The term “dive bar” has changed in meaning a bit over the years, but one thing that still rings true is that they’ve gradually been pushed out since their initial popularity in the 80’s.
That said, cities like NYC are left with traces of these influential and historic establishments, and a handful of places are still carrying the torch for the boisterous days long gone. Bars that paved the way—like CBGBs, 82 Club, Mudd Club, and Max’s Kansas City—may no longer exist, but the fond memories of each are still talked about and admired today. Many new bars try to replicate the “anything goes” attitude of these shuttered iconic spots, but it’s not quite the same as the ones that are still around from that era, fighting the ever-rising city rent.
In recent years the rent has skyrocketed within Manhattan and neighboring areas, driving out local gems in droves (or so it feels). However, measures are being taken to save the ones that remain in addition to keeping alive the history of those legendary dive bar venues. Seagram’s 7 Crown has been dedicated to this cause, even creating an official National Dive Bar Day (July 7) to help save local favorites everywhere and supporting the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In the spirit of keeping the memory of the iconic taverns alive, there are also two dive bar tours taking place in the city leading up to the summer’s big day. One will take you through the East Village, focusing on the neighborhood’s wild history with punk-rock legends like the Ramones, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, and the Misfits. The other will guide you through the post-Prohibition scene of Hell’s Kitchen and the area’s historic dives. Each tour will begin with a complimentary taste of Seagram’s 7 Crown.
The tours are a great introduction into the influence that these communal spaces had on our city’s history, and American culture overall.
This article was sponsored by Seagram’s 7. Dive bar tours will run until July 6 with tickets to the Punk tour available purchased here, and the Hell’s Kitchen tour available here. 21+ only. Please drink responsibly. Tasting open to the general public and not included in cost of ticket. Must be of legal drinking age to participate. For all the facts, visit DRINK AWARE.
Also published on Medium.