Dive Bars

Who doesn't love a good dive bar?

In these days of molecular gastronomy, cocktail wizardry, multi-million-dollar spaces, and inflated pricing, dive bars serve an important purpose. They exist as outlets for us to unwind without spending an entire paycheck.

The name 'dive bar' has really turned into a badge of honor. Typically, the joint has wonderful character, cheap drinks, underrated food, and an eclectic staff. Honestly, it's everything you want. It's no wonder that so many dive bars continue to thrive in this increasingly expensive world.

Maine's Best Dive Bar

So where is Maine's best dive bar located? One website claims it can be found in Maine's largest city.

The popular folks over at 24/7 Tempo decided to put together a list of the best dive bars across the country. The site selected one from each state to highlight. Maine's choice is an extremely popular dive that's been running in Portland's West End neighborhood for generations. That joint is called Ruski's.

Originally established as Ruski's in 1981, this dive is one of the last remaining neighborhood bars in the city. It's open daily from 9am to 11pm to cater to practically every work schedule possible, a true sign of a good dive.

Ruski's is not big. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Seating is limited, with just a few private tables, along with the bar and community-style high tops. Yet, the size really doesn't diminish the experience. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It gives the bar a much cozier feel, something that any neighborhood haunt should be able to do.

Ruski's Tavern via Facebook
Ruski's Tavern via Facebook

While the atmosphere is a big hit, the same can be said about the food and drink. Ruski's' menu is like a Charles Dickens' novel. It's absolutely huge. It typically includes a plethora of daily specials that always hit the spot. It's also a place to enjoy an authentic Maine lobster roll without breaking the bank.

And the drinks? We are talking no-frills beer and cocktails that will get the job done without numerous trips to the ATM. It's what a dive bar does best, and Ruski's is no exception.

Clearly, I'm a fan of the joint, but don't take my word for it. Here is a little from 24/7 Tempo on why Ruski's is Maine's best dive.

Uncommonly for a dive bar, Ruski's serves what many reviewers hail as excellent food - including hearty breakfasts. Yelpers call the place "unpretentious, casual, and...a great mix of locals of all ages and backgrounds" and note that "The drinks are strong, the service is warm and the music will keep you bopping."

I did forget to mention the music. Ruski's has Touch Tunes, the greatest invention by man. Boy, do I enjoy playing DJ with some Touch Tunes.

Ruski's is a wonderful choice by 24/7 Tempo. It's a true dive bar that has been able to maintain its incredibly unique vibe through the decades. It's a product of good ownership, a dedicated staff, and loyal patrons. It's everything Portland needs more of.

Congrats to Ruski's on this great publicity. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Maine's best dive bar.

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