Dive Bar

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Dive BarDive Bar
Very Good
23 Ratings
Dive BarDive Bar

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

732 Amsterdam Ave
New York, New York, 10025
United States

(212) 749-4358 | map

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Added by Billolick on 11-09-2008

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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of VoxRationis
3.84/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

I happened upon Dive Bar while walking around the Upper West Side; it was happy hour ($8 pints were $6, $7 were $5), so a friend and I stopped in for a pint. At first, it basically resembled almost every other, non-pretentious traditional local bar in NYC with old wood panelling, mirrors and memorabilia on the wall, a brass bar rail, and sports show on multiple screens. The crowd was animated without being boisterous, a mix of people each engrossed in their own indoor conversations.

The beer menu does set it apart, however. There is a broad array of styles on tap and in bottles, carriage trade, domestic craft (much of it local, but not exclusively so), and international (Belgian and German). The barmen worked efficiently serving between 10 and 20 patrons at the bar, as well as the needs of patrons receiving service at tables. I didn't try the food. Definitely a gem of a place to stop off, if you are in the neighborhood and in the mood to sample something different with friends.

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Photo of biegaman
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Phigg1102
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Photo of StoutBoi
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Gajo74
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

This is an interesting place because on the surface it looks like a typical bar that has numerous televisions playing different sporting events, music in the background and typical bar food. The clientele does not look like your typical craft beer aficionados, instead, they look like regular people. Yet this is a fairly low key crowd; no obnoxious frat boy types, loud drunks, or music blasting the senses. What sets this regular looking bar apart is a fine and diverse selection of beers. Yes they have your typical assortment of Bud Light, Heineken and Stellas, however, they boast an impressive selection of Belgian beers. They also have a decent selection of American craft beers. The servers were attentive and on point, although I'm not sure how knowledgeable they are about beer. (I did not ask any questions) there is food that looks like typical bar fare such as burgers, fries and onion rings, however, since I didn't eat, I did not rate it. Overall, not a bad place to go try interesting new brews and a nice enough vibe to make me want to go back again.

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Photo of tikk
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of HoppyBeerSista
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Will_Rivera
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of ChipChaight
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Matt_Felix
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75

A friend of mine told me he was drinking Bourbon County Barleywine at Dive 96, so I checked their menu online at beermenus. Wow! I have been to Dive 75 and it pretty much sucks. 96 is so much better.

Their selection of beers is wow. I thought it was only because they were celebrating their 25th anniversary, but browsing other reviews here on BA I gather that this bar typically offers an outstanding tap list. Too bad I waited too long because I missed a JW Lee's Harvest 2011 and a Firestone XIV (oy!) on tap, but the Bourbon Barleywine was still there, as well as Lagunitas Rye Capuccino, Flying Dog Kujo on cask and some other goodies. Brewdog Cocoa Psycho had kicked as well, but they were all on tap for about two weeks.

Unlike the more nerd-geared beers bars around town, and as another reviewer pointed out before, this joint seems to get mostly locals drinking light beer, so the good stuff lasts longer. Good for us!

Service was so-so, a gruff bartender who didn't seem to know or care about good beer. Ambience is corner-bar-in-Philadelphia-meets-New-York. Very blue collar and down to earth.

$9 for my Bourbon Barleywine, it's alright. Most brews are around seven bucks. Growler fills! Great bourbons and whiskeys as well. Will revisit.

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Photo of Limanti
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of gory4d
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Nice joint with a good range of beers - last time I was there, they had Hill Farmstead's Susan IPA on tap, which was a nice treat. They seem to get a lot of business from locals who drink mostly BMC stuff, so the good beers can sometimes sit on the taps for a little too long. I've had good service there, pretty much, and they seem to know how to fill a growler. I've had their food in the past, but it's too long ago for me to rate it now - I think it was all right. Prices are OK, though lately they seem to be putting a lot of beers in 12-oz. glasses for eight bucks, because they think they're fancy.

