Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A great Dive Bar Article to share with you!

I've been to two of these dives (Snake and Jakes & the Double Down Saloon). Now to get to the other 6!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dives in Charlotte, NC

Tommy's Pub
2007 Central Ave - Charlotte, NC 28205

Cracked plastic stools and walls decorated with racing memorabilia and politically incorrect stickers is what draws you in. Good beer prices and an fun people will keep you coming back. This place has been described as similar to a home bar found in your Granddad's basement. I don't need much more incentive. However, a birdie told me Tuesday Night is vinyl night. Bring in your records and they will spin them for you!

Thirsty Beaver
1225 Central Ave - Charlotte, NC 28204

Underwear hung on horns (the animal type), Burt Reynolds posters, and velvet paintings? You can't go wrong with this place. Check out a picture here: http://charlottefive.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/img_1319.jpg I hear the jukebox is free, 24oz PBR's are $3 and they even have a pool table!

Special Thanks to Jon for finding the above referenced bars for me! :-)

Snug Harbor
1228 Gordon Street - Charlotte, NC

We were spending time with a friend in the Charlotte area when we passed a bar, that looked so divey I had to check it out. Like it's counterpart in New Orleans, Snug Harbor in Charlotte is a great dive with good drink specials and live music. It is eclectically decorated and has a friendly bar staff. If you are in the area you should check it out. I hear however it is the hipster hang out on weekend late nights so best visit it early.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Best Dive Bars - Inner Harbor Baltimore, MD

1919 WINS as the greatest Dive in the Inner Harbor/Fells Point area of Baltimore.
1919, named after it's street address on Fleet St. This place is where all the locals go to drink cheap, genero beer. The newspaper showed up while we are there as they were being nominated for best dive bar. If you are looking for something that isn't a generic beer, grab a Natty Bo (the local beer). This place was dark, decorated with pictures EVERYWHERE and a strobe and a Gothic chandelier. They also serve slimjims and chips. What more could you want?

The Bar
located at 1718 Lancaster St is a great little hole in the wall. It's basic decor is brick and flags. There are TV's to watch the Ravens game or tennis as we stumbled upon. Good drink prices and the bartenders have character. Just don't call the bar a dive while they are around. You wouldn't like them when they are angry!

The Warf Rat
801 South Ann Street
This place has some of the friendliest bartenders. It's decorations resemble what you might find if Blackbeard had been around to loot the Titanic. It's creepy/classy nautical. I wasn't sure of this bar's dive status until I visited the restroom. I returned and promptly told my fellow drunks, a fat girl couldn't go in there. It is one of the tiniest, diviest, bathrooms I've ever been it. Don't be skert, embrace the dive! http://thewharfrat.com/

The Sidebar, is a little farther away from fells point, is located at 218 E. Lexington Street. It's famous for being featured in the Wire during the wake scene. Mostly, though, it's a dank dark basement where Judges and Attorneys go to drink after work. The prices are great! Go at 5 on a weekday if you really want to experience something weird, high faluting attorneys drinking in a punk club! http://sidebartavern.com/

Special shout out to J.A. Murphy's. Not a dive, but a great bar with great people. While you are there, spin the wheel!! http://jamurphys.com/

Monday, June 20, 2011

Best Dive Bar - Kannapolis, NC

This one is from a guest contributor, thanks Ruth.


609 N. Enochville Ave., Kannapolis, NC, 28081
(704) 938-2613

This place is an enigma. It can be found no where on the internet with the exception of the yellow pages. That may make it the "diviest" place on this board. A true local haunt. I have not been there personally but it was recommended to my friend by the local VFW and let me tell you, Veterans can find the GREATEST DIVES!!! Below is her review. I can't wait to try this place:

"Now this is place is a true dive, frequented by the locals, but be warned the place is a dump, but colorful to say the least. $2.00 to $2.25 for a cold beer. All the locals know the White Oak. My hubby and I have been there once together, but he has went more times alone. Its too sleezely and run down for me. LOL! Bathrooms are scary small."

