Most dive bar regulars—the kind under 50, employed, and with a full mouth of teeth—are likely slumming it in squalor to avoid the minimalist, cold, and modern techno-lite-thumping nightlife. Having their druthers, these patrons probably wouldn’t mind a little comfort and atmosphere to complement their inexpensive spirits. The three-month-old Dove offers the perfect balance: The ambience and coziness of a fancy five-star hotel with nearly dive-y prices (10 taps, $5 pints), plus an excellently curated iPod-driven, rock-oriented jukebox. It’s got an old-world air of elegance and decadence—ornate gold molding frames the ceiling, flocked velvet wallpaper covers the walls—without the snootiness. Patrons are encouraged to prop their feet up on the tables, sprawl out on the fancy chaises longues, and chill by the open French windows. Unique and creative drinks are their specialty: The Cherry Tart (vanilla vodka, natural cherry and lime juices; $9) tastes like cake frosting; the Honey Dove (honey, cognac, and vanilla organic soy milk; $9) is quasi-healthy, smooth, and tasty. With all of the Dove’s art nouveau grandeur and 10 different wines served by the glass ($7), you feel like you’re actually living a little . . . but, you know, while rocking out to the Clash.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 2004