Scroll down for an UPDATED list of local dive bars in and around the Quad Cities.

July 7th is National Dive Bar Day:

Seagram’s Seven Crown founded National Dive Bar Day on July 7th to honor all the dive bars around the country and to recognize them as an American past time that will never die. Seagram’s Seven Crown strives to help preserve the dive bar, those places with lasting personality, who take care of their own. Through historic preservation initiatives, Seagram’s 7 supports the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In the late 1800s, the term "dive bar" was a derogatory term for a place, often a basement, where someone "dives below" high society in order to get drunk and gamble and do God knows what else.

Who doesn't like a good dive bar?

In fact, when I travel it's one of the first things I look for. Not only will you find plenty of local color, but you can also learn a lot about the area and the best places to eat while you toss back a cold pint of brew.

What are Dive Bars and Hole(s?) in the Walls Exactly?

Dive Bars and Hole in the Walls (is that grammatically correct? I'm never sure) used to be places people like gangsters and ladies of the night would frequent.

Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don't need any characters around to give the joint "atmosphere". Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?

-Nick, It's a Wonderful Life


How Have Things Changed?

These days, either title is used as a term of endearment.

Dive Bar: "A dive bar is typically a small, unglamorous, eclectic, old-style bar with inexpensive drinks, which may feature dim lighting, shabby or dated decor, neon beer signs, packaged beer sales, cash-only service, and a local clientele."

hole-in-the-wall  ˈhōl-in-ṯẖə-ˈwȯl  

"A small and often unpretentious out-of-the-way place"

I Grew Up in a Dive Bar

My parents were in a bowling league most of my childhood.  The bowling alley was in the same building as the diner my mom worked at during the day and the bar my dad drank at during the night.  Right in between was the arcade where I spent many quarters on everything from pool to Excite Bike.
Maybe that's why I tend to be more attracted to "holes in the walls."  Many of them are moments frozen in time. Their clientele enjoys things the way they are and don't enjoy change.
Bars I used to frequent in my 20's included Stickman's in Davenport and Sassy's in Bettendorf.  I can tell you, as soon as new owners came in to make the joint classy, this patron wasn't happy.
So, let's look at a few "dive bars" in the Quad Cities.  Some "holes in the walls" where the locals love it just the way it is, and we hope they never change.

Best Quad Cities Area Dive Bars

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