Virginia: Mel’s Place
> City: Virginia Beach
A Yelp reviewer from Georgia liked Mel’s because “you can smoke inside and the drinks are cheap yet strong.” (There is a non-smoking section.) A Virginia Beach resident added that “[T]his is actually a really cool dive bar. Not what I expected at all!” And another said on Yelp, “I’d say this is our modern day ‘Cheers’.” There are three pool tables, and pool tournaments on Saturday nights, and the bar hosts Geeks That Drink trivia contests.
Washington: Streamline Tavern
> City: Seattle
“I love dive bars and Streamline didn’t fail,” wrote a Yelp reviewer of this “super casual” establishment, owned by a former Seattle Post Intelligencer reporter. “Staff are blunt, unapologetic and real,” noted another Yelper. There’s a bar food menu (pizza, hot dogs, sliders, etc.), and comments on Yelp suggest that the fare is better than usual for a dive bar. Pitchers of PBR are $8.50 and well drinks are $3 during nightly happy hour, and there are free peanuts.
West Virginia: Red Carpet Lounge
> City: Charleston
“[A] beloved dive bar to the locals” and “the purest version of a dive bar in existence,” according to its fans on Yelp, the Red Carpet would be perfect except that “it’s too bright and the walls are too white for a real dive.” Hefty liquor pours and cheap beer attract “[e]very walk of life.” However, warns one reviewer, “The bar staff doesn’t like you. This is not ironic detachment. They honestly do not care for you. They will sell and serve you drinks regardless.”
Wisconsin: Wolski’s Tavern
> City: Milwaukee
Wolski’s celebrates its 111th anniversary this year, offering patrons “Great bartenders, outstanding popcorn, inexpensive drinks and steel dart boards,” according to one Yelp reviewer. Others call it a “Dark, dark, classic forever neighborhood bar,” but “NOT a dive bar in the traditional sticky floor, dirty bathroom sense.” Anyone who stays until the bar shuts down (at 2 or 2:30 a.m., depending on the night) gets an “I closed Wolksi’s” bumper sticker. In light of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, the state recently limited bar and restaurant capacity to 25% through Nov. 6. But on Oct 15, a Wisconsin County Circuit judge temporarily blocked the limitation order, so capacity is back to 50% for now.
Wyoming: Joe’s Liquor & Bar
> City: Rock Springs
This combination of a package liquor store and what is said to be Wyoming’s smallest bar (with seating for only about 20 customers) is “as divey as divey can get, as local as local can get, and as cool as cool can get,” according to one Yelp review. The 1961-vintage Joe’s supplies “an authentic Wyoming experience,” and while there’s no beer on tap, the bar makes up for the omission “in personality and rowdiness.”