Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Disco at the Dive in Sandpoint

Calling a bar a "dive" isn't usually considered a much of a compliment, and it's even weirder when the owner of said bar actually decides to name his establishment that. But it all seems to be part of the hip, post-ironic vibe that owner Junior Solis seems to be trying to create with The Dive (209 N. First Ave.), taking some of the "white trash" elements so prevalent in many area establishments and exaggerating and enhancing them to create a badly-needed nightclub in downtown Sandpoint.

Despite the barn-like interior, mechanical bull and crunchy peanut shells layering the floor, don't expect to see Wrangler-clad cowboys line dancing. DJ B Breaks is behind the wheels of steel on weekends he spins trendier club music than possibly anywhere else in North Idaho, with a banging mix of Dubstep, Hip-House and Breakbreats. Plans for various special events including MMA cage fights are in the works.

Solis, who also owns the adjoining Oishii Sushi, is touting the place as a family-friendly establishment with an affordable menu during daylight hours, but the kiddies get kicked out onto the street at 9 p.m., when the grown-up party begins.

I Googled the Dive to see what I could see and although the establishment itself has no noticeable web presence of it's own, I did find a Bonner County Bee article about the May 15 opening of the nightclub. As one would expect, not every Sandpoint resident is beside themselves with joy about the presence of the potentially rowdy, bright orange new neighbor downtown.

"A Real Local" wrote "As with anything rushed, it looks nothing less than HORRENDOUS.
The color is arrogant and offensive, and I like color." "CDA Sushi" (hmm...) wrote "If you want terrible service and food poisoning eat at the Dive!" And "Knows Better" went all the way dirty with this accusation: " That's all great, but I don't patronize money-laundering operations... "

Well, alrighty then. Sounds like a bunch of jealous sticks-in-the-mud to me. It should be said there were actually more comments in support of the place, many expressing the very true point about the longtime lack of any place for the under-40 set to have fun and party with people their own age amid the endless plethora of wine bars and sleepy cocktail lounges in Sandpoint.

A local blogger named Jenni has already posted quite a few photos of her and her friends partying it up at the Dive, as well as some stories about her wild nights out there (she totally loves the place) on her blog Oh Jenni! Sandpoint resident, Matt Mills McKnight has also captured some shots of the action at the Dive on his blog, Curly Haired Division. But wait, there's more! Scarlette Quille has a review and video of the place on her blog, the Corporate Whoracle.

One thing is for sure, from looking at the massive crowds packing the Dive in some of the web photos I've seen, Sandpoint was indeed desperate for a vital new nightspot. From what I've gathered, I expect it to be a notable success, that is as long as it's owner and patrons can keep the cranky naysayers at bay.

(Photo by DJ B. Breaks)


Matt Mills McKnight said...

Thanks for the shout out!

NorthIdahoGirl said...

This is not a safe bar to drink at, I was slipped something and I have had many other people report the same after drinking at this bar. I do believe it is the bartenders, and they pick and choose who they attack. I advise you to protect yourself against THE DIVE. This is not only happening to woman either. It seems to be happening more often lately too, so steer clear.

Anonymous said...

NorthIdahoGirl, you must not spend a whole lot of time in the other establishments in North Idaho. Being very plugged into the night scene in Sandpoint, (worked in every bar in town at one point or another) I can tell you that it happens ANYTIME a large amount of people are in any bar. I've heard reports from Connies, 219 Lounge, A&P's, Roxy's, and The Dive. Ladies protect yourselves by not accepting drinks from people you don't really know, and do not leave your drinks unattended. The Dive bartenders are not slipping stuff into your drink, and the bouncer is very vigilant in making sure the ladies are safe.

Anonymous said...

You must be a bartender at the Dive? I have been around the Sandpoint night life and I have bartended. I am very aware of my drink (I do not take drinks that are offered to me nor do I let them out of my sight, the drink I ordered came straight from the bartender to me) I am also aware of this happening in other establishments. I will not name the name of the bartender who served me and my friend one particular night at the dive, and it was the only time I had ever ordered a mixed drink there (because of what I have heard about this bar). It was within ten minutes after I started drinking the one and only drink I had at that bar then the effects took place and I was extremely intoxicated (and not from the one drink it was dosed with something). And I did not say it was ALL the The Dive Bartenders . . . but I know what happened and I know it has happened to many people from this bar. I think people should be advised and just getting the word out may deter anyone who was dosing innocent people to STOP.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not a bartender at The Dive. I know them, and have heard these reports before. I have a good idea who you're talking about. I'll say I would never think this about that person, and as I said the bouncer is very vigilant about this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

This conversation is getting pointless. How would you even know what bartender I was talking about? And what exactly do you mean by the bouncer being very vigilant about this sort of thing, what. . . people getting druged?

Anonymous said...

I don't recomend the place personally. I know several employees and have heard some stories that would make your skin crawl.