Now if that doesn't sound like a true dive, I don't know what does. ROAD TRIP!!

Gettin Divey in Chicago

The Cove ...the quintessential dive bar in South Chicago. Located in beloved Hyde Park at the intersection of 55th and Everett, The Cove serves mostly locals and wanna be locals cold beers and cheap liqueur drinks almost anytime of the day. A diverse mix of cultures and down to earth people make The Cove the most unique spot to grab a beer in feel at home, regardless of your origin. The atmosphere is unbeatable and the people are great. The only place I have experienced where the bartenders drink just as much as the patrons. I love it! Some of the strongest drinks I have ever experienced...just ask for Allen. If you are ever in Chicago, The Cove is the place to be. - Write up courtesy of Mr. Hilton, another Dive Bar aficionado.

I haven't personally visited this bar but the link was sent to me, and I must say I am impressed. If you don't believe me look up reviews of the place. The Old Town Ale House is located across from Second City (and yes the performers have been known to party there) at 219 West North Avenue. From the reviews and pictures at the web site it is obvious that this is a historic dive ripe for debauchery. Don't go if you are easily offended or put off by nudes. There are several paintings of nude political figures on the walls painted by a local artist. The regulars have been immortalized in a mural on the wall. If I lived there, I would so go every day just to be included. Some notes I hear the beer is reasonable price wise but the liquor drinks are expensive. Some nights they have live jazz which I have heard raves about. CASH ONLY, ATM on location.

If you go, send me some pics and give me your review. I will post it here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Key Largo - Dive off of HWY 1

Shipwrecks Bar and Grill is located at 45 Garden Cove Dr. Key Largo, FL 33037.

It's not far off of the highway but, you'd never find it without directions. This dive is located along the water, right across from a literal dive center. You can sit inside or outside. The decor, well it's mostly dollar bills, as they are taped, stapled, and stuck everywhere. We chose a place at the bar. This place serves food and though the place looks a little crusty, the food is phenomenal. You must try the coconut onion rings! They have great tee shirts too. If you want another beer while in the area stop by the Buzzards Roost on your way back out to US Hwy. 1!

Best Dive Bar - Key West, FL

Finding a good "Dive" in Key West is tricky. This is for two reasons.
1. Key West is small so finding something off the beaten path is nearly impossible.
2. Very few bars in Key West are fancy, most all of them could qualify as a dive.

Taking in these two considerations, I have to designate the best bar in Key West as being one in the touristy area, but it does stand out. The best dive bar in Key West is:

Captain Tony's.
Captain Tony's is in a dank, dark place with tons of business cards and flyers stapled everywhere you look. There is even a tree growing through the roof. Despite it's dark surroundings, it attracts locals and tourists alike. It is the bar Hemmingway drank in and the bar Captain Tony, a local legend in his own right, owned. Captain Tony passed away recently and will be missed by all. If you get a chance, stop by and pay your respects, tip a glass to Tony.

For more information on Captain Tony's visit the website and while you are at it, read Tony's story, it is very interesting: http://www.capttonyssaloon.com/

Another Great Dive is Pepe's (D on the map below)
Located at:
Pepe’s is the oldest restaurant on the island. There is a tree growing in the middle of this dive as well. Sit at the bar and listen to the locals if you can. It's entertainment! They make their cocktails with FRESH squeezed juice. The margaritas and screwdrivers are to die for. They have are a fine dining establishment, though it doesn’t look like one. You don’t have to spend a lot of money there though. I highly recommend the sautéed mushroom appetizer and a piece of Key lime pie! http://pepescafe.net/

Key West Guide for future visits. Go down Caroline St. when Duval is too crowded. Beginning with Kelly's.
(On the map below A). Kelly’s has a great happy hour if you like breaded (hooters) type wings. Sit at the bar during happy hour for cheap wings, $2 beers, & reduced price margaritas.

(B) back and is never crowded as far as we could tell. It’s a nice break.

