Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dive Bars . . .

And I don't mean SCUBA.

For those of us with a penchant for dive bars, what makes a good one? I love a good dive bar, and am almost convinced they're like bananas, attaining perfection just seconds before going completely out of business.

For instance: There was this bar located roughly across the street from my college. It had those tiny bar pool tables (if you've played on a regulation table, you know what I mean, all of a sudden the curve of the earth affects your play . . . ). It had white trash music (you know, lots of Led ZZTop Railroad . . . the classics!!) They had cover bands that played crappy versions of the songs they had on the jukebox. They gave away useless swag (like keychains). One night they were giving away free shots of root beer schnapps. Oh yum. We went all the time. It went out of business as soon as it could.

So what makes the bar perfectly good and divey? Here are the things that help:

Grottyness: It shouldn't be completely disgusting, but a certain amount of, oh, lack of upkeep adds character. My favorites: The pizza place where when it rained, the water came through the roof, onto the floor in the hallways leading to the bathroom. The floor then began to SAG as you walked across it. So there you were drinking pitchers of beer that were $2.65, and then beer waddling around drip buckets across a wavy bouncy floor likely to give way any second. Ahhh, perfection.

Clientele: It should have a good mix. If it's all Ken and Sharons, or all ex cons, hmm. Not exactly right. The better ones are the ones where you the interloper are there on someone else's turf. It should be a semi-neighborhood joint. Some of the regulars should be "interesting". And by "interesting" I don't mean the ex-con who had prison tattoos up and down his arms. Yep. He was interesting allright . . . just don't make eye contact.

I'll have a bit more on this later.

No comments: