December 28, 2011

Reasons You Should Go To A Dive Bar

The bathroom at The Old Pink
My senior year of college, I was tired of trying to convince my best friend Ally that the guy she was dating was gay. We would joke about it, but sometimes it would turn into a fight, so I came up with a solution.

"Alright, enough is enough. Let's make a little bet. If he comes out as homosexual before 2021, ten years exactly from today, then you owe me dinner and drinks. If he remains in the closet, uh, I mean, if he is not gay, then I owe you. Deal?"

Long story short - she accepted the deal and ended up owing me dinner. While I suppose it's not nice to bet on a persons sexual orientation, one must also consider that a recession is a recession, and eating out is expensive. And eating out is gross, but I digress.

I arrived to Buffalo from Los Angeles a few days ago for a holiday visit and already, it has been an awesome time with family and friends. When I met up with Ally, she said, "Ok, name the restaurant and let's go! Tonight is on me; wherever you wanna go and whatever you wanna do."

When I told her The Old Pink, an Allentown neighborhood dive bar that serves the best steak sandwiches that I have ever tasted, she was a little taken aback, but stepped on the gas and said, "let's roll girl."

We went, had a blast, enjoyed the music, talked with the laid-back staff and other bar dwellers, and discussed what a lot of people were missing out on by never going to a dive bar.  In college - or more specifically, my time spent in Los Angeles - many individuals would raise their nose at so-called "trashy dive bars," which in my opinion, is where I have met many interesting, intelligent, and outgoing people over the years.

I've always believed that if people think they are better than certain places or cities, than one is usually better off not getting to know them. While forming new friendships in Buffalo while a student at Canisius, I always knew what relationships would last and which would not the moment they walked through the door of The Old Pink.

"Ally, I deleted this number and think
he's an old fuck buddy. Oh well, let's get
another drink.
And ironically, the first dive bar in the country was established in ... you guessed it, Buffalo, New York in the early 1870s. The bar, Dugs Dive, located near the Erie Canal, was underground and patrons were quoted as saying one had to "take a 'dive down to the towpath level to enter Dug's" - thus giving birth to the well known stereotype of a 'dive being a bad or seedy bar. During the same time, this area was known as the most dangerous square mile in the entire world. Yeah, Buffalo boys and gals have been, and always will be, bad ass motherfuckers.

So -- grab a flannel, drink some cheap vodka, call your friends, and head out for an awesome night with some cool people. Also, make sure to read my review of The Old Pink Steak Sandwich that I wrote in college and learn a bit more about Dugs Dive.


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