Daydrinkers, blue-collar types, retirees and the neighborhood crowd are always welcome inside this CenPho favorite. Daylight, on the other hand, is not. Every single window at Pomeroy's has been covered with strategically placed two-by-fours, creating a darkened sanctuary for those eager to escape the sun's rays, down dirt-cheap domestics, or dig into some deep-fried eats. The ambient glow of numerous neon signs and TVs provides more than enough light to see, however, and allows just enough obscurity for the colorful cross-section of regulars to get a little privacy at its numerous wooden booths, not to mention the chance to carve their names into the tabletops (much to the chagrin of Pomeroy's proprietors).
Travel along 16th Street and you're guaranteed to pass any number of divey joints, including places like Rips, CJ's Talley's, and Harvey's Wineburger. None of 'em, however, are as infamous this dank drinkery. The buzzing neon sign above the front door spells out what this joint is all about: Cocktails. It's been that way since the Royale opened more than 60 years ago, as generations of boozehounds have ambled across the stained and well-worn carpet for snifter or two of hooch at the bar, which is covered with duct tape. And chances are likely their glasses were refilled by longtime bartender Lil, who's worked the place for more than three decades. Despite her grandmotherly appearance, the septugenarian drink-slinger packs plenty of sass and might call you "son" as she pours another round or offers up any of the Royale's selection of salty snacks.
5. Palo Verde Lounge
The bar and furnishings are scratched and shabby, its floor is constantly sticky from party fouls, abandoned beer cans litter the place, and the décor could best be described as grungy. And don't even get us started on its cesspool-like bathrooms, which are adorned with grafitti and possess some unforgettable odors. Guess that's why its punky and funky clientele snarkily refer to the Palo Verde as the "Foul and Dirty." They love it just the same, showing up in droves for its copious amounts of inexpensive hooch - including $2 well drinks - as well as a hefty pour, the killer jukebox, and occasional weekend rock shows that feature bands playing in one cramped corner.