Dive Bars


Behind the bar at Yuca’s Bar, Costa Rica

If you read this blog with any regularity you will have discerned by now that I am a big fan of bars. Not that I am given to over-imbibing, but I feel at home when sitting at a bar. Not being a terribly young man anymore, I tend to spend most of my bar time during the mid- to late-afternoon.

White Horse Tavern, New York City

This puts me smack in front of the afternoon bartender. The good daytime bartender (DTBT) is a rarity; this person must realize that they make up part of the afternoon drinking experience. Unlike the night barkeep, whose main function is to dispense drinks, collect payment and repeat, the DTBT has fewer clients and must play more of a cruise director role with them.

Clarita’s in Jako, Costa Rica

Like any slinger of drinks, the DTBT is responsible for taking orders, preparing drinks, and serving same. But also for remembering names, birthdays, preferred drinks, and generally making conversation. The occasional round of whisky shots from the DTBT never fails to lead to more of the same, bought by customers; priming the pump if you will.

The urbandictionary.com definition of a dive bar

My research has shown that some of the best DTBTs are found in what are often called Dive Bars. Unlike the old days when referring to an establishment as a dive was a derogatory moniker, today many such watering holes are proud to be defined as dives. Dive in this sense could be replaced with character. 

On my recent travels I have undertaken a personal journey of dive bars, proving my presence with a photograph of me behind the bar.  It’s difficult work, but I’ll do my best to keep on!

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

One thought on “Dive Bars

  1. Garry — when he was still drinking — was a big hanger-outer in tiny “lost” pubs in Boston. They all knew him and he knew the rest of the clientele, too. I didn’t drink then either, but I enjoyed the hanging out. And the casual conversations about everything. The neighborhood bar has a special place in our changing world.

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