Requiem For A Dive Bar

My favorite dive bar is being taken over by undesirables.

The twenty somethings, corporate suits, sorority girls, tourists and hipsters have run out the firemen and the iron workers.  And I for one couldn't be more pissed off about the change of demographics.

Hunky men aside, a good dive bar is a thing of beauty.  An establishment that has met the adult beverage needs of thirsty Chicagoans for years.  It's grimy, dark, worn and at times a little stinky.

Its old and existed when Chicago neighborhoods had a tavern or a bar on practically every corner.

Most of that has changed.

Old neighborhoods have re-emerged as entertainment and dining destinations.

The corner bar has been replaced with some monstrosity that has beer taps at the table.

And now the perfect storm of good beer selection, cheap prices, a killer jukebox,  hot neighborhood & being down the street from an extremely popular new bar has now encroached on the sanctity of my dive bar.

Did I mention that there's a pizza place that sells slices right across the alley?

I guess it was only a matter of time.

The people who get tired of waiting in line to get in the popular new bar come in.

The 9 to 5 after work crowd comes in.

Hell, concierges from hotels are sending people in.  Concierges for the love of god!

What is this world coming to?

Then of course the write ups in several local publications didn't help either.  After all, it is a wonderful bar.

I'm glad the owner & staff are making money hand over fist, they're good people and work very hard.  They deserve every dime they make.

I'm just pissy because it took me so long to finally get the courage to walk in the front door and meet the wonderful people on both sides of the bar that I simply didn't want to share this gem with the rest of Chicago.

Or at least the same people that I always see when I'm out.

The twenty something, the corporate type, the tourist and the hipsters have a million bars to choose from in our fair city.  I rarely get to interact with firemen, iron workers and off duty service industry people.  Who, might I add, are generally much more well behaved when they're getting boozed up than the folks mentioned above.

You know your little dive bar has gotten hot when the entire Chicago Wolves hockey team walks in and takes over the place for a few hours.

The place is turning into Tai's Till 4.

So now the blue collar gents are going somewhere else---and that makes me very sad.

You're probably wondering why I haven't mentioned the name of the bar?

They're already popular enough.  Why would I want more of the huddled masses invading?

Go find your own dive bar and when you do, be respectful.


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  • This is how I feel about Tuman's (which used to be known as the Alcohol Abuse Center) and also the Beachwood Inn.

  • Woodlawn, this has happened to my favorite hole in the wall in Lincoln Square called Ricochets! The place had one pool table and 2 dart boards and it was fun. Now you walk in there you have all these yuppies and their friends, families and other douche bags that have taken over the place and makes me sad. You use to be able to go in there (when I was dating this guy Bob who introduced me to the place years ago) and be able to sit down with a regular, shoot the shit and just have a few drinks before going out or going home. Now all I want to do is lock up the guy sitting next to me to his bike and leave him out there while the regulars have a few drinks and a few laughs. My last bastion of hope is St. Andrew's in my hood where I can still go for a fancy brew but still feel like I am in a hole in the wall place that serves up good food. What will happen to the joint when Loyola students invade? I might have to move. :-(

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    In reply to Brandi Wall:

    Um, all due respect, Brandi, but what makes you think you aren't part of the problem? Before you were a 'regular', you were just another douche bag coming in to ruin the oldtimers' buzz. Or, at least you were to the people who discovered the place two weeks before you. This is what happens. I live in Lincoln Square, and I know I'm part of the gentrification movement. I pay more taxes, my wife pushes my kids around in an expensive stroller, and I go to Loafer's and don't give a damn who doesn't like it. If you want to move, I'll help you pack.

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    Although not from Chicago, I have traveled my whole life, every summer, to a small island on the West coast of Florida. There is a little dive bar out a pier that I have been going to since I could walk. Yep, back in those days nobody made a fuss about a kid bellying up to the bar and kicking back a bottle of grape nehi. The only fuss the bartender made about the kids was to be sure we returned the bottle. The place was built when my mom was a kid and she would spend summers there as well. We knew everyone and when we'd show up the owner would send one us kids back to the cottage with something he just caught that day as a welcome back to the island offering. We are "part-time" locals. Not tourist. My Grandpa built his own little 2 bedroom cottage as a get -a- way. Blue collar, working man and he was buddies with the few islanders. Anyway, about 18 years ago some camera crew decides to do a tourist video. G-d help us. They started coming and have not stopped. Rich folk, uptight suites with their choice sunglasses, skidoos, and snot nosed kids who have everything. They want "old Florida". They want to "slum it" but in a sports car, perfect cloths, belts, boat shoes, sweaters over their shoulders..... UGH!!!!! For real? Crappy t-shirt, cut offs and bare feet, ok maybe the dime store flip flops and THAT is my kind of living. .......The island is not what it used to be thanks to tourists and people trying to live the simple life with all the best things in life. I want them to go back to Bocca Boat Club and leave the rest of us alone. I feel your pain.

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