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Saturday, April 03, 2010

#1035 - The Buffet, Tucson, AZ - 3/21/2010

Along with the Meet Rack, The Buffet Bar & Crock Pot places my two favorite dive bars in the country in Tucson.  But while I love the Meet Rack for it's gradually revealing layers of weirdness, it is the crowd and the immediate vibe that make The Buffet a great dive.

 It has the most elemental features of a dive: it is old (est. 1934), it has a ramshackle decor with years of uninvited contributions from patrons, it has cheap and strong booze (with Coors the only beer on tap), and it was full of lively characters on a Sunday night. For Seattlelites, think of the Blue Moon, with a bit wider demographic and even more graffiti.

The Buffet is the oldest bar in Tucson, established shortly after prohibition, although The Shanty up the road a piece has the oldest liquor license (1937), as the Buffet's was suspended a few times over the years. And just as The Shanty is not a shanty at all, there's no buffet at The Buffet -- although there is a crockpot, which holds hotdogs. But it's a grand old place.

538 E. Ninth St., Tucson, AZ 85705 - 520-623-6811
Est. 1933
yelp - metromix - mydivebar.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Buffet belongs in the Smithsonian's America History Museum.

Its greatest attribute is the patronage. From hipster to 90-something raconteur cowboy, EVERYONE is represented, and everyone somehow fits in. THIS bar proves America is still a melting pot.

OK well, everyone but the squeamish. It is 99.9% dive bar. It had been 100% until the city made it install bathroom doors. Yeah, it's that kind of place.