The bathrooms are serious hellholes
Going to the bathroom in a dive bar is one of the more disgusting experiences you can have as a person in the modern world. Don't expect to find any of these things in a dive bar bathroom: paper towels, doors on the bathroom stalls, soap, water… and sometimes not even a working sink. What you will find is plenty graffiti! So while your hands might remain unwashed, and your shoes soaked, at least your eyes will have something fun to look at!
Dive bars are only cool because there aren't that many of them
Thanks to capitalism, once proudly gritty cities like New York and San Francisco now only have storefronts affordable for banks, big-box retailers, or sports bars that sell expensive hot wings (and also happen to be billion-dollar enterprises). Where there used to be a dive in basically every neighborhood, there is now an ATM kiosk. And unfortunately ATM does not stand for Alcohol Teller Machine.
Sure, dive bars still exist, but they're not as common as they used to be, and that makes them even more worthy of your attention and affection. That Econ 101 class in college I actually stayed awake in taught me that scarcity can be very good for business. If there were a dive on every corner, would we even care? Would we fetishize its aesthetic, and the old guys still hanging out at the bar? Probably not.
Despite all that, it's your right to love something shitty
I fully accept that some people love horrible things that I hate -- Kid Rock, karaoke, and doing karaoke of Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba." But it's when people try to justify their love of dive bars by saying they have character, or because the booze is cheap, or that the people who work there are just the best, that I just have to shake my head. Dive bars suck for those exact reasons. You can find me at a shiny new bar instead, with friendly bartenders and an ambience not created by neglect -- with a good craft beer in hand.
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