The Dive Bar Debate

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:00 am

coqui_chris wrote:...Dives often don't even have kitchens, or if they do, they're non-functional
But they do have that weird grill/microwave thing.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by coqui_chris » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:05 pm

Palinka wrote:
coqui_chris wrote:...Dives often don't even have kitchens, or if they do, they're non-functional
But they do have that weird grill/microwave thing.
I know one place that still does a free lunch, except its all take-out
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:00 pm

is the dive bar relevant in the UK? I think we have a different bar culture. Saying that, there are some that would probably be close to the American ideal. I reckon the "dodgy pub" would be our equivalent. Saying that, my mum will refer to certain places as "a bit of a dive", generally meaning the sort of place people drink all day
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:48 pm

The major difference being that if one ordered a "martini" in a US dive bar, one would get a cocktail. If one were to order the same in almost any UK pub, one would receive a glass of vermouth...
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:56 pm

Palinka wrote:The major difference being that if one ordered a "martini" in a US dive bar, one would get a cocktail. If one were to order the same in almost any UK pub, one would receive a glass of vermouth...
a warm glass of vermouth, topped up with ice, with a remnant of the last liqueur through the measure peeping through on the palate
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:05 pm

Mr. Sandman wrote:
Palinka wrote:The major difference being that if one ordered a "martini" in a US dive bar, one would get a cocktail. If one were to order the same in almost any UK pub, one would receive a glass of vermouth...
a warm glass of vermouth, topped up with ice, with a remnant of the last liqueur through the measure peeping through on the palate
And therein...
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Oggar » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:25 pm

Dive bars are in a sense like porn you know it if you see it. Although it is somewhat easy to be deceived by the faux dive bar. The faux dive can usually be detected by a few cues.
1) Presence of high end liquors/craft beers
2) Lack of grime
3) Lack of feuding regulars. A real dive bar will have one to three on going feuds between regulars. A new patron can be unwittingly drawn into this feud based on where the sit or who they talk to as their presence may destabilize the balance of said feud(s).
4) A dive bar will not have bouncer, they have "regulators" (i.e. a group of regulars who back the bartender's play should trouble arise).
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Resident Asshole » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:59 pm

Mr. Viking wrote:
Palinka wrote:The major difference being that if one ordered a "martini" in a US dive bar, one would get a cocktail. If one were to order the same in almost any UK pub, one would receive a glass of vermouth...
a warm glass of vermouth, topped up with ice, with a remnant of the last liqueur through the measure peeping through on the palate
I'm curious, when I spent time in Ireland it was all I could do to get more than a few cubes in my drinks. So, the drinks would get watered down far too quickly. What's the deal, is water too expensive there or do they just not buy big enough icemakers?

You would think ice was made of gold the way they hoard it.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:10 am

Resident Asshole wrote:I'm curious, when I spent time in Ireland it was all I could do to get more than a few cubes in my drinks. So, the drinks would get watered down far too quickly. What's the deal, is water too expensive there or do they just not buy big enough icemakers?...
The British Isles (which, geographically, contain Ireland) have a cold and fairly damp climate. When you add to that the fact that we like our ale warm (cold Guinness is a recent invention) and generally drink spirits (liquor) at home (save the occasional shot) and like our native spirits neat (until the days of The Raj, gin was taken neat; in fact, India Tonic Water was really our first mixer and was used because the quinine content helped against malaria), it's no mental leap to figure that ice doesn't figure large in our drink vocabulary (until very recently, lime slices were unheard of, too).
I hope this goes some way toward explaining your question.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:08 pm

Resident Asshole wrote:I'm curious, when I spent time in Ireland it was all I could do to get more than a few cubes in my drinks. So, the drinks would get watered down far too quickly. What's the deal, is water too expensive there or do they just not buy big enough icemakers?

You would think ice was made of gold the way they hoard it.
Ice is dangerous stuff, one of the biggest causes of food poisoning in UK hostelries.

Pretty much as P said. Many people don't want ice in their drinks here. If we do, we ask for it. Bar staff may get grumpy, but as they are not used to being tipped, a little goes a long way, and a tip will buy as much ice as one desires. Most places have buckets of ice under the bar and a little shovel, and most ask if ice is wanted.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:31 am

What he said. Plus "Ponies" (which you need to be Scottish to understand)
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Mr. Viking » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:04 pm

Palinka wrote:What he said. Plus "Ponies" (which you need to be Scottish to understand)
I've never been served a pony. My sister used to get them when she was in Glasgow but I always got a funny look if i asked. Must have been going to the wrong pubs
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Jiggers McCoy » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:33 pm

I went to a divey college bar (right next to campus) during my Master's program and was fortunate to see this minor evolution: they installed a cheap toaster over at the end of the back bar. I thought it was brilliant. You got liquored up college kids jonesing for grub, so you charge 'em $6 for a plate of like eight pizza rolls (which you get by the gross, frozen, for $20). Minimal effort, max profit.
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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by Palinka (RIP) » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:08 am

I am going to paste in Dear Booze's excellent post regarding dive bars, in the "Submit..." forum because it deserves to be here as well.
Dear Booze wrote:A guide to getting the most out of your drinking experience

Since the late 1970s and early 80s, theme bars with catchy gimmicks started showing up all over the US and Canada. Discos trying to emulate New York’s Studio 54 or 2001 Odyssey, the dance club from Saturday Night Fever, seemed to show up in every major metropolitan area of North America. Then, there were the cowboy bars modeled after Gilley’s from the film Urban Cowboy, the “fern bars,” complete with over-stuffed sofas, live plants and real paintings hanging on the walls, and even bars built as knock-offs of the bar from the television show Cheers. A few years ago, Retro-themed bars became the hot ticket. After a fifty-year hiatus from being cool, Tiki lounges and bowling alley bars fell back into favor with the drinking public. Today, we can find nightclubs with bars made of ice, rooftop nightclubs, and bars inspired by NASCAR, log cabins, ships, and the NBA.

