A Dive Bar is a drinking establishment that is a bit shabby and unglamorous with dimmed lights and outdated furniture, and the drinks come relatively cheap.
They provide the absolute minimum service they need to to be called an establishment.
You only go to the toilet here if you absolute must, because that room has likely not been cleaned in a decade.
The “dive bar” is often founded by some local dude with a passion for drinking and talking shit, and often one of his family members are working there as a bartender.
It is rarely filled with people, and the few that are there are often regulars who has been going there weekly for the past 20 years.
The term was coined in the 19th century, and it is called a “dive bar” because it is subterranean – it is operating underneath the surface of the earth, either literally or metaphorically.
Its first recorded mention was in the New York Herald in July 1871.
Spread and Usage
Up until just a few decades ago, the label “dive bar” would have negative connotations to a drinking establishment, insinuating that the place what dirty and unkept.
In modern times, however, many bars use it as a badge of honour, because the owner purposely wanted to give the bar that comfortable, home-like atmosphere, where everyone is welcome.
Famous country musician Garth Brooks released his track “Dive Bar” in June 2019, with lyrics basically involving getting drunk in a cozy, laid-back bar.
- Wikipedia – Dive bar (drinking establishment)