Is the dive bar an endangered species in Denver? The closure of the Thunderbird Lounge, a classic dive in east Denver, inspired us to raise a glass to ten of the dive bars still pouring in town -- and still qualifying as dives. While many of our favorite saloons (Bamboo Hut, Skyline) are gone for good, others (Don's, the Squire) have been renovated to the point that they no longer can really be described as dives.
And what qualifies as a dive? It's definitely not a place where you would not want to take a kid, to echo a hot topic from last week.
If it doesn't smell like puke and piss, it ain't a dive bar.
But other readers disagree on dive qualifications. Says ScubaSteve:
Every time this list is run, it's the same fucking bars listed. There's always the Dirty Duck on Evans and Dahlia (notice how I didn't use an ampersand in the street location?) that gets left out, as well as the Hammer Bar on 15th and Champa in downtown Denver. There are many more good dives in town.
We'd argue that the Dirty Duck is a great neighborhood bar -- but a little too sweet-smelling and tidy to qualify as a dive. Is the Hammer Bar's status as an adjunct of Sam's No.3 reason enough to disqualify it as a dive? We'll have to do some more liquid research to determine that.
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In the meantime, what other dives did we miss? Post your thoughts below, and see the list -- and many more comments -- on our The ten best dive bars in Denver -- summer 2014 edition.