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Best Dive Bar

B&O Tavern

Frank Klein

1301 W. Pratt St., (410) 539-8808

Posted 9/19/2007

It's best to go to the B&O Tavern after you've already been drinking a while, since an existing buzz will give you the courage to walk through its door. The place looks foreboding from the outside, with plywood-covered windows and a worse-for-wear sign that looks like it might fall to the sidewalk at any moment. And it meets expectations once your eyes adjust to the darkness inside. Only neighborhood locals get the time of day here, so patience is required before you get any hooch. Light a cigarette, and no ashtray is forthcoming. Put a buck in the jukebox, which says that amount will buy you three songs, and you only get two, but then the volume is turned all the way down and you're too scared of the barkeep to ask her to turn it up, so you get nothing. Nobody's drunk here because nobody has the money needed to underwrite the effort. The most poignant social interaction witnessed during a recent visit was a daughter entering to ask a woman there, "Hey Mom, can I have some money?" and the woman says, "I don't have any, but you want a cigarette?" It's a family-oriented dive bar, and that's worthy of a prize right there.

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Other Awards for Best Dive Bar:

Sooner's Tavern, 9/16/2009

Midway Bar, 9/17/2008

Leadbetters Tavern, 9/20/2006

Magnet Bar, 9/21/2005

Sportmanís Sport, 9/22/2004

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