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Old 03-24-2017, 10:23 AM
 
429 posts, read 316,841 times
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Maybe it's not true across the board, but it seems like in a lot of cities cool dive bars are closing at a fairly rapid pace.

Where I currently live in Seattle is perhaps exhibit A. Just 12 years ago when I first moved here the (already depleted from previous decades) dive bar scene was still pretty thriving. You could find cool dives in neighborhoods throughout the city - bars that really reflected the character and people of the neighborhood.

In 2009, the book Seattle's Best Dive Bars was published - it featured 100 of the best dive bars in the city. By 2016 there was a headline that 31 out of the 100 had closed in the 7 years in between.

Seattle

In just the year since then even more have closed. It feels like every other week you hear about another one getting shut down, another neighborhood institution getting torn down to make room for apartments, condos, and bright shiny new businesses. Here's the latest example. And I know of at least 5 or 6 more that are closing within the next few months

Another popular dive bar closes for micro-housing

Sure, at the same time new bars have opened, but many - nay, most - of them are overpriced cocktail lounges with overly ambitious and pretentious food programs, faux-dive hipster havens, or places geared towards beer snobs (not that I don't like beer but many of those places are not comfortable or homey).

Now I don't mean to sound like a "get off my lawn and things can never change" type guy. I realize change is inevitable, but I do think it's a shame that all these neighborhood and cultural institutions (even if not all of them are necessarily the most savory places) are just wantonly destroyed. It's sad when established businesses close no matter what, but something about dive bars - which basically serve as living rooms for a lot of people - closing so quickly is even more irritating.

From what I gather Seattle is being hit especially hard in this regard, and even other hipster cities like Portland or Denver haven't been hit quite as hard. But there are a fair number of other cities across the country where I've noticed a similar pattern. It definitely changes the urban fabric of a city - some may say it's for the better but I think something vital is being destroyed.

I know many will say its simply a function of changing demographics, but I think there are still plenty of people in Seattle and other cities that like a good dive, no matter their socioeconomic status. It's not like these places that are closing are not busy or doing well necessarily, it's just that owners get greedy and decide to sell to developers for large profits, who in turn develop new dense development with sparkling new "ground floor retail and restaurants".

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has seen this happen in their city and what they think about it.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:30 AM
 
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Where I live (Boston) they are all slowly being replaced by fancy $12 cocktail and craft beer joints.
Sad really
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:17 PM
 
429 posts, read 316,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeePee View Post
Where I live (Boston) they are all slowly being replaced by fancy $12 cocktail and craft beer joints.
Sad really
Yeah, Boston is one of the cities where I noticed it as well.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,376 posts, read 4,820,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeePee View Post
Where I live (Boston) they are all slowly being replaced by fancy $12 cocktail and craft beer joints.
Sad really
Seem to be the same type of places where strict dress codes and such are typically enforced. I personally just like to walk into some place and be able to have a few while either hanging out with some people I met on an event posting, or just let the alcohol do its thing.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Doesn't happen here.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Mobile,Al(the city by the bay)
3,785 posts, read 6,517,375 times
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Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Doesn't happen here.
Yeah not in Mobile either.
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:12 AM
 
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Another facet of the "Beard-Bro" effect which beyond requiring lots of craft beers (and PBR to "keep it real") along with the requisite burger with a fried egg on it and/or fries with gravy kind of menu. It's happening everywhere...
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,078 posts, read 2,111,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward234 View Post
From what I gather Seattle is being hit especially hard in this regard, and even other hipster cities like Portland or Denver haven't been hit quite as hard. But there are a fair number of other cities across the country where I've noticed a similar pattern. It definitely changes the urban fabric of a city - some may say it's for the better but I think something vital is being destroyed.

I know many will say its simply a function of changing demographics, but I think there are still plenty of people in Seattle and other cities that like a good dive, no matter their socioeconomic status. It's not like these places that are closing are not busy or doing well necessarily, it's just that owners get greedy and decide to sell to developers for large profits, who in turn develop new dense development with sparkling new "ground floor retail and restaurants".

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has seen this happen in their city and what they think about it.
I think these two paragraphs demonstrate why they are declining. A dive bar, by definition, is a working class bar in a blue collar or ethnic neighborhoods. As these lower cost places of living begin to get bought out by hipsters and start falling into a trendy type of renovation that generates popularity, they will, by nature of evolution, destroy the dive bar as the demographic of customers change.

Additionally, dive bars that were established early enough to create themselves as a neighborhood bar and manage to maintain their identity are typically owned by older, stuck in their ways, I won't bow to social pressure types of owners. I'd imagine some look at teh pure profit, but not all are selling for greed. They may simply want to retire, move to Arizona and not deal with surly drunks every night. There also is the curmudgen factor that they have tired of dealing with a hipster crowd wanting whatever local brew or martini du jour at a joint that specializes in Miller, Bud, and shots of Jack.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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Just another side effect of urban gentrification. The same people who used to frequent those bars are getting pushed out of the major metros as well.
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,816,840 times
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It's not just dive bars. Retail businesses are having a real tough time in certain cities. To go back to Seattle as Exhibit A: small businesses including clothing stores, and even mid-sized to bigger chain retail stores, are fairly routinely closing. My opinion is that the market right now is more cutthroat than ever: for bars and restaurants, either you're hitting it big or you're soon to be shutting down. Feast or famine is how I'd describe it.
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