Just off of Caroline St. (C) Schooner Warf a block or so from Caroline is indescribable, but generally has some good outside music. (E) Turtle Kraals is really touristy, but rarely packed. They have turtle races on Mon and Fri at 6pm. SO CUTE! Across from there is Dante’s, sit at the pool side bar if you can. Note: This is a bar/restaurant with a pool. There is no hotel there so anyone can use the pool.

Just down from these places is (G) Finnegan’s Wake. I loved this place! Their happy hour is great and they have two of them. Normal one and one from 12-2am. Cheap wings here as well, but they are not breaded (more like buffalo’s wings).

I also recommend this place on the other end of the island: http://southernmostbeachcafe.com/documents/lunch-SMBC2011.pdf Try the mango bbq, it’s to die for. Also you can grab two beach chairs and enjoy drinks right from the bar. The chairs are $5 a piece and you get free frozen towels, and chili willies from the guy who is in charge. Pretty cool.

The Green Parrot has Open Mic Sunday with great Jazz (these guys can play! A must see!!). The Monkey Bar (gay bar on the corner of Simonton and Olivia) has Karaoke on Friday nights. Much cooler place than Two Friends Karaoke.

View Larger Map

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dive found in Columbia, SC

The Whig
1200 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201

I am quite sure The Whig is not the only dive located in Columbia, but it was the only one my friends had a chance to visit during their brief trip there a few weeks ago. One of them owns two dive bars here in Gso, so I trust his judgement. The place is described as having a dark atmosphere where students and starving artists hang out. It's your frugal destination. Drink and food specials every day and they are good ones too. $2 Burger Mondays, $.50 Taco Tuesdays, $1 pizza from 4-7 daily, etc. My friend said it was such a dive he was a bit afraid to eat there. That's music to my ears! A dive ain't a REAL dive unless you'd be a little afraid to eat there. :-) I also hear they have a kick ass juke box! So if you are in the area, stop on by.

Special thanks to Jason and Liz!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Live Music Dive in Charleston, WV

The Empty Glass
410 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, WV 25311

Recommended by a friend in a band that has played here. This place is eclectically decorated. A weird mosaic behind where bands play and tons of stickers and posters are featured aesthetics. From what I understand they have a great Happy Hour. Food is also served, a thought I find a bit disconcerting after looking at pictures of the place, but you know, after a few beers who cares? They only serve wings and pizza and apparently the pizza is almost always burnt. AWESOME! Very few places have food selections more divey than that. So if you are in the area, check it out, and if you have the time, stay around and hear the band. They have attracted some really good ones and even had Unknown Hinson stop by once. Also, check out their halloween pics on their myspace site, some great ideas there!

Quick shout out to Jubal Kane (http://www.youtube.com/jubalkane#) and Mr. Ace Andersson for the recommendation.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A great dive in Las Vegas

Double Down Saloon

I have on good authority from a local dive bar bartender (thanks Liz) and my husband who visited on her recommendation that the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas is a must visit. Dubbed the Anti-Vegas, it is about as divey as you can get near the strip. Liz affectionately recounted their sampling of Double Down's famous Ass Juice. Said it will knock you on your ass. It is also home of the Bacon Martini as featured on Drinking Made Easy. Sticker covered walls, punk band performances, and great reasonably priced drinks, I suddenly feel a Vegas trip coming on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great Dive in Clemson SC

This one comes from a guest contributor, Thanks Curry.

Backstreets Pub

Location: 102 Earle St, Clemson, SC 29631

Contact: (864) 653-7581

If you happen to frequent Upstate South Carolina in Tiger country, Backstreets is definitely the place to stop and have a beer. If you are looking for a relaxed dive location where the beer is always flowing and good times never seem to end, Backstreets is the place to be. The lights are always dim and there is always some awkward drunk falling out of his chair at the end of the lacquered bar. Adorned with random old beer signs and eclectic stained glass creations, Backstreets is always a good place to start and end your beer drinking experience in Clemson, SC. And if you get too intoxicated…no worries, the bus route is within crawling distance from the swinging door entrance. Not that I would know…

