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Good Dive Bars

I always enjoy the dive bars while in NYC. We are staying at the Wellington Hotel near Central Park (and I think 57th st) are there any good Dive bars near there. Also going tio the Beacon Theatre while in town, anything near there for a pre concert drink.

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  1. http://www.divebarnyc.com/

    This is north of you. My husband's gone there to watch football and a friend's husband used to play darts there. With its name, how could you go wrong?

    1 Reply
    1. re: c oliver

      We love Dive Bar -- though note that the name is supposed to refer to it's scuba theme not its general character. :) Dive 75 would be closer to the Beacon than Dive Bar itself. We prefer Dive Bar, especially if you like tap beer (they have a very good rotating selection). Dive Bar (96th) also has a pretty eclectic menu which we often find pretty solid.

    2. I guess is depends on exactly how divey you want to go. The Subway Inn is on 59th just east of Lexington. (Rather incongruously across the street from Bloomingdales). I like dive bars, but I do have standards. I'm not a fan of Subway Inn, but some people like it for it's old-school grime. Your Mileage May Vary. :-)

      4 Replies
      1. re: egit

        looking for cheap drinks, good juke box, interesting people watching. We were told there was a cool place by the Beacon called Yogi's, but from I can find it may have closed?

          1. re: countgrog

            Subway Inn is a true dive. Sounds like maybe not what you're looking for. I love it, but it's dark, dirty, and mostly empty save for a few regulars most of the time.

            1. re: glutton08

              I'm a fan of Subway as well. All the tiles in the bar makes it very cool even in the summer.

        1. The area around your hotel is kind of a difficult place to find dive bars these days, I think, given the high price of real estate, there. But near the Beacon Theatre, there's a popular one called George Keeley's, which also serves a celebrated burger. There are many, many more divey places on Amsterdam in the 70s and 80s, including the Hi Life, the Dead Poet... and the really divey (kind of nasty) Gin Mill.

          Your best bet nearish your hotel might require some walking west to the Hell's Kitchen area. There's a place called Bar Nine (http://www.barnine.com/map.html ) with occasional live music, lots of interesting people watching (including the bartenders, many of whom are rugged looking types with hearts of gold... if a fellow named Thor still works there, he's a great one to chat with), sticky tables, some natty light on tap -- all the classic dive bar accoutrements.

          11 Replies
          1. re: cimui

            I agree that Hi Life and Dead Poet, and esp. Gin Mill, are pretty divey. But I actually think George Keeley's isn't (Amsterdam at about 83rd). P&G has actually opened in its new digs too -- subterranean even and it is very cave-like (Columbus and maybe 78th?).

            Oh, Bar Nine definitely. And Rudy's!!

            1. re: LNG212

              I know, I hesitated about calling GK divey, too... maybe not. But it's a great bar, anyway. What's P&G?

              Oh, haven't been there, but I noticed that we have a (not-so) Village Pourhouse in the lower 100s, now, too. Wonder if that's any good.

              1. re: cimui

                P&G was the classic place on Amsterdam and 73rd that had the neon-lit martini glass and P&G lettering that was landmarked (totally old school and real divey). Of course another landlord wanting insane rent story. But the end result was that P&G found other digs at a price they could afford -- the old Evelyn Lounge space (just south of Ocean on that same block). I don't know how the landlord was allowed to dismantle the landmarked signage or what happened to it. I think the Times ran articles about P&G trying to get the sign taken down intact so they could reuse it. Never heard the result, though.

                1. re: LNG212

                  I had to look this up: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

                  The sign actually does look familiar, but I think I just thought of the place as "Cafe Bar"! Never went in there. Heck, I didn't even know that Evelyn Lounge had closed. I need to get out more.

                  1. re: cimui

                    The old P&G was one of my favorites. I've yet to get to the new one. If you end up going before/after the show at the beacon, please come back and let us know what you think of the new one.

                    1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                      The new P&G is very different. It's a lot more spacious and clean. It is not a bad bar, but the grime of history isn't all over this space the way it was on 73rd leaving this new bar looking more like a characterless dive/sports bar than a piece of history. That said, it is a good alternative when Dive 75 is too crowded.

                      George Keeley is great for burgers and beer, though I don't think it is much of a dive. Hi-Life and Dead Poet, yes...Gin Mill questionable. I think that is actually a much nicer place than Jake's Dilemma where I often find myself.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        Agreed - the new P&G isn't the same. But the subterranean space is pretty different, I thought, like a bunch of intersecting caves.

                        We haven't been to Jake's Dilemma in years (it's a little "young" for us) but we used to love that cayenne spiced popcorn they had at the bar. Do they still have that? (Keeley's popcorn is fine but not spiced.)

                        1. re: LNG212

                          I've never eaten anything at Jake's. It's a little too divey for me to consider that a safe prospect. The Gin Mill has a similarly young crowd which is one reason I think of it more as a frat bar.

                2. re: cimui

                  George Keeley's = definitely not divey. Great beer selection, and the food is pretty good. We often go to dive bar at 96th, because there is good food, and they serve pitchers of pretty good beer. Again though, I wouldn't call it divey.

                  I live near the uptown Village Pourhouse, but haven't gone yet. I did not like the original one in the village. Whatever they replaced their Jameson with was absolutely disgusting. The one uptown is where all the columbia students go, and they have beer pong. Supposedly though if you take a cab there, they will give you a bar tab equal to the cab fare.

