• Best dives to drink, not scuba, on the Cape

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    By Austin O’Brien

    Cape Cod is famous for its beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants, breath-taking views and world class fishing.

    Whether you are in Bourne or Provincetown these elements can be found from shore to shore 352 days a year, and those of us who get to enjoy these treasures are truly lucky and blessed.

    However there are also many days when going to the beach and battling the crowds, or sitting on a boat waiting for that 40-inch stripper just doesn’t cut it.

    Honestly, on those days you don’t even feel like going out for a 5-star dinner because you just want to wear your most comfortable shorts, a pair of flip flops and that 15-year- old tee shirt that may have a few holes in it.

    Those are the days when you look for that little hideaway off the beaten path where you can sit on a worn bar stool, have a cold beer and a comfort-food meal  surrounded by locals.

    That’s when you crave one of our many  and unique Cape Cod dive bars.

    Each of these spots has its own flavor, but all share that same comfortable feeling when you walk in the door.

    Zero expectations that typically exceed what you believed you would find. Vintage signs on the walls, a chalk board in the corner with the entire menu hand written and sometimes needing interpretation from the waiter or barkeep.

    Some have a heavily used dart board and a pool table begging to be used.  They also have local talent standing behind the bar ready to serve you some of the best and most reasonably priced drinks you can find on the Cape – accompanied by fresh fried fish erved on a paper plate with a plastic fork.

    Once you sit down and enjoy your first brew, it won’t take long before you are pulled into a conversation with a local contractor, fisherman or retiree, all ready to share a great story or good joke.

    Each Cape Cod dive is sure to have its own story. It may take a few visits to get it all told.  So, take a break from the norm, throw on something comfortable and take a drive to your local dive. I’m sure you will be glad you did.

    Here are some of my favorites crisscrossing the Cape from Wellfleet to Pocasset. These spots don’t have elaborate, or any, websites. Some have Facebook pages to steer you in the right direction.


    The 19th Hole Tavern, Hyannis

    11 Barnstable Road, just a few yards off Main Street

    Open Monday to Sunday from 2 pm to 1 am
    Note: Cash only
    Darts, pool table and a juke box


    The Bomb Shelter Pub

    Located the basement of the Bookstore & Restaurant
    50 Kendrick Avenue in Wellfleet

    Overlooks Cape Cod Bay and the famous Wellfleet Oyster beds and across the street from the venerable Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater for drinking and eating before or after the play.


    Port O’ Call

    59 Main Street, Buzzards Bay

    Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 1 am
    Pool table


    Grumpy’s Pub

    9 Locust Street, Falmouth

    Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 1 am
    Lots of live music including rock, blues, fund, reggae and bluegrass Thursday through Sunday
    Outdoor patio for smokers


    The Raw Bar

    252 Shore Drive in the Popponnesset Marketplace

    Open Sunday – Thursday, noon to 11; Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight
    Not quite dive-status; brightier, airier – but can’t resist adding it to this list. Mudslides and lobster rolls.






    July 23, 2014