The August 2010 issue of Playboy magazine described a dive bar as:
A church for down-and-outers and those who romanticize them, a rare place where high and low rub elbows—bums and poets, thieves and slumming celebrities. It’s a place that wears its history proudly.
Our own Mixologist Brian Petro has been leading the team on the exploration of Dayton’s Dive Bars in 2016 and over the past year there’s been some serious exploration of these bars, as well as some even more serious discussion on what defines a dive bar. We do agree that most dive bars serve very affordable drinks and are most likely to be populated by folks in their neighborhood. From there are opinions were about as different as the establishments we visited. Guess we’ll just have to keep exploring and chat more.
Here are the places we’ve visited in 2016. Click on the name to read more about the experience we’ve had at each of these places. They are listed in the order that we visited.
Miami Valley Sports Bar – the addition of Tillie’s Tap Room make elevate this out of the dive bar category
Dog’s Breath Tavern – look for the $2.42 specials on Tuesday evening and food trucks are welcomed
Phone Booth Lounge – food and drink prices priced right
Sure Shots – a nice selection of music on the juke box, and the soft glow of a Jägermeister machine
Time Out Cavern – throws one of the best Derby watch parties in town
Diplomat Lounge– this is a place where darts appear to be king
McGillicutty’s – extensive food menu and some of the best wings in town and just 50 cents on Monday
Mack’s Tavern – got national buzz for leaving coupons on cars that stayed park and cabbed home
Adrienne’s White Rabbit Lounge – intimate and welcoming
Dr. Doodles Lounge – hard to find, but easy to feel comfortable here
Dark Horse Tavern – closed in July reopened in November
As we roll into 2017 what dive bars should be on our list to visit? How do you define a dive bar? Make your suggestions in the comments below: