> City: Oklahoma City
The signature cocktail here sets the tone: It’s called the Lunchbox; it’s made with fresh orange juice, light beer, and amaretto in a frosty mug; and the bar claims to have served more than 2 million of them since it was invented accidentally in the 1990s. Reviewers describe Edna’s as a classic dive bar, with décor featuring dollar bills stapled to the walls. Bar namesake Edna Scott, who died in 2014, used to dance on the bar every time somebody played “Great Balls of Fire” on the jukebox.
Oregon: Yamhill Pub
> City: Portland
The headline for an article a few years back about this octogenarian institution in Willamette Week reads “Yamhill Pub Somehow Endures As Downtown’s Only True Dive.” The sub-head counsels, “Do not order food, avoid the toilets, and never ask how this bar has managed to survive.” Low prices have doubtless helped. Newcomers here, according to Willamette Week, “are tolerated, begrudgingly.”
> City: Pittsburgh
“[C]heap and strong drinks, colorful clientele, unpolished karaoke, and well-worn bar stools” are among the divey attractions at this Strip District standby, according to Yelp. Alcohol choices include a menu of “shot and a beer” combinations (the Jim Morrison is Bud and Jameson) and a choice of brews in bottles only from a list divided into “domestics” and “geeky beers.”
Rhode Island: Pontiac Tap
> City: Providence
“[F]ar from a fancy place but it’s a fun place to kick back and relax with your friends,” wrote one Yelp reviewer, also noting that it’s “dark and dingy,” but that the drinks are “cheap and strong.” Another comment criticized the depressing atmosphere, calling the Tap “a mediocre bar that has a touch of kitsch” – but still another hailed it as “King of dive bars.”
South Carolina: Cutty’s Bar & Grill
> City: Charleston
Cutty’s is the kind of place one Yelp reviewer might give only a single star to, “hoping to discourage fancy jerks from ruining this secret oasis for the neighborhood” – though another one might give it five stars with a note that “The moment you step into Cutty’s, you’re teleported from fancy-pants Charleston to a dive bar in the heart of the Midwest.” Still another reviewer, several years back, wrote: “Great dive bar. I bought a pregnancy test out of the vending machine for $1 and a PBR for $2.” Strangely, the bar is said to sell more of the medicinal-tasting bitter Fernet Branca than anyone else in the state.
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