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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Go drink off the beaten path in Tucson’s best dive bars


    For those of you in the 21-and-up club, the Tucson bar scene is a varied and vibrant place, whether you’re frequenting Club Congress on Thursday nights or wrapping your week up at the Auld Dubliner. But there’s more to the nightlife in Tucson than Fourth Avenue or University Boulevard — it takes a person of a strong constitution to wander off the beaten path and venture into some of Tucson’s seedier establishments. Dive bars don’t possess the class of the Playground or the social scene of Gentle Ben’s, but they do provide a quieter place to meet with your friends away from the chaos of campus’ most popular establishments.

    Whether you’re just looking for a place to watch the game on Saturday or need a dark place to be alone with your thoughts, Tucson’s dive scene surely delivers. Here, then, are the three best neighborhood bars to wet both your whistle and your appetite for a night out that’s a little different.

    The Buffet — 538 E. Ninth St

    The physically unassuming Buffet is located just off Fourth Avenue’s main stretch and glows in pale blue neon lights. You may have walked by it coming back from a show at the Rialto or a trendy night at Congress, but you probably mistook its exterior for a less-than-appealing bar. You’d be wrong.

    From the Buffet’s $2 beer-boiled hot dogs to the cash-only bar, The Buffet is the quintessential dive bar. There’s little about the place that’s specific to Tucson, but that’s part of its appeal — walk through The Buffet’s doors, pick a dark corner, and get away from the world. In lieu of a happy hour, The Buffet sports their special “happy minute.” That’s not a euphemism for a sexual favor, however — it’s a twice-a-day special that occurs at both 6 p.m. and at the luckier 11:11 p.m. At six, you’ve got one minute to order two-for-one drinks — pretty standard fare. But it’s the 11:11 minute that you’ve gotta be there for, as whatever drink is already in front of you can be duplicated for a mere dollar. Take advantage of it and order a pitcher of beer at 11:10, then do it again at 11:11 — you won’t be sorry.

    Bob Dobb’s — 2501 E. Sixth St

    If you’re looking for a perfect neighborhood corner bar, look no further than Bob Dobb’s. Literally located on the northeast corner of Tucson Boulevard and 6th Street, Bob Dobb’s sits in the Rincon Market strip mall in the Sam Hughes neighborhood. It’s a simple drunken stumble from campus to get there and enjoy its burgers and sandwiches — and get pretty damn sloshed while you’re at it. Bob Dobb’s sports a respectable beer selection, but it’s the outdoor cornhole matches and Thursday’s $8 pitchers of Sierra Nevada that really keep us coming back.

    The World Famous Golden Nugget — 2617 N. First. Ave

    Be forewarned — The Nug isn’t the place you go to get buzzed — you go there to get “drinking man’s” drunk. Though its “World Famous” title may be up for debate, there’s no doubt the awesome drink specials The Golden Nugget sports should be known by everyone in Tucson. From $2 bottles of Session to $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon’s all day Sunday, The Golden Nugget’s seedy appearance will be erased the more that you drink. Kick your friends’ asses in shuffleboard or pool, and broadcast your love of 80’s pop music from the classic jukebox — The Nug is everything a dive bar should be.

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts and follow K.C. @KristianCLibman.

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