clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Are New York's Dive Bars Really In Danger?

New, 15 comments

Documentary film makers Reed Korach and John Brunetti are putting the finishing touches on their latest project, New York Dive, chronicling the life and the loss of New York City's favorite dive bars. The film was inspired by a trip to Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen, where Korach says he "realized this was one of the last real bars left in Manhattan that has a variety of real New York characters", and follows a rash of high profiling dive bar closings, including Coney Island institution Ruby's recent goodbye. But even though Siberia, the Navy Yard Cocktail Lounge and other New York institutions are gone, does it really mean the New York dive bar is in jeopardy?

A dive bar is generally defined as an old bar with an aesthetic that looks old without trying, cheap drinks, and a regular crowd of "real" New York characters. Native New Yorkers and haters of Yuppie Bars (the antithesis of a dive bar) praise the dive bar at all costs, constantly throwing out examples like Holiday Cocktail Lounge, Rudy's and Mars Bar as the final true bastions of an authentic New York that were in abundance prior to Bloomberg.

But that would be flat out wrong. New York bar experiences can not be segregated into Dive Bars and Yuppietown, because that would exclude new classics like Tile Bar, the Magician, Standings and 230 Fifth. OK, we're kidding about the last one. But seriously, a bar doesn't have to be filled with yuppie hating characters with $4 beers to make it special. So while these beloved New York bars should be supported, chances are you can find lots of bars with $5 beers and nice, real New Yorkers.
· New York Dive [JVNY]
· Dive Bar Coverage [~ENY~]

627 9th Ave., New York, NY 10036

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world