Friday, March 26, 2010

Maybe not a dive per say in Santee, SC

Coasters is a restaurant located just off the bypass at 9135 Old Number 6 Highway. It's a restaurant with good food, a sporty atmosphere, and good drink specials. They also have several drafts to choose from. So what puts this in the dive category?? It's attached to a strip club. Yep you heard right. If you purchase a meal at Coasters you get free entry into the strip club and you can walk in without even going outside, the entrance is near Coaster's bathroom. Worth checking out if you just have to see a strip club/restaurant. Definitely different!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Dive in Downtown Winston-Salem

SILVER MOON SALOON located at 632 N Trade St - this is a tasty little morsel nestled in the upscale downtown area of Winston Salem. The Silver Moon Saloon is perhaps the most eclectically decorated bar I have ever been in. It's like anytime the owner saw something that made him say WTF???, he purchased it. They have a great selection of beers at reasonable prices. So if you want a bar with character and friendly bartenders, check out the Silver Moon Saloon.

It's not a dive, but if you find yourself in W-S you owe it to yourself to sample the locally made beer at Foothills! http://www.foothillsbrewing.com/

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great Dives outside the French District, New Orleans!

The hands down winner is Snake and Jake's Christmas Club. We didn't get to go in because it was too early but the outside and the surroundings were enough to know that perhaps this is the epitome of a dive. It is located in the middle of a residential area. It is surrounded by small houses. There is no parking except on the street and the roads are narrow, so park at your own risk and car pool if possible. For more info on Snake and Jake's check out their website: http://www.snakeandjakes.com/

Second up is the Brothers Three Lounge located at 4520 Magazine St. God this place is crunchy..... and AWESOME! They have an old school juke box that plays records. Unfortunately they have succumbed to modern times and have a new school juke as well. They sell cheap sandwiches out of a cooler and by cooler, I mean igloo kind of cooler, not the large metal type beers are kept in. The people who work and frequent there could only be described as Characters. We were thoroughly amused and stayed here probably longer than we should have realizing we had to drive back to the hotel. Beer prices are Excellent, especially if you have been in the French Quarter. This place is a must visit!!!

Coming in third is Igor's Buddha Belly. If you need to do some laundry, there is no better place. We were wishing we had brought our laundry with us. This place is much cleaner than most dives, but the washing machines kind of throw it back in that category. It is directly across from Brothers III so make a day of it. Everyone there was friendly. You can play billiards and other games as well. They even serve food basics like burgers, chicken sandwiches and fries. The drink specials were pretty nice too.

FYI, there is a great candy store near these two places called Lucky You. It is awesome. We got some jelly beans there and they lasted the rest of our trip. She has a great selection of candy and the best salt water taffy I have ever tasted!!! Stop by, you know you want a snack after all that drinkin! http://www.luckyyoucandy.com/

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Orleans - French Quarter

Pictures to come later this weekend.

We visited New Orleans for the third time in 12 years this April. We wanted to see some parts of the City we hadn't seen before, so I did my research and planned a Dive bar tour for us. These were the best we found in the French Quarter that were off the beaten path of Bourbon St.

The Abbey
Located at 1123 Decatur St. this bar is just two blocks from Bourbon St, but it seems a world removed. The dark woods and the decorations all point to a wonderful Dive. The back wall is lined with stained glass, presumably from an Abbey. It give the place a wonderful Gothic feel. Tons of stickers and magnets line the wall behind the bar, many with clever sayings you could spend hours reading. The bartender and the locals were the best part. The bartender made our afternoon a fun one with her sarchastic wit and prompt beer service. Prices were extremely reasonable, almost cheap, much more bang for your buck than on Bourbon St.

