I went to my first dive bar yesterday. My friend had previously told me I was too adorable for this place. He made “adorable” sound like an insult and a challenge, so I became determined to prove him wrong. I told a few people about my new goal of checking out The Stamp in Vero Beach, Florida. “You really don’t want to go there,” they kept saying, claiming it was dirty, crowded, “filled with millennials,” gross and sketchy. I was undeterred. It became a bucket list item. And an easy one to cross off the list.
So I was out with friends last night at a trendy place munching on a cheese plate and drinking a $6 beer when Mr. “Too Adorable” said, “Okay, let’s do it.” We settled up our tabs and took off on foot because it was just around the corner. His wife, their new puppy and a friend who wanted to prove she wasn’t too adorable either were with us.
He took us in the “back way,” down an alley where people were cooking on a grill and in the back door. I’ve been to restaurants with bars, breweries and large gay clubs. This was my first dive bar. I loved it instantly.
Dive bar lessons
- I like whiskey. A friend once said “whiskey is bourbon without boundaries.” I already knew I liked bourbon. Now I know I like whiskey, too. And cheap whiskey at that. I like the burn – no chaser needed.
- Dive bars are cheap! We went from $6 beers to $2 beers.
- You can bring a puppy. My friends got an eight-week-old boxer puppy the day before. He was welcomed at the bar. The owner and bartenders even offered him his own doggie bowl of water.
- I’m not the “bad behavior police.” I have a tendency to want to nurture and protect the people I care about. My friend told me to knock it off. It was a needed reminder to stay in my own lane. It’s not my job to monitor another adult’s choices – what a relief! The dive bar was definitely a no judgement zone.
- Body positivity can happen anywhere. People were dancing so freely and joyfully. And I couldn’t stop staring at this lady hanging on the wall with heart shaped genitalia.
- It’s one big sing along. Just about everyone was singing. Loudly. It was so fun!
- Everyone was welcome. There were men and women of all ages, sizes and ethnicity sitting around the bar. Many people were clearly regulars and went down the line greeting people as they walked in. It was like being at a party in your friend’s living room.
I’m excited to go back to this dive bar. I downloaded the jukebox app and ready to blast some Lizzo next time.
Here’s a close up of this beauty’s lady garden: