Fun + Lifestyle

Sometimes Only a Dive Will Do: The Best Dive Bars in America


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  • Lawyers are used to being busy and having little time to go out
  • A dive bar can be the perfect casual hangout for any lawyer
  • If you’re in a large city like NYC, L.A., Philly, or Chicago, there’s a dive bar waiting for you!

Between meeting the demands of clients, handling heavy caseloads, and staying on top of billable hours, you most likely have little free time to go out after work.

While being on call 24/7 can sometimes make it hard to disconnect, it’s still important to find time to decompress and recharge after a tough week or a long day. Whether that means going out with friends, curling up in bed with Netflix, or going to that restaurant you love, it’s essential not to lose sight of your own personal well-being in the constant craziness of being a lawyer.

If you’re looking for a place to go with friends on a Saturday night or simply want to blow off steam with a drink after work, consider going to your local dive bar. Going to a dive bar can be a great way to decompress after work and have fun with friends. Dive bars are not glamorous, but generally have a more laid back and relaxed atmosphere where drinks are cheaper and no one will judge you if you are wearing sweatpants. Check out some of these well-known dive bars throughout the country.

New York

Jimmy’s Corner

Theater District

140 W. 44th Street, near Broadway

If you live in or are from New York, you most likely steer clear of Times Square and the horde of tourists clogging the area and taking pictures. Jimmy’s Corner, however, is one place worth making an exception for. Opened by Muhammad Ali’s former trainer over 35 years ago, Jimmy’s Corner is maybe the only place in Times Square not overrun with tourists or reign businessman. A shrine to the 1970s, Jimmy’s feels like a trip to a distant past. Beer is still only $4 and mixed drinks are undiluted and usually only cost a few dollars more. If you want an authentic dive bar experience, Jimmy’s is about as old school as you can get, and the cheap and good beer will keep you coming back.

Lucy’s

East Village

135 Avenue A

With two pool tables, red-fluorescent tube lights, a few retro arcade games, a heavy oak bar, and a 1970s jukebox, Lucy’s feels like it was brought to life straight out of a movie. An unpolished and unassuming cash-only joint, Lucy’s is the perfect place to go with a friend if you want to go out without feeling obligated to dress up or put on makeup. A collection of village types and young professionals love to mingle here. Also known for their wide selection of cheap draft beer, Lucy’s has both a chill and edgy vibe appealing to those interested in what the village used to be like. All in all, Lucy’s offers a no-frills and no-nonsense experience where everybody and anybody is welcome to relax, listen to good music, and drink.

Los Angeles

Kibitz Room

Fairfax

419 N Fairfax Avenue

Attached to one of the best delis in Los Angeles, the Kibitz room is a Fairfax institution that combines amazing pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, cheap cold beer, and different musical performances every night of the week. Once the preferred watering hole of many famous rock musicians, the Kibitz Room has the homely feel of your neighborhood deli and the edginess of a 1960s rock and roll dive bar. While the clientele has changed over the years, the comfortable, laid-back atmosphere has not. Whether you’re looking for comfort food, live music, or simply want a cold beer—or all three of those things—going to the Kibitz Room has everything you could want and is guaranteed to provide a fun night out.

Frolic Room

Hollywood

6245 Hollywood Boulevard

A fixture of Hollywood nightlife and one of the most legendary bars in all of Los Angeles, the Frolic Room has been the go-to destination for Hollywood stars for almost a century. Opened in 1930 as a speakeasy, the Frolic Room has a rich history as a mainstay of literary and movie icons such as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, and Charles Bukowski. Customers go not only for the wide selection of reasonably priced booze, but also to experience the one-of-a-kind atmosphere where a diverse group of people and artists come to socialize and feel connected to history.

Philadelphia

Oscar’s Tavern

Center City West

1524 Sansom Street

A constant in an ever-changing city, Oscar’s Tavern is a throwback to a different time and place. With a stained acoustic tile ceiling, dim lighting, ripped vinyl booths, and an old jukebox that only plays the classics, this is a neighborhood bar in an area of Philly that has been completely transformed in the past few decades. Opened in 1972, Oscar’s bartenders and prices also haven’t changed much—you can get a 23-ounce beer for $4.50 and a 92-ounce lager for less than $15. If the bang-for-your-buck prices don’t convince you, Oscar’s also serves bar-food staples and offers up one of the most underrated (and heftiest) cheesesteaks in the city. Their massive cheesesteaks and the outrageous serving sizes are just two reasons why this bar has endeared itself to the entire city of Philadelphia.

Chicago

Alice’s Lounge

Logan Square

3556 W. Belmont Avenue

A dive and karaoke bar combo, Alice’s Lounge is a great place to check out if you need a distraction from work, are looking for free entertainment, or simply want to get out of your house or apartment for a few hours on the weekend. If you’re feeling confident, go ahead and test your bravery by taking the stage. While hearing someone sing “Living on a Prayer” over and over again can get tiring, the laser lights, fog machines, and karaoke announcer who doubles as a standup comedian will keep you entertained and engaged throughout the entire night. After a tough day at work, Alice’s Lounge is the perfect place to take your mind off work and have a few laughs with friends while enjoying cheap drinks and a festive atmosphere.