Where to Drink Now: Dive Bars

Not fancy, but they’ll still welcome you.

Photograph Courtesy Serhiy Shullye/Shutterstock

This ne plus ultra of dive bars endures in all its charming grittiness even as the many-tentacled Rookwood development grows around it. The well-stocked CD jukebox could blurt out anything from Violent Femmes to Taylor Swift, and the U-shaped bar forces you to at least look at, if not chat with, that nice older couple across the way. When To Go: Anytime. Pro Tip: The Long Island iced teas might hurt you. One. Only. Who’s There: NASCAR fans next to slumming Hyde Parkers next to a gaggle of African-American ladies ready to dance3935 Edwards Rd., Norwood, (513) 841-9030


If you’ve driven up Pike Street in Covington, you’ve probably wondered what it’s like inside the painted red-brick building at the base of Montague Road. Surprisingly, it feels like your grandparents’ rec room, complete with local beer-abilia. Take one of the half-dozen seats at the bar, ask owners Suzanne and Joe Fessler for a beer, and order a cheeseburger.When To Go:Saturday, for lunch. Pro Tip: If you get onion on your burger, get it grilled. Who’s There: A strong Cov Cath contingent, a few neighbors popping in for carryout.  718 W. Pike St., Covington, (859) 491-6984


Punny, jokey names are a dive staple, and this place checks that box. (It’s at the southwest corner of Glenmore and Werk—get it?) On our visit, the bartender handed us a basket of peanut-butter filled pretzels, winning the prize for best bar snack ever. When To Go: After work, during power hour (two beers were $3.75!) Pro Tip: Free pool on Thursdays! Who’s There: Blue-collar dudes. We spotted a Local 392 T-shirt (that’s plumbers, pipefitters, and mechanical equipment services). 3095 Glenmore Ave., Westwood, (513) 661-9375


This place was a little hard to classify: a sign on the door read “NO GANG COLORS”; two CPD officers stopped in for carryout; a friendly dude at a nearby table offered my husband a pickle…that turned out to be devilishly spicy. We’re not sure what to make of it either. When To Go: Daylight hours only. Pro Tip: Order the fried bologna sandwich. Who’s There: Hillbillies, pool sharks, and cops. 2406 Spring Grove Ave., Camp Washington, (513) 721-6867


It’s hard to miss this friendly roadhouse at the corner of Yankee Road and Princeton Road—the name of the place is painted right across its blue front in white letters. No hairy eyeball here—everyone welcomed us in and chatted us up. When To Go: Saturday afternoon. Or whenever Dallas Moore is playing. Pro Tip: This bar is biker-friendly. Who’s There: Your new best friends. 7163 Princeton Rd., Liberty Twp., (513) 777-9872

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