Dive Bars you've frequented

This may have been addressed before, but are any of the dives in the opening sequence of Barfly Still around? Did Bukowski actually drink in any of the bars in the film?

Finally, which is why I put this question here: What memorable dive bars have you frequented as a quasi-regular?

In Tampa: Leo's, The Hub, Corsica Jean and Juanita's Palace (hehe -- Jean was a wrestler!). The Hub was a journalist's hangout back in the day and its pours are legendary. A glass of gin with a splash of tonic. 2 cocktails and you were well on your way. The original site was scummy and small, but the new locale still served stiff drinks.

DeLand: Red's, Teet's. Both could be hairy, lots of bikers. But if you were cool and didn't look for trouble, they accepted you well enough.

D.C.: O'Leary's? I can't recall the name but there used to be regular concerts by a kind of enigmatic and shabby poor man's James Brown who called himself Dr. Hot Pepper. A small, wiry, but charismatic performer and hard drinker. One co-regular was an ex-college professor felled by alcoholism, another pal delivered and picked up laundry and lent some of us younger drunks his houseboat, which was a great place to tie one on.

Albuquerque: Jack's, Mori's, El Rey. El Rey was a dank, skid-row joint. The most down and out place of the lot.

Ithaca: The Chanticleer. I used to pass there every day after work. Sometimes just for a pint or two, but I often closed the place down, eating pizza for dinner.

I moved around a lot between 18 and 32!

Dark, smoky, windowless places with people who came to drink and mind their own business, but where fists would sometimes fly. No craft beers, no hipsters. Just a mix of working-class and middle-class men and women who took their drinking seriously. Some of them also had package stores.

Great, if blurry, memories in all of those places. I just re-watched Barfly and it brought back a lot. I've been in France now for about 18 years and while ratty bars exist, they just don't have the same ambiance. I do most of my drinking alone these days. I really miss those very American dives, with padded leather on the doors, stained carpets, scarred bar tops, juke boxes with 45's that were all 20 or 30 years old. Man, they seem to be a dying breed. Sorry for the nostalgia trip, but those old bars just had a charm to them I really miss.

So what dive bars have you spent or do you still spend hours?
 

mjp

Founding member
Did Bukowski actually drink in any of the bars in the film?
When Bukowski writes about sitting in a bar all day, day after day, he's writing about living in Philadelphia (mostly) when he was in his 20s. Most of his poems or stories about drinking in Los Angeles are about drinking in a room. He drank in bars in Los Angeles of course, he met Jane in a bar on Alvarado Street. But the impression I get is after the 1940s he moved, for the most part, from bars to rooms.

So when you hear that Bukowski drank regularly at a certain Los Angeles bar, take that with a grain of salt. There's someone in every bar in San Pedro who will swear to you that they drank with Bukowski, "Right over there on those stools," but he didn't drink in any San Pedro bars, so all of those stories are just stories.
 
I'd definitely like to drink in an all-out U.S dive bar some day. Hope the hipsters don't take over all of them by the time I get there.

I have a bar on the corner of the street where I live that I've visited a few times. The bar is run by women only, with a trans woman running the bar. The waitresses can sit and keep you company for a small prize, and there's a "private" room in the back where you can get a lap dance and maybe more. There is a weird kind of jukebox that looks more like a computer screen on the wall. The place is very small, and you can't smoke inside for some reason. It all smells like booze, cheap perfume, bleach and sweat--y'know, like a good bar should.

Last time I went it turned really bizarre, in a good way. The place was packed. I went with a couple of friends. One of them decided to go dressed in a very preppy kind of way for some reason, and one of the guys in the bar thought he was an architect and was looking for a job. Another guy was dancing with a waitress like it was a rodeo, carrying her and spinning. I ended up talking to a guy about life, and he invited me and my friends more beer. A waitress wanted me to slap her in the ass. A perv was trying to peep into the private room. It was crazy.

That bar and another one I went to with my best friend after graduation where they only sold two brands of beer and a guy was already wasted when we got there at eleven in the morning are the only truly dingy, down and out bars I've visited. I've visited some bars that have a very dead atmosphere, but it's mostly because of lack of clientele, not because the bar is dingy. When I go out, I mostly drink in a new kind of bar that is booming in the city I live in; bars that sell everything for the equivalent of a dollar. Of course food is small, shots are small, and if you want a whiskey better than Red Label, you're gonna have to pay more than a dollar. These kind of bars are lacking, but they serve their purpose, which is drinking cheap. Depending on which one you go to, you might find college students, sports fans or loud drunks on weekend, but never really deadbeats.
 
Which border is that? Mexico?

