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Open Thread: How Do You Define a Dive Bar?

Maggie Hoffman 29 comments

Is a dive bar defined by smell alone? More

The Night Shift: 11 Hours at The Barrelhouse Flat, Chicago

Behind the Scenes Roger Kamholz 4 comments

I'd arrived at Barrelhouse Flat around 4 p.m. that afternoon. Owner Stephen Cole had graciously granted my request to shadow the staff during their prep, service, and closing, with the goal of coming away with an unfettered look at what makes the place tick. More

From Behind the Bar: What Makes a Good Bar?

From Behind the Bar Michael J. Neff 21 comments

I drink an Old Fashioned at Clover Club in Brooklyn, and drink Coronas while eating $1 tacos on the porch at The Sire in Riverside, California. I love both places for very different reasons; the only thing they have in common is that they have successfully crossed the boundary that separates places that merely sell drinks from what can generally be termed a good bar. More

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: Is the Customer Always Right?

Paul Clarke 70 comments

The dustup comes down to this: many customers wouldn't even dream of walking into a white-tablecloth restaurant and ordering something safe and pedestrian off-menu—such as a hot dog or cheeseburger—but the same customers might venture into a bar with a creative cocktail menu and order a Jack and Coke. More

Speakeasies Get Their Second Wind

Paul Clarke 14 comments

While the "speakeasy" trend in new bars has been going on for so long in New York that some establishments are sliding into "speak-cheesy" territory, it's still a relative novelty in most of the country. More

Esquire Names The Best Bars in America

Paul Clarke 22 comments

In the May issue of Esquire, the editors present the third annual collection of the Best Bars in America. The list covers the full range of drinking establishments, which are added to a growing compilation from past years of the nation's best spots to bend an elbow. More

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: Ladies Night

Paul Clarke 10 comments

It wasn't until the 1920s, when the owners of then-illegal watering holes were less picky about who they let through the door, that a female presence started to become a somewhat regular occurrence in bars across the country. More

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: Raising the Bar

Paul Clarke Post a comment

What's prompting restaurants such as Per Se in New York and The Foundry in Los Angeles to expand their bar offering, of course, has less to do with a sudden desire to promote bibulous artistry than with the simple need to survive during catastrophic economic times. More

A Lousy Tipper Walks Into a Bar ...

Paul Clarke 41 comments

If the bartender is simply opening a beer or pouring a glass of Scotch, $1 a drink may still make sense. But what about those bars where ordering a drink is more along the lines of ordering an entrée in a restaurant? More

Greening the Bar

Paul Clarke 1 comment

When it comes to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, the consumption of spirits & cocktails is a definite bump in the road. But there are a few bars and bartenders who are trying to step lightly when wielding the cocktail shaker. More

Take It Outside, Junior

Paul Clarke 14 comments

In Sunday’s New York Times, Alex Williams wades into a modern minefield of a topic: parents who bring their children into bars. Williams’ article, “Look Who’s Getting Rolled Out of the Bar,” takes a look at parents who like to... More

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