New York is an ever-changing city and it’s impossible to wander around without spotting a new bar or restaurant that you’ve never noticed before.
And while it’s great that there’s so much going on, you’re not alone if you miss the days of dive bars, great whiskey, and New York’s very own punk rock scene. Because no matter whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, dive bars are one of the few places in the city where it’s possible to sit back and enjoy a drink without judgement. Here, there’s no need to impress anyone: it’s simply a chilled out vibe where you can relax with family and friends.
Maybe you grew up in these times or perhaps you’re a fan of the punk scene and want to delve deeper. Instead of getting lost in the city trying to hunt down the remaining traces of dive bars, leave it up to us. In gearing up for National Dive Bar Day (July 7, don’cha know), there’s a series of dive bar tours coming to New York, profiling some of the great picks that NYC still has to offer. And, of course, you can try some neat drinks served along the way.
The tours will be led by Jesse Rifkin, a New Yorker who knows his stuff when it comes to exploring the city, and is also the owner and operator of the “Walk on the Wild Side Tour.” His deep understanding of New York’s punk history ensures that your tour will be full to the brim with knowledge and culture as you wander through historic music locations in addition to a series of different bars. As a licensed NYC tour guide, he offers several different tours to demystify the artistic communities and reveal the tales behind the biggest musical movements—think artists like Ramones, Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, Beastie Boys, Jeff Buckley, and Lou Reed.
Throughout your tour, you’ll explore three different bars that still emulate the essence of those old-school dive bars that have since disappeared, and learn about the history surrounding the area and each spot. In the first, expect a taster session sponsored by Seagram’s 7 Crown, before moving on to two more bars in the area. Your final stop will be Jesse’s recommendation of an excellent place to continue your night, with guaranteed good music and a brilliant atmosphere.
We won’t spoil the surprise as to where your dive bar tours will take you, but we can let you into some hints. All of these spots will include features of the typical dive bar: think neon lights, cozy seats, and a lively atmosphere. Inside, you’ll find old faithfuls and plenty of the right tunes.
This article was sponsored by Seagram’s 7. Dive bar tours will run from April 10 to July 3 and tickets can be purchased here. 21+ only. Please drink responsibly. Tasting open to general public and not included in cost of ticket. Must be of legal drinking age to participate. For all the facts, visit DRINK AWARE