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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Plunge into your local dive bar

So you’re with your friends, Black Eyed Peas are blaring into your eardrums and 10 “”pre-game”” shots have been viciously consumed. Obviously, you are going to the bars. However, as you begin to drunkenly lurch out the front door (or into the wall next to the front door, depending on how many shots have been had), you are faced with a crucial decision: Which bar do I give my drunken business to?

As you shout this forlorn inquiry into the chilly night sky, you remember this article, because this is actually a meta-scenario happening in the future. And this is the definitive guide to helping you choose the bar that will maximize the awesome, and minimize the suck. The way to do this is to take the path less stumbled, into the amazing world of dive bars.

There is way too much collegiate traffic to the same oversaturated drinking holes, places so inundated with Greek life that you have to be hazed by the bouncer to get in. They are boring, expensive and predictable. I can go into greater detail, but I’ve decided to take a positive outlook in this article, because it would seem slanderous and unfair to just trash certain bars and because, frankly, I can write however and about whatever I want. (If you have a problem with this, immediately forget your ability to read. Self-imposed illiteracy is actually a great way to avoid being offended at all kinds of written media.)

So, if a popular bar is a horrible, over-bro’ed waste of Tucson space, it will simply be omitted from this article, until the day I am really at a loss for subject matter and I publish “”Bars that freakin’ blow,”” which is probably the piece for which I will be awarded the Excellence In Journalism award. So obviously we will be examining dive bars that rock, and the first will be one of my personal favorites: The District Tavern.

The Tavern is an amazing, unassuming dive bar. It is located next to, and often overshadowed by, Club Congress, but more than holds its own as a simple and efficient drinking experience. They have one drink special presented every day, which is every cheap, alcoholic college kid’s dream. One huge shot of Old Crow whiskey, one bottle of Miller High Life, $3. Bam. No need to waste your time asking for the special of the day, or ordering an absurd cavalcade of obscure drinks to diminish your spending. You know what you are getting, it gets you drunk and you can spend more time doing what you came out to do, which is belligerently play darts. There are two pool tables, the aforementioned dartboard, a jukebox and bartenders so hipster that indie bands brag to each other about knowing them first. Overall, the force is strong with this bar, and I highly recommend it.

Next up on the wall of greatness is the Meet Rack, for its excellence in being the most unabashedly perverted and irreverent bar, possibly in all of America. God, a local Tucson celebrity with a love for life and an incredibly filthy mind, commands it from his bedroom, which is located in the building. The drink names are so dirty that they would cause this newspaper to burst into flames if published, and there is, honest to God, a sex dungeon five feet from the bar. I won’t ruin the rest of it for you, but go there and ask for the tour. What follows next will satisfy you in a weird, subconscious Freudian way that could never be achieved by a bar like Gentle Ben’s.  

To round out my word count, another great mention is The Buffet. As the dive-iest of all dive bars, is it a wonderful establishment that truly does not know the meaning of the word “”class.”” If you are out on a date and it’s either a) with the coolest girl in the world or b) going extremely downhill after you threw up on the waiter and made her pay for dinner, The Buffet should be your number one priority for next stop. The drink specials are cool, the clientele is composed of Tucson’s finest non-finest and there is a shuffleboard table, which truly won me over. If you want to have a shuffleboard item thrown at you by a woman pushing 60 as a way of “”breaking the ice”” (happened), well then, friend, you have found a special place in the form of The Buffet.

Dive bars are the way to go if you’re looking for a memorable night and the chance to meet people who couldn’t tell you a Greek letter if they were Socrates. After a few “”Whore’s Delights”” and a Tabasco chugging contest with a grizzled old man named God, you might find that you never want to go back.

— Johnny McKay is a media arts senior. He can be reached at

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