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Most Creepy and Disgusting Dive Bar


Wilfrid
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I too love dive bars and of course my favorite is the Royal Bar, attached to the diner of the same name in Branchburg, NJ.

But for creepiness, nothing can beat the "penis bar" in Lambertville.  It's a perfectly normal old man dive bar, except that it holds the world's largest collection of preserved animal members in an adjoining room (in size order, naturally).

What!

No shit?

:shock:

EDIT: anyone been to Charlie's in Missoula, Montana?

Edited by NeroW (log)

Noise is music. All else is food.

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But for creepiness, nothing can beat the "penis bar" in Lambertville.  It's a perfectly normal old man dive bar, except that it holds the world's largest collection of preserved animal members in an adjoining room (in size order, naturally).

A creepy disgusting "members only" dive bar?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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My most creepy and disgusting bar is in NYC, but shall remain un-named. The entire place smelled like urine and the owner (about 100 years old, LITERALLY) would walk by women and MUMBLE under his breath that women don't belong in bars, that only hussies and hookers went to them, and how it was a disgrace to see women in bars etc etc etc. And if we didnt hear him the first time, he'd come back around. Not even trying to make us leave, just trying to make a point. Nutso.

Who is he kidding? Anyway, the place thrives...

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Denver's Colfax Avenue is one long strip of some of the foulest dives ever seen outside of Lower Manhatten. It's been a coupe of years and the names escape me but the images are there -- the bar where no one had all their teeth and everyone paid for the Coors with small change. The bar where someone bought a round and when I went to say "thanks" he was passed out on the bar top (at 11AM). The bar where the guy kept a bucket next to his stool so he could puke without getting up.

My local dive in DC, The Raven, is positively upscale in comparison. Or maybe in reality, what with the neighborhood changing...

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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There are NO dive bars in Canada.

Apparently.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

(for the TO faction - does the Done Right Inn on Queen W. qualify as a dive bar? It certainly has daytime drinkers, but it feels far from dangerous. Not really sure if this qualifies, but it might be the closest thing in my 'hood that I frequent that even comes close to a "dive bar. It just seems too neighbourly or something to qualify. How bout Kensington or Parkdale haunts?)

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It certainly has daytime drinkers, but it feels far from dangerous. Not really sure if this qualifies, but it might be the closest thing in my 'hood that I frequent that even comes close to a "dive bar. It just seems too neighbourly or something to qualify. How bout Kensington or Parkdale haunts?)

dive bars can be neighborly. they don't have to be dangerous.

they should be pretty dirty anbd skanky, and look like about $10 is spent on upkeep annually.

the "old man" bars can be great dive bars. if they get enough people.

for me, if it doesn't have a good cross-section of people for me to look at and interact with, it's not a dive bar.

my old fav, mentioned above, had guys in suits, bikers, college kids, art students, 80 year olds w/o teeth who would nudge you to buy them drinks, etc.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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I too love dive bars and of course my favorite is the Royal Bar, attached to the diner of the same name in Branchburg, NJ.

But for creepiness, nothing can beat the "penis bar" in Lambertville.  It's a perfectly normal old man dive bar, except that it holds the world's largest collection of preserved animal members in an adjoining room (in size order, naturally).

What!

No shit?

:shock:

EDIT: anyone been to Charlie's in Missoula, Montana?

Yup, it's bonafide. I have the postcard to prove it. What's the deal with Charlie's?

P.S. Good one, fresco.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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I noticed recently that one of my favorite dives in Washington is no longer...Mr Eagan's. Classic. Dark, naugahyde booths, terrible jukebox, waitstaff (I'm not even sure that I would call them that) that looked at you funny if you wanted a glass for your beer - Malawry was trying to remember if they served food; my guess is that even if they did, you wouldn't want to eat it. Always had a regular afternoon crowd.

Another good one (15 or so years ago) was the Oxford Tavern near the National Zoo. There was no sign, we always referred to it as the "zoo bar." It has since been gussied up, with live music even - maybe to attract the tourists.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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There's a bar on the corner of Sixth & Mission in San Francisco, no name that I recall...

