Sometimes we need a place to drink where the bartender pays more attention to making a good drink than worrying about what their customers think of the decor. There’s a time and place for fancy bars that blend trendy concoctions but, there’s always a place for a bar where you can go back to time and again and enjoy the company of those who enjoy a little drinking and a lot of socializing. Lexington, KY has been blessed with its fair share of wonderful dive bars that serve as modern day public houses in a world that’s quickly becoming a place where we grow more and more isolated from each other.
Chevy Chase Inn 833 E. Euclid Ave
This place has been around for over 80 years and is the no frills kind of place where generations have been gathering to catch up and wet their whistle. Lexington native Sarah Razor even wrote a book titled Chevy Chase Inn: Tall Tales and Cold Ales that tells of the bar’s importance to the Chevy Chase neighborhood and the families who frequented the place over the years.
Charlie Brown’s 816 Euclid Ave
I don’t think this little hole in the wall has been around quite as long as the Chevy Chase Inn but, I can still remember going there my first time over 25 years ago. This bar, filled with old stuffed furniture, is actually darker in the daytime than the night because it truly is a hole in the wall with no windows. If you feel the need for more light you can always go out on the back deck in the warmer months. They make good drinks and and a great bison burger.
Bluegrass Tavern 115 Cheapside
Calling this downtown place a dive bar is a bit of a stretch, let’s just say it’s on the upper end of the scale but, I think it qualifies because of it’s relatively spartan interior and the focus is on the over 200 varieties of bourbon they keep on hand. They also serve good beer but, if you’re looking for some of those ultra-rare bourbons like those in the long aged Pappy Van Winkle line, this is your place.
Country Boy Brewing 436 Chair Ave
Technically, this is a brewpub but, with it’s bare cement floor, minimal decorations and rustic bar arrangement, Country Boy is the epitome of a good dive bar. The owners enjoy experimenting so, don’t be surprised to find beer made with jalapeno peppers on the menu.
Al’s Bar 601 N. Limestone
Trust me, if you’re looking for a dive bar that’s not a dive bar in any ironic sense, this is your kind of spot. Even the name screams dive bar.