Real Dives: Smolen Bar and Grill


Real Dives: In which we recommend authentically divey dive bars. A real dive bar may be characterized by low prices, clientele over 60, trucker hats only on actual truckers, a long history, lotto, lack of ironic PBR, and a sense that it is not trying to impress you, or anyone else, ever. The kind of place you worry will soon be replaced by some godawful glass condo.

Today’s dive: Smolen Bar and Grill

Clientele: Mostly older lady friends of the older lady bartender

On the walls: The Pope, the American flag, an LCD Quick Draw board, decorative plates painted with the red and white Polish eagle, a framed picture of the World Trade Center, and a big poster of the Budweiser Clydesdale with puppies.

On the sound system: Katie Couric evening news

On tap: Pilsner Urquell, Spaten and Zywiec

What to drink: Krupnik, Polish honey liquor, $5

Overheard: “Looka this guy!” Spoken, with gesticulation, at Bernie Madoff on the television.

708 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn


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