Anyone who lives around Manchester can compile an impressive list of local high end, top shelf bars and pubs worth spending an evening at, but what fun is that? For the truly inquisitive, the best bars are often the most overlooked. Neighborhood ambiance mixes with bar-tab friendly beverages on nearly every other corner, and knowing which ones offer a great time will save you time, money, and perhaps a bit of personal safety. Neighborhood dive bars are comfortable places where a patron can get away from the modern saturation of hipness, so don’t overlook that innocuous watering hole down the alley next time you’re out on the town.
Located at 1097 Elm Street in Manchester, McGarvey’s has a long standing reputation as a go-to dives when the other clubs further down the street are packed. Only a short two or three blocks away from the more popular and fashionable establishments, the bar offers daily and extended happy hours to help stretch your consumption budget. Look for caterwauling Karaoke Tuesdays through Sundays starting at 9pm.
TJs Sports Bar and Grill
Just a short walk from the bright lights of ManchVegas’ Elm Street at 21 Central Street, TJs Sports Bar and Grill is a definite stop for anyone looking for the full dive bar experience. Ownership of this off-street staple changed recently with updates to the interior. However, this didn’t last long as TJs regulars made sure to ‘break in’ the new decor to something more fitting the bar’s reputation. Replete with traditional dive bar amenities such as a worn-out pool table crowded in the back corner and a lack of stalls in the women’s bathroom makes this a must stop for adventurous bar hoppers.
Auburn Pitts Bar and Grill
Just a short jaunt outside city limits, the Auburn Pitts Bar and Grill can be found at 167 Rockingham Road in Auburn. It may look tough with the seasonal line ups of Harley’s parked out front, but the Auburn Pitts is a safe place to not only spend a night drinking drafts at the bar, but a local recommendation for good family food when the sun is up. Look for live music announcements, and a decent selection of seafood to satisfy any appetite with great prices. Auburn Pitts has plenty of parking, and be easily reached from Route 101 between exits 1 and 2.
Olde Kilkenny Pub
If you’re hitting the road for a dive bar road trip, the Olde Kilkenny Pub should be a scheduled stop. Located at 30 Middle Street in Milford, the pub takes the concept of great craft beers and offers it without the high-brow hoity-toity mentality of the more hipster focused beer joints in the city. Tucked away in an old, wooden clapboard embalmed building, stepping through the doors of the Olde Kilkenny immediately give a sense of belonging. Drop the attitude when you walk in, and you’re sure to have a great time.