Best Dive Bar in Every State

Source: pasa / Flickr

Colorado: Nob Hill Inn
> City: Denver

This slightly gritty Denver old-timer — there’s been a bar or restaurant on the site since 1937 and it’s been called the Nob Hill Inn since 1954 — is decorated with paintings done by the owner when he was an art student 30-plus years ago. According to the Denver news and arts publication Westword, “The off-band jukebox still takes dollar bills, and…[t]he crowd ebbs and flows as hipsters, old-timers, and guys wearing sunglasses indoors all come and go.” Facing permanent closure in July, after the state shut down bars for in-person service, Nob Hill launched a GoFundMe page and managed to survive. It is now open again.

Connecticut: Carousel Club
> City: New London

“$2 PBR’s, punk shows all the time,” noted a Yelp reviewer late last year. “No other bar like it around!” Another reviewer called the place, formerly known as 33 Golden Street (its address), “The last real dive bar with ‘meaning’ in the area.” Darts, pool tables, and a jukebox are part of the scene. As if this weren’t enough, there’s a sign on the bar mirror reading, “Employees Must Carve Slayer Into Forearms Before Returning to Work.” What more could a dive-bar aficionado want?

Source: Courtesy of Comegys Pub

Delaware: Comegys’ Pub
> City: Wilmington

A small, family-owned blue-collar watering hole known for its friendly staff and friendly regulars, Comegys’ has been called “the Cheers of Wilmington.” It’s the kind of place, one regular told the local entertainment site Out&About, where “Someone will always buy you a drink, whether you want one or not!”

Source: Courtesy of Christopher L. via Yelp

Florida: Anclote River Boat Club
> City: Tarpon Springs

There’s beer and a little wine but no hard booze at what Yelp reviewers hail as a “dilapidated, crooked,” “classic Floridian dive bar” with live music and “the wildest ambiance, the best bartenders, the greatest stories.” Perched above the Anclote River, leaning over it on “at least a 20 degree angle,” it’s “jam packed with character.” As one comment notes, “Don’t come here looking for hipsteresque irony; you’ll be eaten alive.” And bring money: It’s cash only.

Source: Courtesy of Manny C. via Yelp

Georgia: The Rail Pub
> City: Savannah

Opened in 1890 in what was then the city’s red light district, the Rail Pub has been everything from a railroad workers’ bar to a boarding house to a brothel. Today, the attractions in this “dark, dank, sketchy, and…amazing” joint (as one Yelper called it) include $5 40s (40-ounce beers), free fried chicken on Fridays, and, according to the bar’s website, “the city’s finest collection of daytime drinkers.”