I recently patronized a dive bar and was reminded why I prefer a watering hole with broken bar stools over hifalutin clubs and pubs. Beyond the fact that there isn’t a cover charge, dress code, or barely legal bartenders behaving in a manner that makes me want to call their mothers, bars that are off the beaten path provide a number of advantages:
http://peltagames.com/product/peltapeeps-galore-tee/ 1. You can belly up at the bar. I may be stating the obvious, but the main reason I choose to belly up at a dive bar is because I CAN. With all due respect to cougars (the fur-bearing animals – including Mrs. Robinson types), I don’t have to lie in waiting ready to pounce on an empty seat at a moment’s notice. I can typically get a seat, although it may be off balance, within minutes of arrival.
http://bfitsquared.com/connecting-the-pieces-unveiling-what-lies-beneath/ 2. You easily can get a drink. In my 20s I didn’t mind standing in line outside a bar to get in. In my 30s I didn’t mind waiting in line at the bar to get a drink. Now? I don’t have the tolerance to wait and wave my dollars in battle at a bar’s front line in order to live the High Life. Priorities change. In my 20s, I went to the bars to party. In my 30s I went to the bar to prove to myself that I still could party. Now? I’m just thirsty, dammit.
3. There’s food. It could be pizza. It could be dried pork rinds. (Hey, don’t judge. Anything’s game after midnight.) My point is, whether it’s from a small back room kitchen or a bag hanging on the counter, snacks are accessible and often delicious. Just ask Guy from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
4. Taking a shower is optional. Don’t get me wrong, most times I like getting gussied up to go out. But there are times, like when a movie marathon robs me of my motivation to primp (damn you, TNT!), that the best hairdo I can manage uses a baseball cap as an accessory. Fortunately, the folks at a dive don’t care what I look like. They’re not there to judge. They’re just thirsty, remember?
5. You can dance to your own tune. You don’t have to leave dives because you don’t like the music. You just have to leave your seat to change it. Whether it’s an iPod plugged in behind the counter or the internet jukebox hanging on the wall, a friendly bartender or a buck gets me a Bob Seger or Fall Out Boy song when I want it. And if there’s a band? Stick around, suck it up and give them credit for even being able to fit into the cramped corner of such a small establishment.
6. The bathrooms, while often dilapidated, are still better. So I may have to stand on the toilet in order to close the door which has to be held shut with my foot … so what?! Despite the tiny space, rusty door hinges and garage sale artwork, dive bathrooms are often cleaner than the clubs I’ve visited. Most likely it’s because the ladies who own or tend to the joint have to use it too (which also accounts for the nice touch of a small basket of necessities in the corner, thank you very much). Plus, dives rarely have stalls where you have to listen to your drunken stall neighbor’s drunken talk about how drunk she is. “Like, (hiccup) OMG!”
7. Personalities appear before 10 p.m. I’m not talking about the entertainment industry. Well, maybe I am. Lord knows there are characters in every bar. In any situation where alcohol is involved the amount of personality a person exudes is a direct correlation to the time of night and number of drinks consumed. However, in most clubs, pubs and bars, personalities don’t surface until the lights are lowered and the Happy Hour folks have sobered up and sauntered off. At a dive, personalities are evident any time of day and shortly after people set foot in the door. During my most recent adventure I learned:
– The gray-haired Grizzly Adams fellow in the corner makes his own beef jerky from sirloin and sells it every Friday starting at 2.
– Ol’ man Lester always buys a round of drinks for the bar, but in paying for it, may attempt a harmless boob brush while reaching to provide payment (as I was kindly warned by the bartender.)
– Young man Joe, who doesn’t smoke, is the primary purchaser of the “2 for $1” cigarettes that come from the bar’s community pack of Marlboro Lights.
– And the couple next to me, who have been married 17 years, have made it through the man’s cancer, heart condition and separate sleeping arrangements due to a large yellow lab who lays claim to half of their queen-sized bed.
All of this information was ascertained during the course of my first beer.
You see, there are a number of reasons to ditch the club scene for the cheap drinks and friendly, low-key atmosphere offered by dives. Next time you have the opportunity for a night out, make it an adventure and consider exploring the foreign land of a local watering hole.
Do you have a favorite dive bar you frequent? If so, share which one and the reason you go there.