The R Bar
This was one of those stumble into joints. I had found it in none of my research for dives in the French Quarter. It is located all the way down at the other end of Royal St. at 1431. This place was awesome. The bathroom was scary as hell and that's what you look for in a dive, one of those bathrooms you could take bleach to and it would still look dirty. So much character. The patrons here were friendly and entertaining. This was the type of place you find the real drunks and a few in between drunks. Reasonable prices for drinks and a true dive worth the walk. Hell, you need to walk off that beer gut a bit anyway, right? Get to drunk to walk, stay in one of their rooms: http://royalstreetinn.com/about/

The Apple Barrel609 Frenchmen St
These last three bars are all close together. The Apple Barrel was a REAL dive. It is so tiny you can hardly turn around, yet they have live music. You can see a picture here: It wasn't our type of dive, but perhaps it is more your style. The best part? Abita beers were cheap and they had a full selection. Can't beat Abita. If you are ever there in the spring, try their Strawberry beer. It is to die for.

Honorable Mentions
The Golden Lantern - located at 1239 Royal St.
I am told this place is one of the oldest gay bars, yet I never would have known it. It's a nice, small, dank bar with very personable people working there. We stopped in several times during our journey from the Marigny B&B where we were staying to Jazz Fest. This was truly a neighborhood bar. Everyone knew everyone. Their prices were quite good as well. A word to the wise, I decided to start my journey to the fest with a frozen White Russian (they have two frozen drink machines) because it was a typical humid, scorcher that day in NO. I thought, no big deal, those drinks are always pussy drinks, no real liquor, so we drink a bar and get two White Russians to go. I was literally buzzed by the time we reached jazz fest. That was one strong pussified drink. So be warned!!

The John - located on the corner of Frenchman and Burgundy.
This place was decorated with toilets and a barber's chair. It is way too large to be considered a real dive but the bartender makes it worth a mention. She is the one who told us to head back towards the French Quarter from there and to not go past that intersection unless you want to get robbed. She had a thick English accent which entertained us Carolinians and was very personable. So if you want to stop in a dive with some pool tables and a unique juke box (by unique, I mean the songs listed aren't always what's played, it has a mind of its own), this is the place to do it.

The Kerry @ 331 Decatur
This was another place we stumbled into. It was so awesome we went back the next night and were pleased to see one of the coolest guitarist singing solo we have seen in a long time. The place is decorated with old beer signs and random stickers. Despite it's relative closeness to Bourbon St. this bar hosted locals. The first night we were there we were offered birthday cake for one of the bartenders celebrating their birthday while working. So if you enjoy a dive and some good live music and local culture, this is the place for you! http://www.kerryirishpub.com/index-full.asp

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Great Dives in San Antonio, TX

We visited San Antonio for Fiesta this year. My friend and tour guide Ezz took us to some great places including the Mad Boar and the Flying Saucer and several bars. Two were great dives that really stood out in my mind and they are as follows.

OAK HILLS TAVERN - This was the best dive of the night. Cheap drinks, an eclectic atmosphere, a potentially scary bathroom and a seedy outdoors area. Perfect. The bartenders were unique, and by unique I mean smartasses, but I like a good smartass so it all worked out. Word of caution! They have very few parking spots so if you can't find one go in and ask where to park. DO NOT PARK IN THE SHOPPING CENTER NEXT DOOR!!! You will get towed. They patrol that parking lot like crazy and it is over $200 to get your car out! Their website: http://www.myspace.com/yoshimosake

EL TENAMPA BAR - This bar is a dive in EVERY sense of the word. There is original art work on the walls, pool tables and a dance area. It has been in business for 54 years, and looks it. It has a great down home feel and the owners were more than amused with our drunken antics. Great prices, great atmosphere, GREAT DIVE BAR!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wilmington, NC ~ An Awesome Dive Bar Town

The Barbary Coast, located at: 116 S. Front Street.
This one has been recommended to me by two dive bar frequenters, so I feel compelled to include it on here. The atmosphere is dark and the floors are wooden. It's been described as seedy and cheap, two of my favorite adjectives. PBR's are always $1.50 and they have over 100 bottled beers to choose from. It's Wilmington's oldest bar. I hear the drinks are stiff and the bathroom's full of graffiti.