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Photo of Yael5746
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I frequent the Dive Bar (named due to the owner's love for scuba diving) regularly, largely due to proximity, but of the places north of West 85th Street that I've seen, this place has by far the best beer selection. With over twenty microbrew taps, two casks, and two fridges filled with craft brews, I have never walked in and not been able to find a beer I was excited for (especially exciting since I stick to mostly darker and heavier beers usually). I've been able to find Brooklyn's Black Ops, Ola Duhb's 12, 16, and 18 year, Old Engine Oil (both bottle and tap), Southern Tier's Creme Brulee Stout, and Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout, just to name some of the highlights. Their bottle list doesn't turn over so often, but their taps change from week to week. For selection, I'm very happy here.

Regarding service, I've only found one bartender there that really knows his beer (Eric, he tends to work Wednesday and Thursday nights), but the rest are happy to give you a taste at least even if they can't answer your questions about style and such. You should also go in expecting that most don't serve things in the right glassware or with a proper non-stadium pour. The atmosphere can get quite loud, particularly during a big game, but it gives off a "local's place" vibe which is nice.

Overall, if you are looking for a quality dark beer selection and are in the area, I would recommend checking it out, especially the bottle list. I don't know if I'd go out of my way for it, but it is conveniently near the 1, 2, and 3 trains if you are passing by.

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Photo of fairfieldred
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Great Place! What a terrific selection, Americans to Belgians to whatever else you might be looking for. on tap with a chalkboard stating the daily specials and what's on tap. for selection Dive bar it gets the highest marks. it's a bit grungy in here but the fish tank is cool and the food is good (there's a famiglai pizza on the corner too if you like pizza !)
It's in NYC so you have to expect a little blasé attitude from the servers. That's ok. If they like you they will be all over you and I think they liked us so we will definitely come back.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Perhaps this place has improved a bit since some previous reviews?
I was very happy to walk into a place calling itself "Dive Bar" with 20 some tap handles available. I had some Saison du Buff brewed by Stone and Ommegang's BPA, both of which were delicious. I noticed Dead Guy, Lagunitas IPA, Delirium Tremens, and some other notable names on tap. I didn't get a chance to look at the bottle list, which says something about what was on tap.
The staff I interacted with were all great. Each personable in their own ways, each alert and attentive. I managed to make a fan of the Saison du Buff, I think. If that bartender didn't like it he certainly did a very good job of convincing me that he did.
A spacious place to get some craft beer in a somewhat unlikely place. I intend to visit again.

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Photo of MichaelRay
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I live four blocks away from Dive Bar and I consider it my go-to place. Sure, proximity is a key factor, but I'm still a fan. For one, the beer selection is great. A large variety on tap, probably close to 20 beers to chose from, including a couple of cask beers. They rotate a few taps on a regular basis, so there's always something new to try. Once in a while they have tasting specials to promote local breweries. It's also one of the few places I know of that has growlers. They also have lots of bottled beer (I drink draft 100% so I can't comment on the quality of the variety, but it seems like good selection). So, they're dedicated to beer and people who like beer.

As for the other stuff, the food is better than your average bar for sure, and there's variety. They actually have some veggie options other than the ubiquitous (and often disappointing) veggie burger. The service is sub-par, there's a pool table that always seems to be covered to be used as a table (weird), and they have tvs everywhere for sports. It can get crowded at the usual busy times, which is good or bad, depending on what your after.

Overall, if you're into beer, this is a great place.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

I had an dinner meeting up the street and had over an hour to kill before hand, so I dropped in for a couple beers. I had actually looked this place up online since I was browsing the neighborhood on Google Maps... funny that their website pays no attention to their better than average beer selection (including cask offerings) and instead focuses on Scotch, Wine, Bourbon, Tequilla, and their very average looking food offerings. I didn't even bother to look this place up on BeerAdvocate at the time.

Anyway, it was cold and I popped in to check it out and fully expected to leave immediately. However the big chalkboard beer menu changed my mind--somewhere between 3.5 and 4 rating, but it enough to round up. However, the servers don't seem to have much of an idea about what beer they are pouring.

The whole place feels like it doesn't quite know what it wants to be... sort of ironic, but really going a little too far on the very average (divey) side.

