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What Is A Dive Bar?


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sorry for being pedantic...but dive bars don't serve old fashioneds....you mean "normal" bar-style. dive bars serve beers and shots of jager or crown or what-not. normal bars serve crappy cocktails

I do think there are a number of "dive bars" in Manhattan that were opened for the express purposes of looking like dive bars, but to serve a non-divey clientele.   That's probably why sometimes yo

The only food they have is $1 popcorn, plus whatever you bring in with you.

I've seen eggs in the US, but never pigs feet.

 

You see the pigs' feet less and less often in urban bars although on the South Side of Milwaukee you can still find them. I just saw a jar behind the bar in a Northern WI town a few weeks ago.

 

Actually, in Milwaukee. and very occasionally in other WI towns, there is a sort of sub-category of bar that is not quite dive. They have the trappings of a dive bar: no beer selection, no food other than above, strong but unremarkable brandy drinks. But they are populated by multiple generations of families who live in the neighborhood and the bar owners tend to live upstairs (or behind). Often a poker, Euchre or Sheepshead game at one of the tables. No creepy guys without teeth.

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I mean they don't make them well - but they have a garnish tray and a bottle of bitters so they can. Some people like a lime in their jack and coke or vodka soda. Served in a pint glass.

 

see actually having the bitters is a regional thing. most of my drinking has been done in NYC, DC, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Wisconsin and Illinois. in half of those places it'd be pretty rare to see bitters at a dive bar.

 

the UK definition looks pretty accurate to me.

 

When did the Double Down open? Looks pretty clearly designed to fake being a dive bar to me (if it's less than 15 years old in that location then that's definitely the case). Spring Lounge has some of the characteristics but the location is way too trendy and the clientele are all wrong (except at 8 am)

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Holland Bar.

The customers keep it dive-ish, but good god they decorated and installed a...marble bar.

 

It is nowhere near the dive it once was.

 

People probably think Smith's on 8th Avenue is still a dive, not remembering when the bartenders carried baseball bats, and many clients had open wounds.

 

There's no question that the Mars Bar remained a dive until its dying day.

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I do think there are a number of "dive bars" in Manhattan that were opened for the express purposes of looking like dive bars, but to serve a non-divey clientele.

 

That's probably why sometimes you hear people in New York referring to real dive bars as "old man bars".

And then you get complicated examples like Billymark's West. It's often cited as a dive bar, but it was opened by a couple of music biz guys as a replica of a bar in their hometown. But it does attract some authentic dive bar clientele (including old men) as well as youngsters.

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Good stuff.

 

Plenty of places refer to themselves as "XXXXX Bar and Grill." The grill part is their little joke.

 

 

Taken to another level by Denny's Steak Pub in Kensington, which has probably not served a steak in fifty years.

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