Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drinking and Driving

Think Before You Drink...

When considering all of the awesome localities we have featured in our Dive Bar Shirt Club, we felt like it was an appropriate and important time to reflect on the dangers of consuming too much alcohol and making compromised decisions.

Dive Bar Shirt Club
We are not going to preach about the evils of drinking and driving under the influence, instead we want to take a moment and reflect in what we believe separates a dive bar worthy of being featured on one of our shirts, and which are not.

We think that one of the primary differences is that dive bars are for local communities. It’s where you go after work, on the weekend, to meet friends, to escape your significant other. It’s a place, as the opening of Cheers proclaimed, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”. And unlike bars that are more concerned with class and reputation, dive bars and dive bar patrons knows your limitations and won’t let you risk driving drunk and ruining your life or perhaps the life of another.

It Takes a Village...

At dive bars people are most important. And just as it is the community that creates a dive bar, it is the community that keeps a dive bar operational. Drinking and driving is not a funny manner and something to joke about, and we always urge the members of the Dive Bar Shirt Club to drink responsibly.

T-Shirt Club of the Month Club
The Dive Bar Shirt Club is an organization that sends out a dive bar tee shirt once a month. We feature dive bars that have been submitted to us through either social media platforms, such as a Facebook, or through our website. On our Facebook page, we often highlight submitted dive bars and have plenty of pictures of these different venues.

The concept of the Dive Bar Shirt Club is simple. We like to celebrate the local establishments and the sense of community they share. We are all about working together to promote local bars. Long live the dive bars! Please feel free to submit your local dive bar and we’ll hopefully feature your bar as one of our monthly shirts!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A little about Prohibition

What is a Speakeasy? 

On Facebook on June 25th, we posted the following anecdote of the origin of the term 86:

A speakeasy by the name of Chumley's was located at 86 Bedford Street in New York City. During Prohibition, patrons would enter through a courtyard door for privacy. Moments before a raid, cops would call ahead with a friendly heads-up. The bartender would shout "86 everybody," which meant everybody should scram through the 86 Bedford Street door because the cops would be coming in the courtyard door.

After posting this we started exploring a bit more of the Prohibition culture and times.

Dive Bar Shirt Club
Image courtesy of David Shankbone
Speakeasies are establishments that illegally sell alcoholic beverages. They become famous during the Prohibition Era (1920-1933). During the Prohibition the federal government decided to ban the sale of alcohol, and much like the current War on Drugs was a complete and utter failure.

Speakeasies still invoke an amazing image in the mind, though. Walking through innocuous buildings, descending into basements, a secret knock on a door, a password given to separate patron from police…speakeasies represent a culture and time that was both dangerous and exciting. And everyone knows that alcohol loves danger and excitement!

Take a ride on the White Lightning!

Another effect of the Prohibition was the growth of moonshine culture. Moonshining is illegal distillation, consumption, transportation, and sale of home distilled alcohol. Moonshine usually contains high amounts of alcohol that far exceed federal regulations. During the Prohibition, many moonshiners made bank distilling and distributing their homemade, one-of-a-kind alcohol.

Dive Bar Shirt Club
During the Prohibition the US saw the rise of the classic gangster and organized crime. Famous gangsters included Al Capone, Frank Costello, Carlo Gambino, the Kray Twins Reginald and Ronald, Lucky Luciano, and Johnny Torrio. Now, that the Prohibition is about to celebrate the 100th anniversary of being signed into law, the names of Al Capone and the speakeasy culture has passed, but lives on in our histories, films, and imaginations.

We are relieved to live in a time when it is not illegal to consume alcohol. We glorify the bar with our Dive Bar Shirt Club shirts. We are excited to remember the history of our nation and to reflect upon the similarities between the Prohibition and the continuing War on Drugs.