In Bars & Clubs

What's your favorite dive bar in Milwaukee?

No Wisconsin bars on Post's list of America's most authentic dives?

Dive bars, like the lingering vague smells that inhabit them, are difficult to exactly define. So, too, is the dive bar's appeal, since it varies by individual and depends on any number of different, often-personal factors. And, certainly, no list of eight of them from across the entire country is going to be definitive.

Having said that, this list of America's most authentic dive bars, published recently by The Washington Post, is a bunch of crap.

While admirably acknowledging it's an impossible task, the Post's intentions – and evaluation criteria – seemed reasonable enough for the endeavor. True dives, the paper said, possess the following attributes: "They must have history; they must have regulars; they cannot be expensive; they cannot have craft cocktails."

Agreed! And yet, somehow, Wisconsin was left out. How? Of the eight picks, I've only been to Candlelight Lounge in New Orleans – it was very cool; I was very drunk – so I can't speak to how perfectly they all capture the Post's dive-bar essence. But to completely ignore the drunkest of our 50 United States when assessing the nation's top dive bars feels like an oversight.

"Democracy dies in the darkness," is the Post's lofty new motto, but dives thrive at night. And, judging by its coast-heavy selections – New York, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Detroit – which, problematically, somewhat recalls our 2016 electoral map, it looks like WaPo left the bar before closing time and, once again, forgot about the Midwest.

Ugh, politics. Now I need a drink. At a dive bar! And since I don't want to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles for a beer at one of the Post's posh picks, I'll just go to one of the eight beloved dives on my local list (click on the link to read about why).

1. My Office

2. Wolski's

3. Uptowner

4. George's Pub

5. Blackbird

6. Ollie's

7. Axel's

8. Monica's

While we're on the topic, what's your favorite dive bar, Milwaukee? Let us know!


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