What Is A Dive Bar?

Joe Sixpack tackles the question of what is a dive.

The question: What is a dive bar?

You’ve got Noah Webster, who defines it as “a shabby and disreputable establishment.”

There’s Wikipedia, which refers to a “dated or rundown appearance and atmosphere.”

And Word-Detective.Com says the name goes back to the 19th century, when many disreputable joints were located below street level. An adventurous evening out literally meant “diving into a subterranean world of bad booze and even worse company.”

OK, it’s sounding pretty negative.

But when you talk to beer drinkers, you find they have a warm feeling for a favorite dive. Several online search sites, for example, run “best dive bar” polls, and readers describe them in the kind of glowing terms that a tavern owner usually clips out and pastes onto the wall.

Want a comfy bar? Just dive right in [Joe Sixpack, Daily News]