Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Most Creepy and Disgusting Dive Bar


Wilfrid
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yeah, I always feel comfortable when the angry drunk is too drunk to hit me. The legendary Jimmy's Corner gets its fair share of inebriated and grouchy passers by, but I've never seen anyone stupid enough to argue with Jimmy. Jimmy, after all, has been teaching professional heavyweights how to hit people for the last twenty or thirty years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone remember the name of the mock honky tonk over on 8th in the 40s (NYC)?

hmmmm. no. but the goldrush, over on 10th and 38th, almost fits that bill. filled with drunk fireman, drunk construction works, and confused javitts center visitors. they have a menu and the stuff actually looks tasty (southern twist, mostly burgers and pork products). shuffleboard, and one of the best jukeboxes in NYC. well, for me anyway. they often have live honky-tonk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...I've been in some dives, but the absolute worst was the "Golden Banana" north of Boston on Rt. 1. A stripper joint that a friend wanted to stop at for some reason unknown to me. I visited the "men's room" and thought that were I ever to get a disease it would be then.

Ick. The Golden Banana, though I've never been myself, is notoriously-divey. My husband was (supposedly) dragged there by his buddies during his day-long bachelor party. Something about it being right on the way home from the Red Sox game???? :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking of visiting men's rooms, this was something once done never repeated at the Golden Lion in London's Soho back in its heyday. Not unless you were actively looking to attract the attention of insistent lonely middle-aged men, including mass-murderer Dennis Nielsen, anyway.

All cleaned up now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a roadhouse out here that has been there for decades, used to have for patrons a pretty even mix of Marines from a now-closed base, motorcycle gang types, and real rancheros from the remaining land-grant holdings nearby. Was at the time in the middle of nowhere but development has brought it into the fold of Modern Life.

Now it is kept alive, more than alive, business-wise, by Rich Urban Bikers, who descend on weekends by the hundreds, if not thousands. The dollar value of the arrayed motorcycles must approach the multi-millions. There's always the one guy who's laid down his bike and has only his $8,000. leathers to thank for his surviving to tell about it.

However, weekdays it ain't bad, motley varied clientele, notoriously bad free food on Mondays, and bad-enough food other days one must pay for, although the cheeseburger with the green chili is edible in context. Horseshoe throwing, outside, under the 300-year-old oaks, when the weather is fine, which it often is.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta be the Egyptian Wa-Wa Hut, in St. Mark's Place in NY circa 1988. I don't know if it is still there, but I have never tried to find out. If I recall correctly, it was a few blocks east of Cooper Union. Never before or since have I been in a place that so clearly let me know I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ceal's Place: 9th Ave tween 37th and 38th (not there anymore)

Morahan's: 8th Ave next to the old Adonis (not there anymore)

Chatham Hotel: Chatham NY (Columbia County), used to be a bit gnarly, prolly all yuppified by now.

Nick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone remember the name of the mock honky tonk over on 8th in the 40s (NYC)? It was a small bar with a weird plastic banquette with special places to put your paper plates of fried fish. A cowgirl logo, and the name was something like the Blue Moon Saloon - but I don't think that's right. It later became a cleaned-up anonymous cocktail lounge.

Might that be a place somewhere between 38th and 40th on the west side of the street. It's got a name somethign like the "Wahamba Lounge". Weird fake stone on the fron that's painted fire engine red and IIRC they ahve little colored X-Mas lights hangin in the window. I've peered in walking past and there's a rather motley crew of working guys and slightly unsavory looking 8th Avenue types. Always a couple tall and voluptuous barmaids with short shorts working. Thus far I've resisted the temptation to visit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Owen, you have picked a real favorite of mine. The Wakamba Cocktail Bar and Lounge has been around for a long time, and my guess from the name was that it was originally some kind of Hawaiian or Polynesian themed joint back in the days when paper umbrellas were the things to have in drinks.

For as long as I can remember, it has been a Latino bar, and for many years it was a very edgy, scruffy dive. But I kind of liked it. It didn't help its image that the very unfortunate shooting of the innocent and unarmed nightwatchman by New York Police a couple of years back took place right outside. About a year ago, however, it got a thorough clean up and refurb (although it still looks the same from the outside). There are some iffy drinkers in there still, but the manager is very pleasant and trying to run a straight joint (we know him). The ladies behind the bar, some fresh from the Dominican Republic and speaking no English, continue to wear the shortest possible shorts and tightest possible tops. The lecherous among you should know that their target audience is the Latino drinker who likes, erm, well-upholstered ladies to ogle while slipping into a stupor. Splendid place, good music, but practice your Spanish before going.

