A Grim Review of A Bad Concept Bar

This Is A Review Of A New Local Bar In My Area That Billed Itself As A Dive Bar At Its Beginning.

That Got My Back Up.

This Required A Response….

No , just No ….

While I understand the following review is probably going to get me banned from all of their other establishments for life this needs to be said for their latest creation…….

I have been in hundreds of dive bars over the years all over the world and in all different types.

Dive bars hold a special place in my heart and enthusiasms, almost a sacred space. You can put together themed or concept restaurant or bar that may try to be aping somewhere else or a specific type of cuisine and we won’t savage it nearly as badly as when you try to be a dive bar and are not.

The Rochester Beer Garden springs to mind prior to this one.

Ziggy’s touts itself a a Dive or at least a Dive Type, neighborhood bar….

this is a Disneyland theme park imagining of a dive bar – with matching prices and atmosphere – if it could even be called that-

A totally plastic, sanitized, Potemkin kind of dive bar for suburbanites who are too ignorant of where the real dive bars are, or too afraid to go to them.

Every aspect of the place was thought out- and yet highly contrived.

Build a dive bar ?

No one does this …Most dive bars are or were bars that the owners had higher hopes for their bars and they devolved into dive bars . Some had lower expectations than others , and got there faster again, devolution or the revolution of lowered expectations to cheaper booze and food, lower prices, and lower maintenance and money spent on furnishings and amenities.These are the natural arcs of decaying intentions that spawn a dive bar. There is a natural level or balance between the decrepitude, patrons, drinks, food and prices that evolve.

Which brings me to the pricing.


Coors Banquet $4

Genny Light  $4

High Life Pony $3 each

White Claw $6

Expensive Cocktails!

Pretentious names for classic cocktails ( Dad Bod for a Manhattan, Oldie But Goodie for a Old Fashioned, etc. No name , well and certainly not call ingredients the cocktails will set on average of $12 each !

Terrible Food!

6 Wings for $9 and inedible- strangely they seem first baked , frozen then refried .

3 smallish chicken fingers for $10 that were overcooked in a few different ways then served up.

$11 Cheeseburgers

$ 7 Hot Dogs

$2 condiments

Real dive bars would charge less than half what they charge for the food and drinks.

Then the crowd ….

“Suburban Vermin “ my friend called over 21 version of entitled Mall Rat tourist types wanting to pretend they are in a dive bar- .

They all form a safe , fantasy bubble ,to pretend and be pretentious.

At least Ziggy’s by creating this Disney/Fantasy Island/ Dive Bar Petting Zoo ( choose one or more descriptor) has created a safe place for these people to indulge their fantasies and keep them out of real dive bars – where they would irritate the regulars who may respond with at least rejection, and in cases of extreme obnoxiousness – violence  such as – dragging the offender into the men’s room and treated to an experience they would normally only get in Attica.

( By the way the place that this used to happen at had a bartender who had been in so many knife fights his beard grew in tufts – sadly it burned down a number of years ago.

Another example of a truly dangerous dive bar was the old Cadillac Hotel – no one used the bathrooms there to relieve themselves – the bathrooms were the province of denizens that would sell you guns, drugs , or humans with equal ease and inventory- thankfully Ziggy’s is not at all like that that , so the wannabes have a safe space to go slumming in a protected environment ( except for the prices )

Hence one star rather than zero.

To be continued….

Posted in Bar Reviews | Comments Off on A Grim Review of A Bad Concept Bar


While I have a list of over 800 Custom Cocktails on most of which are local, I realized I don’t have a list of the worthwhile cocktail bars concisely listed. In order to address that the following list was created. It is in alphabetical order with notes on particulars that caused me to like and list them. About half of them are restaurants with good bars, the other half straight up cocktail bars with some food ( if any of that matters to you ),


Alibi Lounge July 20th (Day 1 of Tales)

Bar at the Alibi
This is the scene from the Alibi Lounge (815 Iberville) . The Alibi is my second home or base during Tales each year. Contrary to popular belief, I do take a hotel room and do not actually live at the Alibi itself during Tales. I do go to my hotel about twice a day to shower, change clothes, and on rare occasions lie down. It has many advantages over a number of other bars or even the media room for a writer ( or anyone else) who needs a good ( notice I didn’t say nice) place to drink, eat, and hangout with friends at all hours and not be bothered. (more…)

Tales from Tales or “You are assuming I have a sense of shame”


This is a story about how I tried to show that you can’t outdo anyone from Tales, we are professionals, and we have a reputation to live up (down) to.
We went on the walking tour of New Orleans Bars Sunday afternoon (after the Hemingway Memorial Bar Crawl) and were in the oldest Gay Bar in the United States – Cafe Lafite in Exile it goes down hill from here….read on if you must…


Spirits Review Blog

Spirits Review Blog

Hello to Everyone,

This is our first piece on this blog beyond the test we did earlier today.

Well we finally have started to get the webpage up and out there for the drinking public and we are of course already a bit behind.

We hope to have more reviews done this week and a RSS newsfeed set up in the near future to provide daily new content on our page. (more…)