Hoboken Dive Bars?

10/8/2009:

Hoboken doesn’t really have many…

What is your definition of a “Dive Bar” these days?

I believe to many people, the meaning varies quite a bit. To some, a dive bar can be considered anything other than an upper-class bar/restaurant or night club – in other words “a regular pub.” And to others (like myself) a dive bar essentially means a giant dump that hasn’t been maintained, off the beaten path and has seedy characters and misfits that frequent the establishment.

dive-bar-hoboken-nj-maggies-place

Hoboken411 reader Thomas was curious what you all thought dive bars were – and what in Hoboken might be considered one. He called places such as the Wilton House and DC’s Tavern “flat out dive bars,” and other establishments such as Rogo’s and Nag’s Head “fringe dive bars.”

Frankly, to the distinguished (read: snooty) man – you could essentially call half the bars in Hoboken dive bars. But to me, there are hardly any real dive bars left. Maybe Wilton House because of the clientele, and surely Mario’s Bar for the state it’s in – but I wouldn’t even classify places like Louise & Jerry’s or DC’s dives – just regular watering holes (like many of the Irish Pubs). Heck, two of the real dive bars left us in the past few years: Kelly’s Pub (which is now a high-end wine bar) and the Downtown Pub.

What bars in Hoboken do you consider “dives” and why?

Leave a Reply

70 Comments on "Hoboken Dive Bars?"


Member
KenOn10
5 years 10 months ago

7) A dive bar doesn’t have a special theme. Even if it has an Irish name, you will not find any leprechauns and if there is a shamrock it will smell of beer. It is not a “singles bar” or a “couples bar” or a “college bar”. A dive bar is an alcohol-themed bar.

8) A dove bar is vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate on a stick. You will not find these at a dive bar.

Quitting time!

Member
plywood
5 years 10 months ago

Clearly demonstrates having the chops to write the nightlife column in “Weird NJ”.

Member
plywood
5 years 10 months ago

I nominate “ahobokenguy’ for two college equivalency credits for generating that post. Spot on. Extensive research evident in attention to detail.

Member
5 years 10 months ago

Similar but not the same.

I think if a bar can truly embrace 4 out of the 2-6 below it can be considered a true dive. Rule #1 is a must.

1) Cheap Booze, not just a ‘special’. Buy backs are not necessary if a domestic pint is $2.50 all day every day. But a good tip should get you a shot of the bartender’s choice. Also if you are in a bar and they ran out of a high volume drink, say Bud Light on a Friday at 5pm you know you are in a dive bar. But if you are not a regular and want to use your credit card don’t be surprised if you somehow get charged for the guy’s beers next to you and they each cost $7 bucks. You don’t buy a round at a dive bar unless you really know the bartender or don’t care. The only exception is if that guy with one tooth bought you a drink you better back him up. Above all if you asked a bartender, “what kind of place is this” They would say, “A beer and a shot place”

2) Cheap/Bad bar Food or non at all. With menu items served on paper plates or in small plastic baskets and the only reason there is food is so you can/will keep drinking. I think the free hotdogs at Rudys as that Je ne sais quoi that makes you want to come back and bring a friend

3) Dirty is not a prerequisite but dark is. If your feet stick to the floor when the sun is still out and you can hardly read the newspaper at noon, you are in the right place.

4) Same goes with an odor not a prerequisite but most have one. Weather it’s the faint smell of puke at the corner of the bar or the heavy odor of disinfectants coming from the bathroom. I think Rudy’s smelled better when they allowed smoking.

5) People are always important. There are always a cast of characters who keep coming back, regulars. This can vary from place to place and could be either a positive or a negative. There are the good, think the lyrics from Piano Man, and I would say these are in the minority. The bad like when the needle scratches on the juke box when someone walks in. You know when you walked into a place you don’t belong and you truly fear for your well being. And of course the ugly, this has two forms patron and/or proprietor usually either a bartender or owner (few true dive bars have anything that could be remotely considered a manager). One type is the toothless, unkempt, hobo paying with change or even better on ‘the tab’ not the bar tab you pay when you leave but the kind you run for a month and owe to the house. The other bartender/owner type is typically a drunk or addict and they can vary from giving the bar away to being the meanest crotchetiest bastard to the nicest in 30 seconds.

6) Finally, there are what could be the intangibles or miscellaneous item that everyone always remembers. For example, free hotdogs. Other examples could be the leaking ceiling or the broken toilet. But there needs to be that one definable thing broken lights, back alley where the bartender was smoking ________ (fill in the blank), pool table where they were playing cards on, Asain guy selling porn. You get the idea something you would never expect at a bar.

Member
nbm3
5 years 10 months ago

Tempest Bar on 8th Ave and 31 St. Now thats my favorite dive bar.