And, no, the place I'm thinking of was a country'n'western themed - barely - hole in the wall up in the forties. About a block south of that surviving hell hole, Smith's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ick.  The Golden Banana, though I've never been myself, is notoriously-divey.  My husband was (supposedly)  dragged there by his buddies during his day-long bachelor party.  Something about it being right on the way home from the Red Sox game???? :wink:

Ah yes. The GB is on the way home from Fenway Park to Commonwealth Ave. for those special few.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I are addicted to Friday happy hours. We've travelled far and wide in the San Diego and Southern California area in pursuit of the "unusual" bar. They must serve appetizers and wine, so that criteria limits our choices, somewhat. We've found ourselves inside some very strange places and have experienced some outright wierd things.If we can possibly manage to tolerate the place, we stay. When we can't stomach a place and leave without seating ourselves, and it goes into (our) record book as "a dive".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seattle: the oh-so-upscale top of the hill Queen Anne neighborhood is home to Targy's, a survivor from many years past. Smack dab in the middle of a bunch of beautiful restored turn of the century bungalows, it stinks of cigarette smoke and warm beer. You can always find the local drunks in there. I'm sure the neighbors would love to see it go away. I know someone who told me they ordered a glass of wine in there and it came with ice. !!

Born Free, Now Expensive

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Rockville, MD, in what has become a very chic and expensive area, is an old roadhouse called Hank Dietle's. It is both a bar and package store (rare in Montgomery Co. MD since alcohol sales are tightly controlled). Only the seediest rednecks still left in the south county dare go in. I like the sandwiches and the billiards table.

Ye Old Tripple in on NYC's west side, not too far from the Roseland Ballroom (I think). I was very, very drunk. I think a dive is definintely a place where you will see real drunks, not just posers out for a weekend fling. This place isn't that dirty or creepy, but it serves up plenty of cheap drinks and houses most of the down and out on the Upper West Side.

A Most Notorious Dive: The Brick Bar, Buffalo, NY. You don't buy beer by the bottle; you buy it by the six pack, 12-pack or case. It's called the Brick Bar because the floor of the bar is brick and the walls are brick. You must wear sh-tkickers (i.e. heavy boots) when you go, cause there are no trash cans and by closing time the floors are three inches deep in broken glass. Last (and only) time I was there a fight broke out and a guy went through the front plate glass window and nearly bled out. I was told it happened all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mention of Ye Olde Tripple Inn reminds me that just over the other side of Eighth Avenue is a tiny "cocktail" bar called the Westerly. This is a dose of old New York. Very basic, very dark, and some deeply disturbed customers.

I was just checking my memory, and found a web-site devoted todive bars. Click on the red dot for New York, and there's a very fair review of Smith's. Nice writing:

"Smith's is absolutely real, with no window dressing. I'm pretty much an antisocial prick. I like approximately 8 people and think that's more than enough. But this past Saturday, I had about an hour-long conversation with Joyce and Shane, a couple from South Wales in for St. Patrick's Day. While I waited for my friends to show up, we bullshitted about music and movies and why beer in New York is too fucking expensive. Smith's brings out the best in most of the people I've seen there and everyone seems to enjoy the diversity at hand. And if there's a threat of a fight breaking out, Pete smacks a shillelagh on the bar and that's enough to put the fear of God into anyone."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahh... mentions of a few of my favorite NYC bars... Marz Bar, where I once witnessed a syringe of questionable provenance protruding from the wall next to the payphone... The Village Idiot, where I came thisclose to my first-ever bar fight (broken up by my mates who witnessed a drunken bull attempt to remove my arm, backwards), and Siberia, now (I hear) moved away from their original location in which it appeared to be an adjunct of the hair salon next door. I was party to MUCH debauchery in the photo booth at that place... the no-swearing policy of the barkeeps was a bit at odds with the clientele and ambiance as well, but that's what made it fun.

-s

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and Siberia, now (I hear) moved away from their original location in which it appeared to be an adjunct of the hair salon next door.  I was party to MUCH debauchery in the photo booth at that place... the no-swearing policy of the barkeeps was a bit at odds with the clientele and ambiance as well, but that's what made it fun.

-s

now on 40th off of 9th. still dirty. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...