Great neighborhood, that. In my punk rock days, we used to play at the 6th Street Rendezvous. Sounds so friendly! Actually, the place was run by the Vietnamese or Philipino Mafia or something; punk rock downstairs, little guys in sharkskin suits upstairs. Odd juxtaposition, but verrrrrry interesting. They stuck urinal cakes in the wall behind the stage like air fresheners, but it still smelled like piss. One night, while loading our gear, we were interrupted by a fellow having his head bashed repeatedly into a dumpster right next to us. Nice.

The Sound of Music was another Tenderloin dump that may or may not still exist. Very dark and urine-scented. Somewhere on Turk St. between the liquor store and the peep show...wait, that's the whole Tenderloin!

Now I'm in San Jose, where the dives aren't so divey. Since Dot's became The Mission Alehouse (gag!) and The Caravan is full of hipsters, it's hard to find a really creepy dive anymore. I guess there's always Lenny's Cocktails (dark, dark, dark, with bars on the windows), until the Redevelopment Agency replaces it with an Olive Garden. :wacko:

For the poster who mentioned Manny's in Berkeley: The restrooms may have lacked a certain element of cleanliness, but you could get your picture on the wall for finishing the Super Burrito! Now that's class!

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While New Orleans is pretty famous for neighborhood dives (including a bunch in the Quarter, but tourists never see them because they are under the impression that the entire Quarter consists of Bourbon St), there are a couple that are outstanding examples and great places to go. This being New Orelans, the natives are usually pretty damn friendly and the drinks are pretty cheap (this comes on saving on things like cleaning supplies and lights).

The Saturn Bar- In the soon to be pricey and hip Ninth Ward. For the last 50 years just a working class neighborhood hard on the river above downtown, the ninth ward has been discovered and prices are rising steadily, but there is still a dependable population of working class locals who have never been anywhere else and hipster/artist/musician/ne'erdowells who keep the place interesting. The bar has all of this really bizarre post apocalyptic art work (the guy who did it was an alcoholic vet who traded art for drinks) and a fine selection of beverages. They used to have fights in the back in the fifties. Dark, dirty, cool. A perfect dive.

The Maple Leaf Bar- This venerable New Orlens institution is way uptown in the Carrollton district on Oak St. When I first moved to New Orleans Oak Street was a dying commercial district and the Maple Leaf and a great seafood place were the only viable businesses on the strip. Now Jaucqimo's is next door, the Bacquet family has a place and many other businesses are in the neighborhood. Has this prompted the Maple Leaf to clean up? Ugghhh, no. It still looks as if they mop once a year. They no longer have washing machines to take care of your laundry needs but not much else has changed. Pressed tin ceilings, an old upright piano (which used to have it's Ivories tickled every Wed. night by the greatest piano player in the history of New Orleans, James Carroll Booker, III, on a regular basis until they went to pick him up one night and he had "woke up dead", a little stage where there is live New Orleans music performed nightly (Rebirth Brass Band, traveling r and b aand blues acts, etc. A local clientele that has not changed much (although none of us are as young as we used to be) and a smattering of tourists (except during Jazz Fest when the music goes on all night, including Sunday night after the last day when many people bring in their luggage and party til they head for the airport). Cheap drinks, good draft selection, good to great food in the neighborhood. Why go anywhere else? Plus, as an added bonus, my friend and New Orleans poet Everette Maddox (who led the oldest poetry reading in New Orleans on Sunday afternoons, which still goes every sunday at 3) is buried in the flower bed out back (or most of him is anyway, part of him is around the corner on someones mantle.....it's a New Orleans thing, don't bother asking). Buy him a bar scotch and pour it in the flower bed. He would appreciate it. He was very concerned at all times about being parched. :blink: . If any of you are familiar with the Mickey Rourke movie "Angel Heart", the bar scenes were filmed here in the mid eighties. Nothing has changed.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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New Orleans is the absolute leader of the pack in the Dive Bar category.

When I heard Tony refer 24-hour laundromats on the New Orleans episode of a Cooks Tour, I said to Heather "Hmm, sounds like he's talking about Checkpoint Charlies". Sure enough, that was the place - my dive bar of choice for a few years in the early 90s.

It had it all. Bar and grill, two pool tables, laundry, video games, free red beans and rice with $1 beer on Mondays, live music every night, never a cover charge. If they would have let me sleep on top of the dryers (and if I hadn't needed income) I would never have had to leave.

