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June 18th, 2014 - 5:51 pm § in Memphis

Memphis Dive Bars: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Guide to Drinking in Memphis

by Rob Bellinger
photos by Rob Bellinger and Dan Meade

The Memphis dive bar scene is legendary, but not many people outside Memphis know that.  Memphis bars are peerless in their diveyness, unmatched in their numbers.  And the uncontrived dive scene quietly offers choose-your-own-adventure possibilities nightly, right up until 5 a.m. or so.  We went out every night we were in town, and something zany or insane happened every one of those nights.


June 18th, 2014 - 5:50 pm § in Memphis, Music

Memphis Dive Bar Adventures: Wild Bill’s, The Last Real Place in Memphis

The night was far younger than we realized. Someone invited us to have a drink at Wild Bill’s, which a local would later call “the last real place in Memphis.”


June 18th, 2014 - 5:48 pm § in Memphis, Memphis BBQ

Memphis Dive Bar Adventures: Bar-B-Brawl at the Bar That Never Closes

It was about 3 a.m. and time to eat dinner again. Even before leaving the Northeast, we’d labeled the ribs at Alex’s Tavern one holy grail of our Memphis quest.


June 18th, 2014 - 5:46 pm § in Memphis

Memphis Dive Bar Adventures: Down by Sundown

The P&H, or Poor & Hungry, Cafe looks both poor and hungry. The whole building looks like it would be the first thing to blow away in a tornado.


June 18th, 2014 - 5:43 pm § in Memphis, Memphis BBQ

Memphis Dive Bar Adventures: Perfect Ribs at 3 a.m.

The Ribs. Succulent, platonically moist, fall-aparty, infused with Memphis-style charcoal smoke, served with a dusting of finishing-spice and a side of sweet house sauce. In other words, perfection.


June 18th, 2014 - 5:39 pm § in Memphis

Memphis Dive Bar Adventures: Ghost Mustang & The Magic Skillet

Maybe it was the way she said patty, but the patty melt won. We asked if she could cut ours into thirds. She smiled. I wondered how long she’d worked there and been forced to listen to stupid shit like this.


June 18th, 2014 - 5:36 pm § in Memphis

Memphis Dive Bar Adventures: Snake Tattoo Face

The only guy not wearing a hoodie was bald, and his entire face and scalp were tattooed with coiling black snakes.