The dive bar scene in San Francisco has shifted a LOT over the past few years and, thanks to the skyrocketing cost of living in SF, a bunch of veritable drinking institutions have been forced to close (RIP, 21 Club). That means you're probably going to be spreading your dive bar wings soon if you haven't already, and when you do, you'll want to make sure you end up at a tried-and-true SF dive.
How do you know if you're in a proper one though? Well this list of signs should help...
This Enchanted Speakeasy Takes You Through a Revolving Door Back to the 19th Century
Mr. Bing’s Cocktail Lounge is not, in fact, a lounge… unless you count leaning against beer cases stacked against the wall as lounging.
2. Signage is also incongruous with the experience
This woman is severely overdressed for this establishment.
3. There’s no theme
Outside of "cheap drinks."
4. It’s cash only
The on-site ATM most likely doesn’t work. JK, JK, it definitely doesn't work.
5. The only wine selection is red or white
Why are you trying to order wine in a dive bar?
6. A PBR is never more than $3
7. A cocktail = liquor with a splash of flat soda
8. If there is a house specialty, it’s lethal
Whether it's Li Po’s Mai Tai or Latin American Club’s "margaritas" (in quotes because THEY'RE SERVED IN PINT GLASSES), one is guaranteed to do the trick.
9. Using the bathroom is an adventure
Don’t expect a functional lock. Or toilet paper. Or any level of cleanliness. Really, just be happy there's still a seat on there. Oh, and dive bar bonus points if the bartender has to buzz you through a metal door that leads to the basement toilet (<3 you, Buddha Lounge).