The essence of a dive bar
So what is a true dive? That's a question I've been asking myself a lot lately. Let's start with the basics. Dive bars usually have more than one life. Their first is as a tavern, mom-and-pop shop, roadhouse, speakeasy, juke joint, nightclub, honky tonk, club, lounge, pub, beer hall, fern bar, gay bar, Tiki joint, inn, or saloon. At some point in time, unforeseen circumstances lead to compromises in upkeep, inventory, and clientele. This can occur slowly or swiftly, but the consequences are lasting. Often it is the result of changes occurring in the neighborhood in which the bar is situated, but many a dive was borne of divorce, health crises, or legal judgments. If you still need help discerning the relative divey-ness of a watering hole, I've worked up a short list of questions suitable for printing and laminating.