I'm your only friend

I'm not your only friend

But I'm a little glowing friend

But really I'm not actually your friend

But I am

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San Jose update:

My last post got me thinking, so I drove by Lenny's Cocktails this morning. Yup, it's a parking lot for contractors working on the new City Hall. That means they took out the Quality Cafe, too. Bastards!!

I may have to move to New Orleans...

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There are NO dive bars in Canada.

Come to Regina. There are actually more dives than 'regular' bars, including some that even the most hardened folks I've met won't drink in. Guy who my brother worked with last year was as alcoholic as a functional alcoholic can be, and even he wouldn't go near the Jolly Roger or the Empire Tavern. Dives = "getting a bottle to the back of your head while you're having a piss" around here, and then the next level up is sort of so much of an upgrade that they're not really dives (they clean, turn on lights, don't smell like piss). Right across the lot from our office is The Gaslight, which is your typical Hell's Angels owned biker bar. Best pub food in the city, dead cool staff, cheap drinks, live music and no bullshit - but it's way too clean, bright and well behaved to be a dive.

Hell, maybe you're right, Geoff :)

Todd McGillivray

"I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bulletproof..."

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New Orleans is the absolute leader of the pack in the Dive Bar category.

Snake and Jakes, Vaughn's and the Circle being some personal faves. Is the Hummingbird still open?

No, sadly the Hummingbird is being turned into another Boutique hotel. Actually, every empty building downtown is being turned into a boutique hotel. Here in Adult Disneyland they have suddenly become very popular, due to lack of land to build any more giant Hilton, Sheraton, etc.

The Circle Bar, Vaughn's, and Snake n Jakes are still doing well thank you very much.

As far as the washing machine-bar combo goes there is another besides the CHeckpoint (which is conveniently located 1 block from my apartment for my drinking and washing convenience), the same guy owns one on St. Charles Avenue across from the Pontchatrain Hotel called Igors. Igors is as equally as big of a dump, but they do have washing machines and you can sit on the avenue watching streetcars while you spin and rinse.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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New Orleans is the absolute leader of the pack in the Dive Bar category.

Snake and Jakes, Vaughn's and the Circle being some personal faves. Is the Hummingbird still open?

No, sadly the Hummingbird is being turned into another Boutique hotel. Actually, every empty building downtown is being turned into a boutique hotel. Here in Adult Disneyland they have suddenly become very popular, due to lack of land to build any more giant Hilton, Sheraton, etc.

The Circle Bar, Vaughn's, and Snake n Jakes are still doing well thank you very much.

As far as the washing machine-bar combo goes there is another besides the CHeckpoint (which is conveniently located 1 block from my apartment for my drinking and washing convenience), the same guy owns one on St. Charles Avenue across from the Pontchatrain Hotel called Igors. Igors is as equally as big of a dump, but they do have washing machines and you can sit on the avenue watching streetcars while you spin and rinse.

I went to Loyola Univ. in the late 80s. Igor's was, I'm sure it still is, a great inexpensive and fun place for local's and students alike to hang out. It's nothing really special on the inside, but great views of St. Charles Ave. It was great being able to get tanked and do your laundry at the same time - although you almost always forgot about it at some point.

Hummingbird was a real dive. Interesting that they're turning it into a boutique hotel considering the area, kinda on the outskirts of the CBD.

Gos, there are soooo many dive's in New Orleans, hard to remember them all. Nick's Little Train bar comes to mind. Is the Monster still around in the Quarter ? I seem to remember it being a great biker that you had to find by going down a blind alleyway in the quarter. It was dark, dingy, and very atmospheric.

One place I do love, that's can't really be called a dive bar because of it's location and crowds is Laffites Blacksmith. If it were anywhere else but on Bourbon St. (although a less populated area at the end) it could totall be classified as a "dive". Just a great place if you be there when it's not too crowded.

I'm sure I forgot to mention lot's of places, but Bourdain is right - The Big Easy leads the pack.

Can't wait to go back !!!

"I'll have the lobster...... stuffed with tacos"

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Hummingbird was a real dive. Interesting that they're turning it into a boutique hotel considering the area, kinda on the outskirts of the CBD.

