29-95 Releases Another Dive Bar-Free List of Dive Bars

Categories: Bar Beat

Lolas.JPG
John Nova Lomax
Lola's: Not as dive-y as Boondocks, according to 29-95.
Three years ago, the Houston Chronicle released a pretty much dive bar-free list of 20 dive bars, and now their scrappy little sibling 29-95 has inflicted a similarly hapless collection of ten of the same.

On the 29-95 list: Rudyard's, Boondocks, Warren's, Poison Girl, Catbirds, the Continental Club, the Mink, Dean's, Notsuoh, and Cecil's.

Yes, we admit it. In our guidebook to Houston dive bars, we included six of those, with the caveat that they were only included because they were centrally located, lacked the pretension of many other Inner Loop joints, and because most Houstonians (erroneously) understood them to be true dives. (The six I included: Notsuoh, Cecil's, Rudyard's, Warren's, Poison Girl, and Catbirds.) Leaving them out would have generated howls of protest, even though including them stretched the meaning of dive bar beyond what I was comfortable with. (Our own Glenn Livet applied a stricter definition with his great list here; and Katharine Shilcutt's list of what she called "Neighborhood Bars" is far divier than 29-95's dive list.)

Getting back to 29-95, there are a few problem bars on the list, and many more glaring omissions.

Blue Lagoon.jpg
John Nova Lomax
The Blue Lagoon: No strip mall bars made the list either.
First, there's the Mink. It was never a dive, and it has been closed for more than a month. (Nice to see a pic of legendary nightlife figure and current denizen of the "Where are they now?" file Tim Murrah behind the bar again though. We kid, Tim.)

Then there's the Continental Club. Pure music venues are never dive bars. Period. Why not put the Big Top on there instead?

Like the late Mink, Boondocks is a hipstertorium. Hipstertoria are not dives, no matter how thrift store the attire of the clientele nor how much Lone Star the bartenders sling. The same goes for Dean's, only a little less so.

Now how about what they left off?

Half the bars on the list are in Montrose, two are in Midtown, and three are in downtown.

In Montrose, the list ignored Lola's. Inexcusable.

Downtown, they left off the Lone Star Saloon. Unpardonable.

As for Midtown...well, there aren't any true dives left there, now that Leon's has gone upscale (if not obnoxiously so.) Even still, the Big Top, Grand Prize (stretching the boundaries of Midtown beyond the breaking point), Khon's, Komodo, and Community Bar would have been better choices than either the Continental (a showcase venue) or the Mink.

Which as we said before, is closed.

Location Info

Map

Lola's Depot

2327 Grant, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Lone Star Saloon

1900 Travis, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Cozy Corner

11530 Burdine St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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34 comments
shoogdon
shoogdon

Leaving Lola's off a list of Houston dive bars is like leaving Elvis off a list of 50's rock-n-roll singers. Ridiculous.

devlin2
devlin2

"Three years ago, the Houston Chronicle released a pretty much dive bar-free list of 20 dive bars, and now their scrappy little sibling 29-95 has inflicted a similarly hapless collection of ten of the same."

What is it with dailies trying to alt journalism like the weeklies? The mindset is just always conspicuously absent so you get stuff like this list

Blake Whitaker
Blake Whitaker

You're talking about how dives have changed and you name-check Sliders and Poison Girl?

JKempner
JKempner

sometimes, gotta be cruel to be kind

iMidget
iMidget

Dean's should close.  Creepiest owner ever.  Takes a real freak to drive away someone who lives for a dive.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Aren't they using a picture of Notsuoh from the old location? That looks all wrong.

 

I took my Mom to Notsuoh once and there was a butt-naked man playing guitar on stage. I don't know if that makes it a dive, but it's got to count for something.

Steven Perry
Steven Perry

Danny Rashid: old person. You've got the point, though- we dive bar-goers know how to steer certain people away. We don't "dress up" to drink alcohol. We are the common folk. We give zero fucks.

Christine Locher
Christine Locher

The Blue Lagoon in Spring Branch. And what about Alice's Tall Texan in the Heights?

Houston Press
Houston Press

Like Hoot County? Or Westfield by the Tracks?

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

Best dive bars are in the 1960/Jones Rd area.

Hillary Merritt Brown
Hillary Merritt Brown

I live 6 houses from the D&W. It truly is one of the best. There is a unicorn on the ceiling for God's sake and it opens at 7am for the night shifters.

Carlitos Way
Carlitos Way

If your definition of dive bars is correct, I guess I hate dive bars. Been to crazy frogs and the cozy corner. Would only go there again if forced at gun point.

Houston Press
Houston Press

I'll start: D&W on the east side of downtown.

jnovalomax
jnovalomax

I don't think any of the bars on the 29-95 list even have regular karaoke nights. 

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

Rudyards upstairs had the rudest chick bartender I have ever had the displeasure to order a  drink from Saturday night.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Calling those bars on their lists dives is like going to an all-inclusive resort and claiming you roughed it in the jungle. 

BuckWild
BuckWild

Ruthies on Richmond, Khons, Alice's Tall Texan, PJ's, Lola's. A dive bar is a place to go have a beer and be left the fuck alone. No pretense, no glamor. Just a beer, a shot, a chair and hopefully a jukebox.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

For getting 29-95 so much grief for The Mink, you should know that Dean's is also closed...

flaggler
flaggler

 @devlin2 Guess the Press should be grateful for the flattery, they're doing their best to imitate.

jnovalomax
jnovalomax

 @Kylejack Looks like all the pics are recycled from the 2009 article and might have been taken years earlier. They came in all blurry on my browser too.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @JKempner  I never said that.  In fact, I corrected you the first time you said it.  Reading comprehension an issue?

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @FattyFatBastard  Even a dive bar, or rather, a "dive bar"? Well, now that you know of one where it wasn't the case, you've had a new experience to rely on.

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