Dive bars suck you in long before you order your first drink. They lure you in with cheap drinks and generous bartenders, then steal your heart by handing you the remote, a pool stick or a wad of ones to feed the jukebox.
You’re instantly part of the family in a dive and feel like an essential fixture the more you drop by. Before you know it, you too will say something like, “I remember my first BLT here in 1996 or meeting my wife at Sam’s crazy bachelor party in 1981.”
Dive bar lovers circle back for the comfort, the crew, the cold ones and pure curiosity – who will win the game, who’ll stay until last call and can I take Bob for another $20 over a mean game of darts or pool.
“Great dives are decompression hubs and second living rooms. There’s no dress code, corporate politics, judgment or prom queens. Nobody gives a flying Falstaff about who you are or your social status. Just belly up and sip your way back to sanity. Tomorrow’s another dive.” ~ Brenda Clevenger
The people are unpretentious, loyal, and filled with life stories that will make your toes curl. If you want to experience the local fabric of Kansas City, or any city, this is your information hub about notorious bar and grills that have more staying power than powder puff pubs lacking the grit, wit and tits to go the distance.
While flashy bars and restaurants come and go, crusty bars endure generations, bombings, smoking bans, competition, trends and recessions. What lacks in décor is made up by colorful patrons who often roll in dressed in leather, denim, or flea market finds accented with ample jewelry, tats, and a free-spirited attitude. Beatniks, bohemians, bikers or the girl next door; you just never know who you’ll strike a conversation with, and that’s part of the attraction.
In any given dive you might be sit next to an artist, biker, welder, transplant, retiree or corporate stiff who needs to temporarily forget about the IPO and concentrate on an IPA. Pull up a stool.