The Dive Bar Debate

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Shane-O-Matic
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The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Shane-O-Matic » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:46 pm

The most recent MDM podcast has got me thinking about dive bars.

How do you define 'dive bar?'

The phrase isn't common in the UK, but we have our own. At a basic level, they do not serve cocktails. Cocktail, in this regard, extends to include popular drinks such as the vodka and coke and most other mixers.

Or, if they do serve cocktails, they serve them from dirty bottles and the bartender is likely to shame you in front of all regulars.

The walls are usually dirty; it is often the case that they haven't seen a coat of paint since the 1980s. Very few things will get you thrown out, but bartender and regular alike are probably not going to tolerate interior decorators in the pub.

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:06 am

I suspect that our US based members will have a rather different idea about what constitutes a "dive bar" than the UK Drunkards and, furthermore, that our Continental collegues will have yet another idea on the subject. I await the responses, various, with great interest, baited breath and a full cocktail shaker.

However, here is Wikipedia's definition, and here is a link to a series of article on "dive bars", that have been printed in Modern Drunkard Magazine.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by steved2112 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:43 pm

The term gets thrown around a lot. My favorite bar at present is a dive bar - if you ask for anything beyond a beer and a shot, you must be prepared to explain how to make it. But the owners are sweet people, and I'd hesitate to call their bar a dive lest I hurt their feelings.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by mistah willies » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:09 pm

In Bangor, Maine, a month ago, ate at the lovely Fiddlehead restaurant in celebration of my wife's brother's birthday (56) and their sister. Excellent drinks.

Made our way down to Paddy Murphy's for some Guinness and Jameson. After a few of both, it was too oud to chat with the band playing in the tiny nook over in the corner by the front door.

We made our way to Ipanima's, but there was a line outside, and music blaring from inside.

I looked over across the street and saw a place with a sing out front that read, "The Red Room."

Softly lit up, no one standing outside in the snow.

They agreed to follow me. It was lovely. A true dive bar.

Inside, it was warm, softly lit, and there weren't many people in there. All the young punks were bury acroos the street, trying to get laid.

We had to sit atop small benches, (think of a barstool made wide enough for fat 'Murrican Asses and you get the idea.) I straddled mine like a saddle because I hate falling backwards.

Short Asian chick, about blow-job height if she bowed up it, comes over and offers us drinks.

Yes, they had Guinness, but not from the tap. Hey, pint cans will do ya fine.

They tried to doll the place up in Asian stuff, and it was all red and black. She was playing some 80's pop over the speakers, but one could talk over the sound level.

We got pretty fucked up in that place, and the taxi cab was ours: no jostling and shoving from a melee at the end of our good time. Hell, folks across the way began to come over for our cab while we were getting in. Fuck the young. (If you get a chance and you don't look like their dad)


Dive bar: You know when you're in one and the toilet operates, but the sink doesn't, and you have to dry your hands on your pants. At least she set out some hand sanitizer.

I'm going back before the hipsters make her serve PBR.


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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:27 pm

to be fair I couldn't be fucked waiting for hand dryers. It's towels or trousers.
I know I've dived in to bars in the pas. Sometimes goes well, sometimes doesn't/ Is the dive bar well defined anywhere? It certainly doesn't seem so here in the U/K/
Dive bar: You know when you're in one and the toilet operates, but the sink doesn't, and you have to dry your hands on your pants
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by mistah willies » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:21 pm

Mr. Viking wrote:to be fair I couldn't be fucked waiting for hand dryers. It's towels or trousers.
I know I've dived in to bars in the pas. Sometimes goes well, sometimes doesn't/ Is the dive bar well defined anywhere? It certainly doesn't seem so here in the U/K/
Dive bar: You know when you're in one and the toilet operates, but the sink doesn't, and you have to dry your hands on your pants
The hand dryer gives you a zap and nothing else, it wakes you up like an espresso shit: Dive bar.

OK, you asked, Mr. V, and I'll attempt the start to a list of Dive Bar Credentials. Let me grab another pint.


Ahem. *hiccup*


You Know That You Are In A Dive Bar When:

1. The unbroken windows have face prints on them.

2. The carpeting matches the drapes: puke-stained.

3. No one at your table has a matching pint glass, and only one of these doesn't have lipstick somewhere on it.

4. Yours has lipstick smeared on the bottom end, with a tooth mark.

5. The bathroom has a hand dryer only when you walk in. With your pants on.

7. It's acceptable and even customary to find yourself without pants from time to time.

8. The barmaid hasn't shaved in a week.

9. There is no barmaid. Now your money is gone.

10. You call for a ride from your friend and tell him that you can be picked up at another location.

11. The other location is a dive bar across the street, but it's less "divey."

12. You can't wait to go back to this place, but you can't remember how to get there, or where it's located.

13. It might not even exist. Why is the neighbor screaming at the police about you?



OK, that's enough from the likes of me. Your turn, you fellow Drunkards. Add on as you wish.
Can we drink now? ---peetie44
At rock bottom, there is no down. ---The Oett
^ ^ ^ Yes his entire cutlery set and all utensils are made from assorted broken bottles.--- The Artful Detective
Just remember Hugh: a good cocktail in a shitty glass is better that a shitty cocktail in a pretty glass.---The Badfellow
I'll buy the first round if you promise to stop being a cunt. --- Dear Booze

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:15 am

"I spent all of my money on cars, women and booze, the rest of it I squandered" G. Best

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Resident Asshole » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:01 pm

I live in Michigan and all the dive bars here serve cocktails. You might not be able to get a proper old-fashioned or rusty nail, but you can certainly get a beam and coke, vodka/cranberry and other cocktails like that.