All in all, an OK place to stop in if you are in the neighborhood, but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Goodness gracious, I wanted to love this place. It's two blocks from my best friend's place, and I've walked by it without giving it a second thought ten thousand times. While browsing BeerMenus, I discovered to my surprise that it's quite the beer bar. Needless to say, next time I visited my buddy, I dragged him there.

We rolled in after dinner, at about 8 PM on a Tuesday. The place was pretty full -- all the tables looked filled, but we grabbed a couple of seats at the bar. This place screams Upper West Side to me. It seems almost like a beer bar that's trying to be a frat bar. I don't mean that in a snarky way -- if frat kids want to come to a place like this and expand their beer horizons, all the power to them. It was just a bit noisy and busy to me.

To be fair, I've dealt with some real douchebags at the Amsterdam Ale House, but it's not a big deal, since the bartenders know their shit. This is absolutely not the case at Dive, at least not the night I was there. Two bartenders were behind the bar. The first one poured me my IPA in a Pils glass, and worse still, gave me a "stadium pour" (attempted to give the beer no head, and let beer run down the side of the glass for a few seconds). I guess my face signaled my displeasure, since I got a nice eye roll with my beer.

For my next beer, I made sure to try the other bartender. He, unlike the first one, was at least friendly and tried to be helpful. Unfortunately, he didn't know anything about what he was pouring. I asked what style Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold was, trying to remember if it was a Belgian Pale Ale or a Dubbel. He told me it's "sort of like a pilsner." Oh well. He was happy enough to pour me a taste so I could figure it out for myself. Like I said, he tried, so he stops Dive from getting an abysmal service rating. I don't expect every bartender to be a beer geek, but I really think they should know what they are pouring on a given night, even if it's just reciting the style. But I digress.

I've been harsh, but this place isn't a total disaster at all. They've got maybe 15 or 20 taps, plus two casks. Having been there only the one time, I can't say how often it changes, but there was a solid style diversity, and a couple of not-so-common treats. Plus, the prices are New York reasonable ($6 for most craft pints, $8 for the stuff you'd expect to pay more for, plus I've heard Happy Hour is solid).

Would I go back? Sure, if I were bored and in the neighborhood. Amsterdam Ale House is about a mile away, which is a bit far to walk in bad weather. I'll just know what I'm in for next time.

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Photo of mltobin
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is one of the locations of Dive Bar. As the name certainly implies, this is in fact a dive bar, no white clothes or sommeliers here. They do however serve a better than average beer selection including Captain Lawerence, Sixpoint, Kelso, DFH, and others on tap in addition to pretty good bottle list. Patrons are friendly, even when it is crowded. The bartenders are also friendly and helpful. If you find yourself thirsty when spending some time on the UWS, this is a great place to stop.

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Photo of scubapaul
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.5

One of the best selections on the UWS. During Happy Hour (till 8pm M-F i think) they have 3 dollar pints of all their craft selections. Really great deal. $13 growlers as well

Tried their Captain Lawrence Brown and Sixpoint Sweet Action. Tasted very clean, well maintained taps

Also have a huge list of single malt scotches, bourbons , and wine.

The food is pretty terrible, but that was expected. And it was pretty loud and crowed..hence the name Dive Bar

Overall a great place because they have headie, cheap beer ... really close to me too.

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Upper west side of NYC, there are a few of these "Dives" around town. I was enticed to make a visit based on their announcement of the availability of growler fills, a still somewhat rare option in the big town. The have a few tables outside, a narrow entrance with the long wooden bar to the right. Pool in the rear, too many flat screens with multiple games on. This place really is a dive, dumpy in all respects..didn't eat, but it looked like you could get your fill of large plates of burgers and fries and other typical bar grub. Beer wise it didn't stink with draft selections from Brooklyn, Six Point, Omme, Sierra Nev.,Anchor, Stone, Captain L., Harpoon, Kelso, Duvel Green, and a smattering of widely available, but high quality, Brit and Belgian imports...Pints in the $5-$6 range...quite reasonable for NYC...worth a visit with the guys to watch the game, not with a date or with mom..

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Dive Bar in New York, NY
Place rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 23 ratings