08 August 2005

Know any...

... good dive bars, in Cleveland or elsewhere?

There was a place called 'The W. 3rd Cafe' that was down the street from 'Pat's In The Flats', we used to get a great $4 burger or $5 steak dinner there. 'The Knotty Pine' in Cleveland Heights is a classic. If you ever make it out to a Lake County Captains baseball game, there's a place by the stadium called 'Beanie's Lounge' (that's what it says on my charge receipt, at least). Just found that one, and it was awesome.

I guess for me the classic dive bar has watery beer, cheap eats, a jukebox full of midwest rock, and mostly vinyl seating. It's never too crowded to walk to the john, it's never too loud to talk to your pals. No one-armed-one-horned-flying-purple-people-tini's, no dress code, no meat market.

There is such a thing as too-divey I recently discovered at 'Grilly's', on Lorain near 25th. But I think if I put in some time there, even that would feel homey and comfortable and slightly sticky. On the first visit, it's only one for three.


tormp said...

sorry i saw this post so late. i like this as a topic.

The Knotty Pine -- is that the bar with the rear-facing red door at Cedar / S. Taylor? If it's not, then you should add that bar to the list. It doesn't have any other name that I'm aware of; it's been known to me and certain others up to this point as "the shady bar".

now, everyone here knows of Spoto's. Here's a weird fact: McNulty's (nee Panini's on Coventry) has added a "Spoto burger" to their menu, which is a bona-fide Spoto burger: cream cheese, bacon, death, etc. What the hell is that? McNulty's is not Spoto's. It's all... clean in there. And shit. Can you even taste one of those things without a paste of tobacco tar forming on your skin while you eat it?

anyway. perhaps you want to include dive taquerias: there's "the flying burrito", which is way the hell out somewhere in the mentor / rest-of-ohio region. I saw this guy play a terrifying acoustic guitar set there over a year ago.

ChiliCon said...

I agree, great topic.

It's sad that the Euclid Tavern is gone. What a place. Maybe one day it will return in glory to judge other dive bars.

Knotty Pine - I think it is on the corner of Lee and Mayfield. A quick google search seems to confirm this. Never been there but it's been recommended to me.

Spoto's definitely borders on the uncomfortable for me. Watching Jerry Springer while eating lunch sucks. Maybe at night.

A couple new favorite dives:
Becky's just north of Chester on E 18th. CSU's area. Great wings. Sports are usually on. The crowd seems to vary a lot - Schmonz and I went there for something different once and we've been back a lot.

Little John's Bar and Grill should qualify. Just off of West 6th, with a lot of people that wouldn't be able to get into any of the bars on West 6th.

ChiliCon said...

Oh, and the turkey sandwiches at the Little Bar are 133t.

ChiliCon said...

Sorry, it's Johnny's Little Bar & Grill

schmonz said...

That reminds me. Since I'm moving to New York Thursday afternoon, my last hurrah will be at Becky's tomorrow (Wednesday), starting around 6 - 6:30. If you're reading this and aren't one of those asshat commenters, you're invited.

yeric said...


Ah, the little bar with the big turd on the bathroom floor.

Good times...

Actually, last time we were in there it was much cleaner (no turds and lots of stainless all over the bathroom) thus endangering its dive status.

dewey said...

Guys: Spoto's has reformed. It changed ownership, and the new folks have painted it up real good. It looks nice inside, and they have a bunch of TVs for watching sports now. No need to fear for your safety any more. I know they are open for lunch and serving food, but I'm only pretty sure that the famous burger is still on the menu.

ChiliCon said...

Little Bar is still a dive. Evidence:
Last time I went, the guys that beg for cash on W. 6th were in there eating McDonalds and drinking beers. One of them told the bartendress that she looked like an easter egg. He meant it as a compliment.

It would be ironic if Spoto's stopped having the SpotoBurger and McNulty's got it instead. If I ever eat beef again I'll have to try one.