Bar: Low Spirits
Address: 2823 2nd Street (A bit north of Menaul, on the west side)
Holy crap this place should get bonus points for beer prices. The regular price for 16oz industrial brews in a can is $2.50, and happy hour gets you $1 off. So yeah, $1.50 tall boys. Dave and I had had matched set of PBRs and speculated about the stage. It was small—the whole place is just tiny—but nothing about the stage and soundboard area seemed second rate. More like squared away and well loved. In fact the whole place nicely kept up. It definitely has that dive feel, but somebody here is maybe working harder than they ought.
The exterior kind of makes up for it, though. It’s a bleak, painted block building tucked into an industrial neighborhood. I drove past it on the first go, but the outdoor seating area gave it away. I didn’t get a chance to observe the outdoor seating in action, but you have to admire the economy of a bare concrete pad with a smattering of chairs and a metal railing. Dave called it a corral. And yes, we had trouble finding the front door. It’s on the opposite side of the building as the small parking lot. The door that opens to the parking lot is for the band. It’s good for getting out of the place; not so good for getting in.
We’ve been here twice so far, and once there was no music at all save the immanent band doing some sound checks, which suits us quiet-mongers fine. Another time they were cranking out some metal playlist too loudly for us to talk when we arrived. We were about to nix this bar for future visits, especially since Dave hates metal (seriously, I don’t know what’s wrong with him) but after about 20 minutes it switched over to 80’s pop at a very tolerable volume.
The ladies room was a bit of a disappointment from the dive bar perspective. It was nice. Pristine tile floor, clean base molding, a large mirror that had one corner and side artistically cut away in a cascading wave with a pretty, sparkly treatment on its edge. The toilet saved the day, however, with a bowl full of dark brown streaks. I believe they were rust stains and not some other, uh, problem, but it definitely gave me pause.
This place appears to have a pub dog, a friendly, medium sized mutt. Dog is not one of my dive bar criteria, but it should be.
So is Low Spirits a dive? This place might possibly get a 10, depending on how you feel about my fudging on the chart. It definitely deserves at least a 9. It’s a DIVE!
|Cheap drinks?||Yep, $1.50 for 16 oz industrial brews (can)|
|Floor irregularities||There was some duct tape|
|Dark||Deliciously dark and cool|
|Bathroom deficiencies||Seriously cosmetically challenged toilet|
|Forbidden Fru Fru drinks||Dammit I forgot to ask. But the bar stock looks basic so I’m giving this one a passing score.|
|Regulars||I’m counting the dog|
|Pool/darts||There’s a weird little room off to the side with one red pool table right in the middle and bar stools all along the wall. I wondered if you could actually sit in there without getting skewered with the back of a cue.|
|Quiet enough||Uneven. Can I give half scores?|
|Questionable décor||That wall of skulls is cool looking, but weird enough to creep me out a little|