The 5 Point Cafe has been called several things over the years, but usually is referred to as a dive bar or a diner (and often considered one of Seattle’s best dive bar and diner…in fact The Stranger has called it one of the World’s best dive bars!). But what does that really mean? For the answer we turn to the web and especially Wikipedia.
Wikipedia says of Diners: “…Diners are characterized by offering a wide range of foods, mostly American, a casual atmosphere, a counter, and late operating hours…Diners almost invariably serve American food such as hamburgers, french fries, club sandwiches, and other simple fare. Much of the food is grilled, as early diners were based around a grill. There is often an emphasis on breakfast foods such as eggs (including omelettes), waffles, pancakes, and French toast. Some diners serve these “breakfast foods” throughout the business day…Diners attract a wide spectrum of the local populations, and are generally small businesses…In the days when diners were America’s most widespread 24-hour public establishments, the fact that they were open all night meant they could also serve as symbols of loneliness and isolation…Diners frequently stay open 24 hours a day, especially in cities, making them an essential part of urban culture, alongside bars and nightclubs; these two segments of nighttime urban culture often find themselves intertwined, as many diners get a good deal of late-night business from persons departing drinking establishments. Many diners were historically placed near factories which operated 24 hours a day, with night shift workers providing a key part of the customer base.
And of Dive Bars: “Dive bars generally have a relaxed and informal atmosphere—they are often referred to by local residents as “neighborhood bars,” where people in the neighborhood gather to drink and socialize. Individual bars may be considered to be disreputable, sinister, or even a detriment to the community. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary indicates that, in the United States in the 1880s, the term referred to an illegal drinking den or other place of ill repute, especially one located in a basement. However, this usage has since become obsolete. In 2010, Playboy magazine described a dive bar as: “A church for down-and-outers and those who romanticize them, a rare place where high and low rub elbows — bums and poets, thieves and slumming celebrities. It’s a place that wears its history proudly.”
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/29/messages/422.html defines Dive Bars this way: A disreputable entertainment establishment
“The term dive bar was coined in the 1800’s, when these establishments were generally located below street level, away from genteel and pampered respectable citizens. But what exactly defines a dive bar today?
_ Cheap drinks.
_ A jukebox with a selection that would satiate your punk aficionado older brother, Rat Pack adoring grandfather, and soul singer swooning girlfriend.
_ The air of a secret hideaway you’ve luckily and unknowingly stumbled into.
_ Patrons from every walk of life.”
These definitions seem right on to us, and further the 5 Point’s reputation as both a great dive bar and a great diner.And of course one of the few 24 hour diner/ dive bar combo’s left in Seattle.
So what’s your definition of a great dive bar or great diner? Let us know in the comments below.
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