to talk to the rednecks.  We sit down and one redneck says, "What did one gay guy say to the other at the bar?  Can I push your stool in for you?"  That's a dive bar!
 
2013-01-31 03:01:34 PM  
I don't think most of you have any idea until you have been to Burts Tiki Lounge in SLC.  No seriously. It's a urine soaked punk rock/metal venue with only PBR in cans bought from a 7-11 in a cooler. Nothing on tap, and a just few bottom shelf liquor staples.  They have been ranked in different publications as one of the top 10 dive bars in the country.
This an old picture. There is no sign with Dolphens on it (WTF?) and the window with the Bud light sign is all boarded up. 

mw2.google.com 

/My band and I were 86'd from there
//but we've since kissed an made up
///I'm in there way way too much
 
2013-01-31 03:27:21 PM  
Two Brothers' Tap House used to be a great dive pub/bar... then the aficionados showed up, next thing we knew a half-empty on Friday became a "Do you have a reservation" on Wednesday.

I don't care how fancy the beer is, if you're bar is inside your factory it is a dive. And for Peter, Paul and Jack's sake taking the cold meatloaf sandwich off the menu was the final straw. Don't care if your beer is good, doing that means I'll pay $11 for a six pack of Stone or Lagunitas instead of $9 for yours, and forget buying a live pull growler off your tank. Put a 3 mile limit on occupancy at the Tap House and let the snobs go to the downtown Round House.
 
2013-01-31 03:27:27 PM  

Pick: Duffy's in Madison Village, Ohio. Wagon Wheel at Madison-On-The-Lake, Ohio. North Center Tavern, Geneva, Ohio. Sonny Lanes, Harpersfield, Ohio. Grand River Tavern, Austinburg, Ohio.


What about Rey's Route62 in Mount Union, OH?
 
2013-01-31 04:39:26 PM  
We Used to go on a "Dive Crawl" back in the day. Hit all the dives on a particular arterial. There were about ten dives on our route. Never made it passed stop five or six. My pops lived next door to stop number two, The Top Hat.

/Lincoln
//Cornhusker Hwy
 
2013-01-31 05:35:17 PM  
farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2013-01-31 06:22:27 PM  
The Clermont_Lounge

so awesome it has its own Wikipedia page
 
2013-01-31 07:25:40 PM  
they always look at me like i'm a narc in here but they had an amazing jukebox.

hard luck saloon

images.citysearch.net
 
2013-01-31 08:30:49 PM  
Bud's on Broadway, Saskatoon SK. Long-time "biker blues bar" where many great gigs happened over the years (screw your jukebox 45s), ie: George Thorogood showing up in the middle of a Thursday afternoon and jamming with the house band for nothing more than drinks & banter. Also a venue for local kids to get their start (the Sheepdogs, Wide Mouth Mason) and great talents to shine with a close up & sweaty house (Tegan & Sara, Big Sugar, Destroyer, New Pornographers, The Pursuit of Happiness, 54-40, Broken Social Scene, and The Tragically Hip all played Bud's during my years in Saskatoon). Always lots of LSD to be had from the HA, many joints smoked out by the back door, many teeth knocked out on the pavement by the front door. Food? Nino's is next door.
/CSB
 
2013-01-31 08:53:35 PM  
And how could I forget the late, lamented Village Idiot on 14th Street near 9th Avenue? Cold beer, pinball (seriously, if you find a bar with a pinball machine these days, it's like stepping back in time), peanut shells on the floor, "Boy Named Sue" on the jukebox, and occasionally the bartender would take off her shirt & dance on the bar.

Seriously, it was fun times.
 
2013-01-31 11:52:28 PM  

JT82: Here's a local dive where you might get run-over by a truck, just for sitting at the bar.  Check out the surveillance footage: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/police-pickup-crashes-into-r e staurant-in-little-canada-6-injured/


If all those people in the bar had guns, that never would of happened.
 
2013-02-01 03:21:24 AM  

DarkSoulNoHope: JT82: Here's a local dive where you might get run-over by a truck, just for sitting at the bar.  Check out the surveillance footage: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/police-pickup-crashes-into-r e staurant-in-little-canada-6-injured/

If all those people in the bar had guns, that never would of happened.


Too early in the day for them to be packing.  It happened in the middle of the afternoon.  The plus side is now they have a nice patio...
 
2013-02-01 07:01:34 AM  
no fancy decorations. Walls must be dark with wood paneling. Neon signs from Beer, other alcohol companies and cigarette companies are also a must. Bar must also have an old Jukebox filled with Southern Rock and Roll and Country. There must be at least one Pool table. A surly old bartender is also a nice touch.
 
2013-02-01 11:46:27 AM  

JT82: DarkSoulNoHope: JT82: Here's a local dive where you might get run-over by a truck, just for sitting at the bar.  Check out the surveillance footage: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/police-pickup-crashes-into-r e staurant-in-little-canada-6-injured/

If all those people in the bar had guns, that never would of happened.

Too early in the day for them to be packing.  It happened in the middle of the afternoon.  The plus side is now they have a nice patio...


Unfortunately the person at the wheel thought this was one of those 'drive thru liquor stores'.
 
2013-02-01 04:36:09 PM  
Dive bar qualifications...
Old, unvarnished wood floors or concrete- where it's OK to throw down a cigarette butt as long as you stamp it out. Pickled eggs and/ or pig's feet, served with crackers. Jukebox- Patsy Cline gets played regularly. Smells like urine and vomit. Good punk shows after midnight on weekends. No foosball, no TV. '60s cigarette machine, ready and loaded. Beer signs for defunct brands. Pool table w/ dead bumpers & warped cues- (it's also there for the occasional exhibitionist 'entertainment'). Dark, hasn't seen a serious cleaning in 5 years. Sells brands of beer you'd be ashamed to bring to a party. Located within walking distance to a No-Tell Hotel. Stainless Steel rails ever since the brass ones were stolen. Bottled beer comes w/ a 4-Ounce glass (nice 1940s touch) to lull you into thinking you're getting more drinks. Cops enter, but just shrug and leave. Barstools covered in ripped vinyl. At least two patrons who've been there more than 6 hours. Free popcorn makes you thirsty; that's why they have it. Under-the-table punchboard gambling. Building itself is a firetrap.
Well, that's enough for now. Ah, memories...
 
2013-02-01 08:51:28 PM  

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?


You may be a hipster.

But you can change.
 
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