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Aug 8, 2013 02:03 PM

Dive Bars

An out-of-town friend who loves dive bars is visiting and I want to give him a Cook's tour. For him, the sleazier, the better. If the place is filled with unsavory, even dangerous characters, he is in hog heaven. The recent news about Champions on Lake St. has me thinking it fits the bill, but I've never been. Have you? Or, do you know of any other establishment that might meet his criteria?

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  1. There are places that foster the vibe your friend seeks:
    - Gopher Bar
    - CC Club
    - Lyle's

    For Champions, I have a personal difficulty with treating recent crime -- particular in neighborhoods where poverty plays a part -- as a spectator attraction.

    3 Replies
    1. re: KTFoley

      Apologies. The latest incident is indeed tragic and sad, and my heart goes out to anyone personally affected. I was thinking more of the overall vibe of the place.

      1. re: KTFoley

        I think the Gopher Bar might be a "good ol'boy" establishment, re:racist bar. I understand the need for dive and dogs, but I couldn't stand to be in there for even a drink.

        1. re: stepawayfromthetable

          Yes, nearly every piece written about the Gopher Bar has been clear about its willingness to offend.

          That post is a list of places where the vibe exists on purpose. A gawker could be entertained or become the entertainment himself. Would you agree that's a fairer proposition than treating a crime scene as a personal sideshow?

      2. Vegas Lounge 3 (2 for 1) happy hours each day. Major Karoke in evening. Central Ave NE Mpls

        1. Agree with The above recs and would add Red Dragon, Tony Jaros and Palmers.

            1. Lee's Liquor Lounge
              The Rail Station
              The Hexagon
              Big V's
              The Spot
              Not sure if the Turf Club qualifies as a dive exactly, but it's a cool place.

              Don't think any of these places have much food beyond Heggie's pizza and peanuts, though, so maybe not much of a "Cook's tour." Maybe there are still ladies selling tamales out of coolers now and then?

              1 Reply
              1. re: LiaM

                Personal experience says these all fit the bill: Big V's ~ BJ's ~ Bullwinkle's ~ CC Club ~ Country Bar ~ Cuzzy's ~ Double Duce (aka 22nd Ave Station) ~ The Dubliner ~ Dusty's ~ Frenchman's ~ Halftime Rec ~ Hexagon ~ Tony Jaro's ~ The Joint ~ Knight Cap Lounge ~ Lee's Liquor Lounge ~ Mortimer's ~ Nomad ~ Otter's Saloon ~ Palmer's ~ Red Dragon ~ Spot Bar ~ Terminal Bar ~ Vegas Lounge