Gos, there are soooo many dive's in New Orleans, hard to remember them all. Nick's Little Train bar comes to mind. Is the Monster still around in the Quarter ? I seem to remember it being a great biker that you had to find by going down a blind alleyway in the quarter. It was dark, dingy, and very atmospheric.

'm sure I forgot to mention lot's of places, but Bourdain is right - The Big Easy leads the pack.

Can't wait to go back !!!

That's Nick's BIG Train bar to you, buddy :biggrin:

It is located directly across the street from the venerable Dixie Brewery on Tulane Ave. The absolute center of the "layered drink" universe.

Come on down. There is plenty of dirt and beer spoo to wallow around in and the drinks are cheap and plentiful.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Hummingbird was a real dive. Interesting that they're turning it into a boutique hotel considering the area, kinda on the outskirts of the CBD.

Gos, there are soooo many dive's in New Orleans, hard to remember them all. Nick's Little Train bar comes to mind. Is the Monster still around in the Quarter ? I seem to remember it being a great biker that you had to find by going down a blind alleyway in the quarter. It was dark, dingy, and very atmospheric.

'm sure I forgot to mention lot's of places, but Bourdain is right - The Big Easy leads the pack.

Can't wait to go back !!!

That's Nick's BIG Train bar to you, buddy :biggrin:

It is located directly across the street from the venerable Dixie Brewery on Tulane Ave. The absolute center of the "layered drink" universe.

Come on down. There is plenty of dirt and beer spoo to wallow around in and the drinks are cheap and plentiful.

LOL - I must have been too drunk to remember the name exactly.

"I'll have the lobster...... stuffed with tacos"

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for NYC I like the Blue and Gold on E. 7th; pool table, booths, and cheep drinkin'.

there's a place in Albany called Palais Royal that can't be beat, dirty greenish flourescent lighting and one of those bowling games with a puck. Bonus: there are 2 jukeboxes that play 45s, stocked with old, not-so-new, borrowed, and blue...

...was I there?

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Stand-Up Frank's in North Minneapolis.

My wife, in her distant past, went to Stand Up Frank's once or twice. (Or maybe more regularly; there are some things you just don't ask about in too much detail.) She still tells stories about that place.

Bruce

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I noticed recently that one of my favorite dives in Washington is no longer...Mr Eagan's.  Classic.  Dark, naugahyde booths, terrible jukebox, waitstaff (I'm not even sure that I would call them that) that looked at you funny if you wanted a glass for your beer - Malawry was trying to remember if they served food; my guess is that even if they did, you wouldn't want to eat it.  Always had a regular afternoon crowd.

Another good one (15 or so years ago) was the Oxford Tavern near the National Zoo.  There was no sign, we always referred to it as the "zoo bar."  It has since been gussied up, with live music even - maybe to attract the tourists.

Was kicked out of Mr. Eagan's when completely shitfaced one afternoon! so then we went to Mr. Smith's in Gerogetown where our singing was encouraged and we tested their slogan that it was "The Friendliest Place In Town" We were evetually asked to leave there as well.

Ah... The Zoo Bar Thank you, I haven't thought of it in ages

- Lot's of fab, dark memories -

Was 1st there in 1965 then again in the 80's. I remember it was reportedly the place one went to hire muscle and Larry Holmes' cousin was a regular fly there. One of my greatest evenings of debuachery occured there in 1983 - when I was beaten badly by a man whose lady I had just shagged in the bathroom. Later that evening, another old fly named German Joe and I cruised 14th street when it was still ripe with whores. I think the fee was $50 for the both of us ... "Half-a-hundred" she said. I'll never forget the phrase, or the service.

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Ah... The Zoo Bar Thank you, I haven't thought of it in ages

- Lot's of fab, dark memories -

One of my greatest evenings of debuachery occured there in 1983 - when I was beaten badly by a man whose lady I had just shagged in the bathroom.

That was you?

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Seriously, I hung out there regularly from 85-88. It was *not* the friendliest place in town.

As long as we're talking DC in the 80's...another memorable long-gone drinking establishment was Chaplins. I, uh, filled all of the shot glasses on the bar one memorable (well, for everyone but me) evening. :blink:

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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