                3. re: LNG212

                  Ditto to Rudy's. On 9 ave and 44 or 45 st. It has a big pig in front. Hard to miss.

                  1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves

                    I keep reading about Ruy's so it will be a stop. Looks like we may do P&G and george keesley's on concert day at the Beacon. Keep them coming we will be there 5 days.

              2. Jimmy's Corner on 44th between Broadway and 6th. It's a bar bar that you go to when you need a drink and you just want to hang. Plus I like the old boxing memorabilia.

                1. There's an irish pub between. broadway and amsterdam on 79th - The Dublin House. It has a giant neon harp sign, which you can see from blocks away.

                  Two other irish pub places which fit the bill may be Malachy's at(W. 72nd St near Columbus Ave) or The Emerald Inn (W. 69th and Columbus). I haven't actually been to either of those, but they may fit the bill. Anyone?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: AndrewOG

                    Malachy's used to be a Julliard/MSM hangout, but I don't think it is anymore. It looks to be a mostly post-work crowd and I see the bar pretty empty most evenings.

                    1. re: AndrewOG

                      According to DH and his friends, Dublin House still pours the best Guinness in Manhattan.

                      I've only been to Emerald Inn a couple of times (to watch soccer). It's a little divey - as in older regulars, been there forever kinda feel. It was a great place to catch soccer though.

                      Oh, and to add, there's always The Parlour as well (on 86th just west of Bway). That's also a good place to watch soccer. And they have pool tables. Unfortunately I've always found the bartenders very unfriendly there (except when you have a private party which I did once there and it was awesome).

                      1. re: LNG212

                        I know it's not necessarily on topic for this thread, but Molly's may want to have a word with "DH and his friends" on that topic. :)

                    2. i like the dead poet, and it's only 6 or 7 blocks from the beacon

                      if youre willing to travel, head down to blue and gold on 7th street.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: thew

                        If you are willing to travel all the way to the East Village there are way better dives then Blue and Gold. Mona's, Lucy's, Sophie's just to name a few. There are many more. Blue and Gold, IMO, is a frat hole.

                        1. re: KTinNYC

                          Lucy's is temporarily closed. Eater.com has some coverage on it, but as yet it remains something of a mysterty.

                            1. re: davisready

                              yep, i was scrolling down and waiting to see if anyone had mentioned the Mars Bar: probably the grimiest, most sordid, punkiest, and most alcoholism-inducing bar in Manhattan...other bars may try for this title, but given how tiny the Mars Bar is, it surely wins in terms of any kind of dive-fame/sleaze per sq ft ratio...

                              for a really toxic evening, go there, start downing whisky, and then have a Two Boots "Mr Pink" pizza delivered, and share it w/ your new friends and enemies...

                              1. re: LNG212

                                Dirty? Yes. Divey? Sure. Even sleezy would be appropriate. But, don't ever go and call The Patriot awful :). That place was an oasis for me when I used to work down there. A favorite for sure.

                                1. re: glutton08

                                  I guess a whole group of responses were deleted. It was I who mentioned The Patriot. :) I've actually not been -- DH goes there with a friend of his and said it's so divey that he won't let me go meet him there! But they do have cheap PBRs which is what was mentioned in the deleted posts.

                                2. re: Simon

                                  The Mars Bar is like a Bukowski nightmare. It's a place that never loses it's "charm".

                            2. re: thew

                              If you're going the Blue & Gold route then you're better off going to Cherry Tavern which is on 6th and A I believe.

                              Also, I don't know how much it counts as a dive but i think it fits the bill: McKenna's on 14th between 7th & 8th. really awesome and ridiculously cheap food and $2 PBRs...yet its totally not a hipster joint. I always have a good time there. very laid back.


                            3. rudy's, 9th @ 44th, but you knew that

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: holland_oats

                                Rudy's keeps coming up so we may hit that one. Plan looks like maybe some beers and a Burger at George Keeleys and then maybe hit another place in that area preconcert.

                                1. re: countgrog

                                  rudy's is rumored to be closing...i dont know if it has yet.

                              2. My go to "dive" is the delta grill.
                                they make the best (and probably the only) Muffaletta in nyc.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: smokeandapancake

                                  Unless this is outdated info, the Dive Bar does a muffaletta, too: http://www.eatingintranslation.com/20...

                                  If we're talking dives, I'll cast another vote for Subway Inn. Downtown, I used to hit up the Holiday Cocktail Lounge. The owner passed away not too long ago. I used to hit up Mona's as well, which is darker and more cavernous than the Mars Bar, allowing a drinker to be more anonymous and incognito, the way a drinker ought to be. I also used to haunt the Grassroots, which, last time I checked, still pours a cheap pint. My wife and I were denied entry on a recent "date" in January, because she didn't have ID on her. We're both in our forties; they mean business. And, yeah, Rudy's...good old Rudy's, a bar that hearkens back to a time where it fit in better in its' immediate neighborhood. The jukebox is hard to beat: blues, jazz, soul and a free water dog.

                                  RIP Downtown Beirut.

                                2. The best... though not in the area is Billymark's West on 29th and 9th. Billy is the best!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lawgirl1984

                                    For a muffaletta? or just as far as a dive is concerned?

                                  2. Scroll down to the Dive Bar section in this article from Frommer's NYC.