We were flattered and honored to learn this week we were named the number one dive bar in the South by Southern Living magazine.
We know that of late, "dive bar" has become a wildly misapplied and overused appellation and, we also know that, for a few reasons some may even feel that the Green Parrot may have strayed too far from our roots to qualify.
For example, some say a true dive should never appear in print unless it is closing, or mentioned as a crime-scene.
Others say that a clean, safe, well-run joint, (which we are), without the sense that shit could get dangerously strange at any moment does not qualify.
It should also be noted as other potential disqualifiers that we no longer have a condom machine in the restroom, nor are there discarded whippits strewn about.
While we do have a pinball machine and a great jukebox, as well as having a string or two of year-round Christmas lights, all dive staples, we do understand and concede that just having them doesn’t make you a dive.
What we do understand however, and here’s where I think we do qualify, is that a dive bar is one of society’s best accidentally-created things ever and we believe it’s clear to even the most casual observer that no one could ever have planned this place.
In reality, dive bars are, put simply, neighborhood places that serve reasonably-priced simple drinks with no pretense and have no-nonsense attitudes where, to name just one example, it's patently understood you can choose to be social, or can choose to be left alone to drink in private.
These are the places that pretty much say, “don’t F*** with anyone here and everything will be fine.” Our decor was once described as being whatever the clientele was wearing that day, and we acknowledge that our clientele is motley and changes according to the time of day.
In the words of local author Joy Williams, "The Parrot has an engagingly louche clientele, a pool table and a dart board, odd art, and an attitude best described by the sign over the booze shelves: 'No Sniveling'”
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