Dive bar
A dive bar is a type of bar
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

 or pub
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

. Dive bars generally have a relaxed and informal atmosphere—they are often referred to by local residents as "neighborhood bars," where people in the neighborhood gather to drink and socialize. Individual bars may be considered to be disreputable, sinister, or even a detriment to the community:

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, often abbreviated to SOED, is a scaled-down version of the Oxford English Dictionary . It comprises two volumes rather than the twenty needed for the full second edition of the OED...

 indicates that, in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the 1880s, the term referred to an illegal drinking den or other place of ill repute, especially one located in a basement
__FORCETOC__A basement is one or more floors of a building that are either completely or partially below the ground floor. Basements are typically used as a utility space for a building where such items as the furnace, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air-conditioning system...

. However, this usage has since become obsolete. Some people attribute the term to the practice of patrons diving under tables when trouble broke out, particularly gunplay.

In 2010, Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

magazine described a dive bar as:


  • "I Love This Bar," a song performed by Toby Keith
    Toby Keith
    Toby Keith Covel , best known as Toby Keith, is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. Keith released his first four studio albums — 1993's Toby Keith, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon and 1997's Dream Walkin, plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of...

    , is about a dive bar.
  • The Pet Shop Boys
    Pet Shop Boys
    Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....

    ' hit song "West End Girls
    West End Girls
    "West End Girls" is a song by British pop duo Pet Shop Boys. Written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, the song was released twice as a single. It is a synthpop song, influenced by hip hop music. The lyrics focus on class, and inner-city pressure, and were inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land...

    " mentions "a dive bar in a West End town."
  • "Papa Was A Rodeo," a song by The Magnetic Fields, asks "What are we doing in this dive bar, how can you live in a place like this?"


  • In the television series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is an American food television series that premiered in November 2006 on the Food Network. Produced by Page Productions, the program stars and is hosted by Guy Fieri...

    , Guy Fieri
    Guy Fieri
    Guy Fieri is an American restaurateur, author, television personality, and game show host. He co-owns five restaurants in California and is widely known for his television series on the Food Network....

     often visits dive bars to sample food.


  • The first fight club
    Fight Club
    Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor's exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, he finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups...

     in the eponymous
    An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

     film is started in the basement of a dive bar.

Video games

  • In the Sims 3 expansion pack The Sims 3: Late Night
    The Sims 3: Late Night
    The Sims 3: Late Night is the third expansion pack for the strategic life simulation computer game The Sims 3 and is similar to previous expansions The Sims 2: Nightlife for The Sims 2 and The Sims: Hot Date for The Sims...

    , players can put dive bars on their maps.

See also

  • Drinking culture
    Drinking culture
    Drinking culture refers to the customs and practices associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Although alcoholic beverages and social attitudes toward drinking vary around the world, nearly every civilization has independently discovered the processes of brewing beer, fermenting...

  • Honky-tonk
  • Roadhouse
    Roadhouse (facility)
    A roadhouse is a commercial establishment typically built on a major road or highway, to service passing travellers. Its meaning varies slightly by country.-USA:...

  • Speakeasy
    A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the period known as Prohibition...

Further reading

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