Guide

7 Historic Dive Bars Across the Country

Dive bars are an integral part of America’s historic character: These careworn buildings emulate the love and energy we put into our communities. To raise awareness and appreciation for historic dive bars, we are partnering with Seagram’s 7 Crown Whiskey for a dive-y celebration, starting on #NationalDiveBarDay (July 7).

Plus, you can help celebrate historic dive bars in your area and support the National Trust at the same time. Tell us about your favorite dive bars on social media using the hashtag #SaveTheDiveBar. Seagram’s 7 will make a $1 donation to the National Trust for each use of the hashtag, up to $25,000!

To get you thirsty to explore your own community’s watering holes, we’ve compiled a guide to seven awesome drinking establishments around the country.

  1. Photo By: Casey Milbrand

    The Old Pink (Buffalo, New York)

    While some patrons of The Old Pink (more commonly known as The Pink) recommend the steak sandwich above all else, others are surprised to learn you can even order food at this dive bar—there is no printed menu, and you have to ask a bartender for their offerings. The bar’s blue and purple paint job, dotted with snowy clouds and bright green flames, is hard to miss in downtown Buffalo, New York.

  2. Photo By: Brian Siewiorek/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Gooski's (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

    This beloved, no-fuss Pittsburgh dive’s mission statements are etched into the wall behind the bar for all to see: “We decide who has a good time” and “If you needed Yelp to find this place, you don’t belong here,” for example. Movies and sports are always playing, local bands perform on weekends, and there’s a pingpong table in the bar’s back room.

  3. Photo By: Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar Bar

    Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar Bar (Washington, D.C.)

    Little Miss Whiskey’s fan-favorite drink is a peach sweet-tea flavored slushy called the Awesomeness, but this D.C. staple offers 60+ whiskeys and 130+ craft beers. Events like whiskey tastings, pig roasts, crawfish boils, and crab feasts are regularly hosted at the bar. While they do play every New Orleans Saints game, Little Miss Whiskey’s isn’t actually New Orleans-themed.

  4. Photo By: Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge

    Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge (New Orleans, Louisiana)

    Called “the best dive bar in New Orleans” by the HuffPost, Snake and Jake’s is little more than a tiny shack on Oak Street, bedecked in its characteristic Christmas decor throughout the year. It’s a quiet relief from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. The bar’s signature drink—a shot of Jagermeister in a pint of Schlitz named the Possum Drop—is so-called because one night a possum dropped through the bar’s ceiling onto someone’s head.

  5. Photo By: Donn's Depot

    Donn’s Depot (Austin, Texas)

    Donn Adelman, the current owner of Donn’s Depot, first started working there as a pianist. The bar reopened under his name on November 1, 1978, and—according to Adelman—Donn’s is now “here for live music and adult beverages.” It features nightly local acts, from a single piano player to a 12-piece orchestra. You might even catch Adelman on the keys and his son, also a bartender at Donn’s, hitting the drums. The bar’s most popular drink is a premium margarita-esque beverage called The Great Trainwreck. Adelman’s advice: “Don’t ask what’s in it.”

  6. Photo By: St. Elmo

    St. Elmo (Bisbee, Arizona)

    The longest continually operating drinking establishment in the state of Arizona, St. Elmo survived Prohibition by converting into a soda shop and was later regularly patronized by celebrities such as John Wayne and Charlie Sheen. The current owner of the bar, Phil Yossem, says the vibe is most similar to that of the Mos Eisley Cantina in "Star Wars," according to a story from Tucson.com. The best drink on the menu is the Bloody Mary, which uses a special “chili water” to give it some extra kick.

  7. Photo By: Sheri Freemuth

    Cactus Bar (Boise, Idaho)

    Cactus Bar, founded in 1936, is the oldest bar in the city of Boise, Idaho, and its down-home brews and friendly community feel have made it last through the ages. The bar was named Uber’s most popular destination in Idaho in 2017. According to one Yelp reviewer, “Every downtown needs a place like this one! Drinks are stiff, bartenders are quick, and prices are CHEAP.”

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