Dive Bars aren’t necessarily dives.
Take Casey’s Tavern in Stamford. Secluded on a dead end side street just off downtown, its windows are veiled, its entrance shadowy. What’s behind the curtains?
Well, step inside and be amazed. The crowd is convivial, the decor beguiling, and the joint jumping. A song blasts on the juke, but it’s buried under the laughter and yak. Behind a highly polished hardwood bar, mirrors and bottles glisten. Out the back door, a sun-splashed patio beckons. And on each table – there’s an extensive menu to ponder.
So is Casey’s a dive?
“No, no,” Seamus Costigan tells us. ”We don’t attract trouble.” He should know. Costigan is not only the guy behind the stick, but the affable owner of this Irish pub. It is said once Seamus meets you, he never forgets your name or your drink.
These days the term “Dive Bar” doesn’t imply bikers, broken bottles and bloody bathrooms. Rather, a true Dive serves as a neighborhood gathering place, where regulars can dive in*, grab a quick (or long) one at an affordable price, shoot pool or darts, argue sports and politics, or just b,s. about life and love. No one comes in to be lonely … or leaves broke.
When you belly up to the bar, there’s no need to order. The ‘keep is already pouring.
Seamus nods and grins. “I guess we’re a dive bar, then. I know exactly what time my regulars come in, their drink, and what they eat.”
In a modern Dive, the food is as much a draw as the liquor and the laughter. So forget about microwaved burgers and dogs, stale chips, or soggy Slices. The new breed Dive caters to customers who aren’t just thirsty, but hungry for a tasty meal without breaking the bank.
Gourmet dining? At times. Complexity, not really. But solid eats, definitely. In fact, some dishes are farm fresh and healthy.
Herewith, we curate the best eats we found at some selected SW Connecticut Dives …