Recently, the lowbrow trend of young urban hipsters drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and Lucky Lager has given way to the Dive Bar-themed bar. Yep. It's like a dentist who buys a Harley and dresses up in leathers and rides around on the weekends. It’s fun to pretend, but it’s not the real thing Apparently, the young Pabst-swilling posers think that drinking shitty beer is cool, but they’re not quite adventurous enough to spend time in a real dive bar. So they spend time in a fake one. You know, to look cool.

Generally, real dive bars meet the same criteria. They aren’t part of a corporate chain or franchise, they primarily serve domestic beer, drinks are cheep, there's no dress code, there's a TV with the volume set on mute, and the employees don't wear uniforms. They’re dark, have no windows, and most of the furniture is pretty beat up. It’s also rare to find one which accepts credit cards, but common to find one with an ATM machine located somewhere inside. Other common traits include a jukebox, video games located somewhere in or on bar, at least one employee with a mullet, cheap local beer specific to region ( i.e. Lone Star, Iron City, PBR), a pool table, at least one female (or male) undergarment hanging behind the bar or from the ceiling, and some form of taxidermy mounted proudly on the walls.

So, if you are ready to experience a real dive bar, here are some guidelines which will enhance your experience:

1. If you are new to this, take a friend. Not a date, but a friend.
2. Eat something first. The drinks at a dive bar tend to be stronger than your run-of-the-mill nightclub. So, if you are planning on a full night (or afternoon, as the case may be) of drinking, you will want to start with a full stomach. Most true dive bars do not have food, unless you consider bags of peanuts or bowls of pretzels real food. If they do have a kitchen, there's a good chance that you may get questionable meat or weird fish. And then again, they may have some delicious fried chicken strips or some tacos available. Either way, don't chance it. Eat something before you head out.
3. Choose the bar carefully. You want to find an authentic dive bar, so don't pick one with "Dive Bar" in the name. It will not be the real thing. A line of people waiting to get in is another sure sign that you're in the wrong place. If you stick to blue collar neighborhoods, you're looking in the right place.
4. Sit at the bar. It's where the action is. Most dive bars don't have regular cocktail waitresses on duty, so even if you're sitting at a table or booth, you'll find yourself stepping up to the bar to order each new round. Save yourself the trouble and just find a good barstool and stay there.
5. Be respectful. If it's your first time in the place, you're not a regular. So don't try to act like one. The bottom line is, you don't know these people and they don't know you. The regular patrons might not take kindly to a stranger coming into their favorite watering hole and acting like an asshole. It’s a real place with real people who may decide to kick your ass if you deserve it. Try not to deserve it.
6. Don’t start with shots. Stick to beer and cocktails or you will find the night will not last long. Besides that, downing too many shots too soon will make you more likely to become an asshole. (See number 6)
7. Play a game. A dive bar will usually have a pool table, dart board, or a shuffleboard table. Even if all of these options are available to you, and you are very proficient at one of these games, it is recommended that you start with dice. They will, most likely, have dice cups available for use. Ask the bartender. If you don't know how to play dice games, go online and search for the rules of two or three games. Boss Dice and Liars Dice are two of the most popular games. Learn them. There are two reasons for this recommendation. First, playing dice doesn't require you to leave your seat at the bar. Second, if you decide to play pool, for example, chances are that you will have to play the winner of the last game. That can be a tough situation. Without knowing your opponent, you have no idea if he'll be a sore loser. Get to know the general temperament of the bar before you decide to put yourself in a situation where you may end up with a kicked ass.
8. Generally, you should bet money on everything, because everything is more interesting when you have some sort of wager on the line. But, until you get to know your new bar-mates, it's not a good idea. If you do decide to bet on a game of, say shuffleboard, keep the wager small. No more than a dollar per person playing. But, don't hustle anyone that you don't know and never bet on a trivial matter. In other words, if someone says "The Rockford Files first aired in 1972," and you're sure it started in 1974, don't bet them that you are right - even if you are positive that you are right. It only makes you a dickhead.
9. Don't forget to tip the bartender as you go. You should be tipping at least a dollar per round - assuming that each round consists of two drinks. Make sure the bartender receives the money as soon as you receive the drinks. Don't try any of that "I'll take care of you later" bullshit. Just tip as you go.
10. If the bar has a band, never request a song. If the bar has karaoke, don't sing.

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Re: The Dive Bar Debate

Post by oettinger » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:53 pm

In germany when entering a dive bar you first get examined by the local patrons top to bottom and will be treated like an alien (even that awkward silence seen in western movies, when someone steps into the saloon, may occur). But by just you quietly sitting there and having a few drinks they will eventually realize that you mean no evil.
Remeber: The dive bar regular needs his everyday refuge in reliable order without any disturbance or anomaly.
I have experienced this in any dive bar I went, when you follow the rules and then decide to leave for your next stop: Say goodbye to the crowd and you can be assure to receive a nice "See ya next time", or something to the lines of that, mumbled from every corner of said bar, by total strangers that is.
That would never ever happen in one of those hipster bars, these cheap fuckers will probably only look at you like you just declared you married your sister or worse...
I do not remember posting that ^^^
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