In New York City, when a person thought of doing ‘a night out on the town’ as they used to say back in the day, it was generally considered that you and your significant other would be taking in a movie, then some dinner. Maybe you might go dancing, or check out a show. See a play maybe, or a couple of bands. Most of the time, the venues a person would go to would be considerably clean. Modern even. In most cases up-to-date as far as facilities go. Decent restrooms. The kind of stuff that people would usually expect from a place catering to entertain.
These days however, bar venues have been cropping up in Brooklyn that for the most part, would never be seen as a Copacabana from yesteryear. Many patrons have described these places with terms that would have owners of normal venues dropping to the floor and cowering in the fetal position, covering the backs of their heads as if these words were pellets bouncing off them. But after it’s all said and done, people come back to these places again and again, mostly because of the bands they book. The food and drink prices are a distant second.
Today, good music acts, some karaoke, and decent affordability of drinks are all you really need. Hence, the new or not so new name for these places: dive bars.
At this stage of the game, Brooklyn may be the dive bar capital of the world. There’re a lot of them here, mostly in Williamsburg, where the art community has increased in number in a matter of a couple of years. One of the notable ones is a place called Don Pedros in East Williamsburg. While serving once as a Spanish restaurant some years ago, the place now has live bands (garage and some country), and brings in a considerable number of patrons during the week who enjoy the scene, which is every bit as funky as dive bars can be.
There’s another place on Third and Atlantic Avenue which touches Fort Greene and Park Slope, right near the home of the newly constructed Atlantic Terminal Mall. Hank’s Saloon it’s called, and again, don’t look for polished wooden floors and waitresses in bunny outfits here. Great music comes out of this place from good bands (again, of the country and garage variety), and while there are some acoustic issues with the venue according to a few patrons, the music makes up for whatever short comings that may exist there.
Interesting thing about all dive bars is, while everybody who goes to them complain about the restrooms, complain about the bartenders and glasses, and people, ‘hanging out in front’ of the places, appearing drunk or mentally disturbed and yadayadayada, the very same people continue to patronize these places regardless. This is what’s known and defined as the new breed of satisfied customer.