Dive bars in this area have little or no food menu, they do not have many microbrews on tap, they don't have a good bourbon selection, sometimes they are cash-only bars and they are dank and somewhat smelly.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:12 am

Resident Asshole wrote:...the dive bars here serve cocktails. You might not be able to get a proper old-fashioned or rusty nail, but you can certainly get a beam and coke, vodka/cranberry and other cocktails like that...
Sorry to contradict, old chum, but those are not cocktails. A cocktail must contain at least two alcohol-bearing fluids (in the same way that a "serial killer" needs to kill at least 3 people, on seperate occasions).
Here is the dictionary definition, you'll note that it say "liquors", as in plural.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by mistah willies » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:27 pm

Resident Asshole wrote:I live in Michigan and all the dive bars here serve ...

... and they are dank and somewhat smelly.
Dank is good for something other than my own preference, (cough cough) and smelly is the exact cause of the Dive Bar.

The stank may be from the puke-stained floor, or the puke-stained apron on the waitress, or the folks in the bar itself.

Stank is the dank of the Dive Bar.

Ya know.
Can we drink now? ---peetie44
At rock bottom, there is no down. ---The Oett
^ ^ ^ Yes his entire cutlery set and all utensils are made from assorted broken bottles.--- The Artful Detective
Just remember Hugh: a good cocktail in a shitty glass is better that a shitty cocktail in a pretty glass.---The Badfellow
I'll buy the first round if you promise to stop being a cunt. --- Dear Booze

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:10 am

I would definitely consider it a boon if the bar is below ground level. If not, it should have no windows, and possibly an entrance corridor
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:50 am

Mr. Viking wrote:I would definitely consider it a boon if the bar is below ground level. If not, it should have no windows, and possibly an entrance corridor
Then you are going to love Budapest dive bars.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Shane-O-Matic » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:12 pm

Palinka wrote:
Resident Asshole wrote:...the dive bars here serve cocktails. You might not be able to get a proper old-fashioned or rusty nail, but you can certainly get a beam and coke, vodka/cranberry and other cocktails like that...
Sorry to contradict, old chum, but those are not cocktails. A cocktail must contain at least two alcohol-bearing fluids (in the same way that a "serial killer" needs to kill at least 3 people, on seperate occasions).
Here is the dictionary definition, you'll note that it say "liquors", as in plural.
I think what RA means is to do is deliberately bastardise the dictionary definition. That's what I mean to do, certainly.

For example, in the lowest of low Glasgow bars, they'll call a voddy and coke a cocktail. You're likely to be on to a kicking if you dare to correct the man/bearded woman.

They're not right, but it takes a bold drunkard to tell them that they're wrong.

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:40 pm

My favourite Hungarian "dive" bar had a back room where people could sleep between endrunkenings.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Resident Asshole » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:13 am

Shane's Dentist wrote:
Palinka wrote:
Resident Asshole wrote:...the dive bars here serve cocktails. You might not be able to get a proper old-fashioned or rusty nail, but you can certainly get a beam and coke, vodka/cranberry and other cocktails like that...
Sorry to contradict, old chum, but those are not cocktails. A cocktail must contain at least two alcohol-bearing fluids (in the same way that a "serial killer" needs to kill at least 3 people, on seperate occasions).
Here is the dictionary definition, you'll note that it say "liquors", as in plural.
I think what RA means is to do is deliberately bastardise the dictionary definition. That's what I mean to do, certainly.

For example, in the lowest of low Glasgow bars, they'll call a voddy and coke a cocktail. You're likely to be on to a kicking if you dare to correct the man/bearded woman.

They're not right, but it takes a bold drunkard to tell them that they're wrong.
I would say though that an old buddy who went to school for linguistics once told me that the definition of a word changes with the culture. So if 90% of people on the street would call a vodka/cran a cocktail, then it is such. You are of course welcome to disagree with this. It's a bit like if you ask for a vodka and "coke" down south in the US, it just means you want vodka with (some sort of flavored) soda. However, if you ask for a vodka and soda here, I will give you vodka and club soda (non-flavored carbonated water).
Bourbon is my blood.

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"women want to better express themselves. Dress up as their own performance this will be a lack of confidence." bot clshoo348

select backwards to God, his safekeeping a weapon homeopathy bold deed, president each opposite's cervix. bot klmn619

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