Cheap drinks and stools that wobble. Sticky floors and dim lights and nuclear bathrooms. Kitsch. A jukebox. Pool tables. Food that will reduce your lifespan. A beer menu out of 1997? A bad cover band that marginally knows how to play music? Plywood? God, I hope.
Dive bars bring out the latent or empower the open dissolute animal in all of us. What makes a dive bar a dive bar is that things aren't fancy. A dive bar is where you go for macrobeer and well drinks, where the idea of $14 cocktails made with Velvet Falernum and artisan ice feels poisonous, where the true nature of things is much closer to the surface than in the carefully branded mixology temples of today.
High Dive Bar & Grill, the latest from Square One Concepts, attempts to get the dive high.
This is a troublesome, curious, and exciting idea. If you have a dive and make that dive fancy, it is not a dive. If you have a polished bar and introduce dive elements, it is no longer polished.
What is it then? The mind catches. The logic of a "high" dive doesn't track. This isn't jumbo shrimp, a food oxymoron that makes clear sense.
High Dive will serve both Dom Perignon and Natty Light.
The genre-twisting bar will be opening in Arcadia. This Thursday, August 23, the doors will open, funneling thirsty souls under a large avatar of the shark from Jaws and into a clean white room with leather booths and banquettes and lean, elegant black light fixtures straight out of a modern designer's Instagram. The room looks like a futuristic library or retro cigar lounge.
High Dive is the newest page in the portfolio of Square One Concepts, the hospitality group behind Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers, Famous 48, Bourbon & Bones, and Wasted Grain. Square One also has projects in Tucson and San Diego. High Dive actually is a collaboration between Square One and Blue Print Hospitality, the latter behind Nook Kitchen Downtown and a few other local spots.
High Dive will be open every day.
There will be craft beer. There will be board games and a bowling arcade. There will be dinner: burgers, sliders, shared plates, a taco pizza. There will be windows to Camelback Mountain. There will be cocktails with tobacco syrup, tea bitters, and rims coated in black salt.
And yes, Natty will be on draft.
High Dive. 4231 East Indian School Road; 480-758-4994
Sunday to Thursday 3 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
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