Grime, cheap beer await at dives – Part 1

Melissa Sewell

How do you discern a dive bar from a sports bar? Terry’s Bar and Grill totters between these two labels. The location may present a clue. From the windows of Terry’s location at 522 W. 6th Street you can observe the sidewalk traffic of homeless, drunk and confusing mumblers. But upon entering the establishment, there is no detectable smell of urine, vomit or Bud Light that distinguishes several bars in undesirable locations.

Instead, patrons smell freshly cut limes and lemons, and later, the fried food smells from the kitchen that is famous for its hours. Until 1 a.m., customers at Terry’s can have all the mediocre burgers, sandwiches, and chicken strips they could ever ask for – from a price range of $2 – $5. Don’t overlook the seasoned fries, however. They are arguably the best in town.

Of course, the bar does carry Bud Light, along with a handful of other beers that are mostly domestic. The drinks are relatively cheap, and come in an amusing variety of sizes, like the 10oz pitcher, for example.

Between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., legislators and state workers dash in and out of the bar. At night, Terry’s is usually quiet enough to hold a conversation if you stay away from the blaring TVs. From a server’s standpoint, the business is worth sticking around for.

“There isn’t a big turnover in a place like this,” said server Janet Calvin. “I’ve been here for 24 years and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.”

Otherwise, the atmosphere is similar to any dive. Cigarette burns, stained carpet, mismatched chairs and wood tables thick with polyurethane are all commonplace at this local bar. If you can stand the interesting company and the offer of $1 chilidogs, this dive may not be so bad.