When Bukowski writes about sitting in a bar all day, day after day, he's writing about living in Philadelphia (mostly) when he was in his 20s. Most of his poems or stories about drinking in Los Angeles are about drinking in a room. He drank in bars in Los Angeles of course, he met Jane in a bar on Alvarado Street. But the impression I get is after the 1940s he moved, for the most part, from bars to rooms.

So when you hear that Bukowski drank regularly at a certain Los Angeles bar, take that with a grain of salt. There's someone in every bar in San Pedro who will swear to you that they drank with Bukowski, "Right over there on those stools," but he didn't drink in any San Pedro bars, so all of those stories are just stories.

I admit I'm no expert on his life, despite reading some bios, I always forget about his time in Philly. He never drank in Pedro? Kind of surprising he never stopped by a place on the way home. I suppose the "Buk drank here" is the LA equivalent of "Washington slept here" at old New England inns. I did most of my all-day bar sessions in my twenties. Now I drink at home. Cheaper and less hassle! Thanks again for all you do mjp.
 

Yes amigo. Southeastern Mexico to be specific. The state where I live in is known for being full of alcoholics (and junkies), especially during the carnival we have here, but not as much as some northern states. Of course if what you want is to visit a bunch of bars in a day, Mexico Citiy is the place, just be careful where you end up in. We don't really have a lot of bars here that serve tap beer, unless you count those bars that try to imitate Irish or American bars. It's mostly bottled beer here, and a lot of tequila.

Now I drink at home. Cheaper and less hassle!

Always.
 
I've travelled a lot in Mexico. I think over three trips I spent about year there. North, south, east, and west. I like DF a lot. I liked it all a lot, great people, but drinking can be hairy. Do you agree? Mexican campesinos often get crazy drunk, I mean, passing out at the bar drunk, spend all their pesos, they insist on paying, and when the pesos are gone, it's your turn. Not always, obviously, but I had some really dodgy experiences there. But I love Mexico. I may move there one day. So, southeast....Campeche? Villahermosa? Yucatan? Yeah, I noticed no beer on tap. Just bottles. Or cans of Tecate! Ah, Mexico. I love your country hermano!
 
I like DF a lot. I liked it all a lot, great people, but drinking can be hairy. Do you agree?

Of course. There's always tension in the air as to when a fight may break out. A friend from work told me that the northern states is where it gets really hairy. People willing to fight till one of them is out unconscious on the floor, most likely bleeding badly. It's the land of the drug lords after all. I like to get myself into places I probably shouldn't go anywhere near, but I'm not ready to cross that line... yet.

So, southeast....Campeche? Villahermosa? Yucatan?

Veracruz. I live in the main port, but I've visited Xalapa a couple of times. Sunny as hell, and cranked up to be very dangerous, but I'd say don't believe all the stories you hear. As with any part of Mexico, the important thing is knowing how to get around, and you can end up having a blast. I've only traveled to Mexico City a couple times with my family, so I haven't really had the chance to inmerse myself in the nocturnal atmosphere, but I plan on going there soon with a friend, and maybe even moving there in the near future.

Or cans of Tecate!

Hahaha hell yeah. Not my go to beer, but definitely a life saver most of the time.

Ah, Mexico. I love your country hermano!

Always welcomed here.
 
Yes, the northern states are also cowboy-like. I spent two months in Nuevo Leon. Tiny place called Zaragosa. Bottles of beer cost a quarter (US). That place was pretty mellow. On another trip I went to Chihuahua, and started drinking at a big place with lots of hookers and that tension you speak of was palpable. Not towards me, just in general. It was the most violent atmosphere I've ever felt, just waiting to erupt.

In my memory the south was generally more peaceful-feeling in the bars. Of course, an ex-girlfriend was on a bus in Chiapas that got robbed by men claiming to be Zapatistas, but she told me they were pretty polite about it. People told her not to take a bus at night but she was impatient to see me after three months. I'd started in Tulum but had been mainly in Guatemala that trip. Like I said, I've been all over Mexico; never had any problems, and the incident with my ex was not exactly typical. And not a bar!

Never been to Xalapa. Have you ever been to Catemaco btw?

Tecate hit the US in a big way about 20 years back. I like it, but for some reason only in the can. Usually, the opposite it true.
 
Have you ever been to Catemaco btw?

No man. Seems like you know Mexico more than me hahahaha. I barely leave Veracruz. Know my city like the palm of my hand. I do plan on going on a On the Road type trip someday around Mexico. It will either be very dangerous (open road) or very expensive (highway). I'll report back if I ever do so. In the meantime, I'll keep finding shady places to drink here.
 
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