Longstreets Irish Pub Their motto should be: Who couldn't use a little history with their beer?

This place is a must visit for any dive bar aficionado. Longstreets is a downstairs bar in historic downtown Wilmington. The physical address is 135 N. Front St. but it is easier to find by first looking for Fat Tony's (next door) and then heading into the door beside it and down some stairs. The bartenders are super friendly and informative. This place also promotes a drink called the Baltimore Zoo. It is tons of liquor poured into a glass on top of the Miller Lite all while you chug it. DEADLY!!!! Do not drink this drink unless it is your FIRST drink of the night. I tried it after about 12 beers and it wasn't a pretty site. As far as food goes, Fat Tony's will deliver to you at Longstreets, so you won't starve and you won't have to climb back up those stairs for at least another hour. :-)

Longstreets is also home to the largest urinal on the east coast. A relic left over from the fancy hotel it was long ago. The lady's room boasts a creepy old mirror. You know how mirrors get unreflective and cloudy after years upon years? Well that is what you look into there. Better plan to touch up your make up elsewhere. Pics of both are below.

FYI. On your way out be sure to stop by the Orton Pool Hall for some more tasty beer and take your picture playing on the table the legendary Mosconi played on once.

For a pic of the large urinal : Largest Urinal on the east coast, swear to GOD

For a pic of the creepy mirror in the ladies room:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Dive in NYC? YES! East Village

A dirty, redneck, dive in New York? Really? Apparently it is so. I guess every City needs a good dive. Thanks to a reader and fellow dive bar aficionado we have the following place to visit next time we find ourselves in NYC. I did my research and everyone agrees this place is a dive with regulars planted at the bar and all.
Doc Holliday’s

141 Ave A (at 9th St) East Village

DIRECTIONS: Subway: L to First Ave; 6 to Astor Pl

Cash only. Pabst in a can is $2, and four bucks will get you a well drink.
All you can drink bud light from 8pm to 11pm on Tuesdays. Some say AYCD for $5 others say $7. Their happy hour Buy One Get One Free specials happen DAILY from 5-8pm.

BEST TIME TO GO? During the week. I hear that Frat boys get out of hand on Friday and Saturday nights there. If you want a true dive bar experience, you probably want to avoid Fri and Sat nights.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Dive in Lakewood, WA

I have it on good authority from a former Washington resident that Rollies Tavern is a great place to visit. Thanks Ruth.

Rollie's Tavern
2404 So 112Th St Lakewood, WA 98499-8892

I checked this place out on the web and every review referred to the fact that it is a hole in the wall, bare bones kind of place. Despite the fact it serves food, this place does seem to fit into the dive guidelines. My friends review follows:

There was a lively and totally eclectic crowd that goes there. It was just interesting to watch everyone. Lots of military people from the McCord Air Force Base frequent there. They also serve food. Rollie is the owner and he owns one other tavern in town that isn't as popular as this one is. It is cool inside and is decorated with lots of military memorbilia. *Visited by Howard & Ruth Baker in Kannapolis, NC back in 2001

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best Dive Bar - Kure Beach, NC

Just because you are the only REAL bar on the beach doesn't make you the best dive necessarily. This place just happens to be one of the best dives around. If any bar deserves the DIVE designation, it is Kure Beach's own:

Bud and Joe's Tavern 106 K Ave Kure Beach, NC

Bud and Joe's is the only bar in Kure' beach proper. Located at 109 K Ave, it is a local favorite. If you don't like smoke, this isn't the bar for you. My husband bought a t-shirt from there, one he loves to wear and recommends by the way. It had been around so much smoke and absorbed so much smoke that it stunk up the whole car on the ride home. This is the type of place you are liable to witness some trailer park trash get into a marital dispute over the pool table. The locals are awesome, and will regale you with tales of the area. This place is definitely worth the trip if you are anywhere in the general vicinity, if not for a good, thick teeshirt, than for a good beer and an interesting story. Pool Tables for entertainment as well.