Two gloves, a dustpan, a onetime-use broom and a few cleansing resolution: In Chicago, that’s what the Health Department refers to as a vomit and diarrhea cleanup equipment. And till a loathsome common named Covid sidled as much as the bar, Scott Martin, the proprietor of Simon’s, a beloved Scandinavian dive within the Windy City’s northern reaches, thought a vomit and diarrhea cleanup equipment was essentially the most extravagant factor he was required to have available with the intention to hold his very outdated watering gap within the authorities’s good graces.
Suffice to say, he now not feels that method.
While “dive bar” is generally a time period of endearment today, even the higher echelon of such darkish, dank ingesting institutions has by no means been thought to be notably preoccupied with glowing tabletops.
Dive bars are lived in, died in, rode laborious and put away moist in, laughed and cried in a stranger’s arms in, without delay totally your self and fully nameless in. They’re the place of us go to drink, to lie, to like, to sigh, to place Keith Sweat on the jukebox and have nobody ask why.
Before the pandemic, dive bars had been an endangered species in lots of cities, what with skyrocketing rents and the attendant hoity-toity-ness of pencil-panted transplants. And some individuals assumed that the coronavirus would make all the good dives descend into grime.
Yet when you suppose that, you don’t know dives. All round America, they’re attempting to outlive — by letting the sunshine in (or out), for a change.
At Simon’s, Mr. Martin moved a few of his bar stools into the car parking zone and set them up at high-top tables. But that was summer time; autumn’s now. He hopes to proceed to draw patrons by establishing a massive tent with propane warmth lamps and fleece blankets, however his actual cold-weather draw is glogg, a conventional Swedish concoction that comprises pink wine, cinnamon, sugar, cloves, oranges, ginger, raisins and bourbon or vodka (take your decide).
“You can stay outside and drink glogg and stay fairly comfortable — until you’ve had too many gloggs and then you’re freezing,” stated Mr. Martin, who rang in his 60th birthday by wrestling with a bar patron who repeatedly refused to put on a masks.
While Simon’s was, until recently, able to offer limited seating indoors in addition to its evolving outdoor space, such a plan simply wasn’t feasible for My Brother’s Bar, which, at 167 years of age, is Denver’s oldest continuously operating house of libation.
“The building is extremely old with zero ventilation,” said Danny Newman, the owner, adding that his “summer solution” — picnic tables in the parking lot — ”was great.” But now that it’s gotten chillier, Mr. Newman has set up plastic igloos, equipped with heaters and exhaust fans, for single-party groups of up to six people.
At first there wasn’t a cap on how much time patrons could spend in the igloos, but after a handful of six-hour hang sessions made it apparent that some imbibers planned to use them as second homes, Mr. Newman instituted a 90-minute limit.
Mr. Newman added that a nearby restaurant has transformed tiny greenhouses into two-tops so customers can eat outdoors without being bombarded by the elements. Lest anyone wonder whether Colorado’s robust legal marijuana industry has something to do with the ready availability of see-through structures reminiscent of grow houses, Mr. Newman said it was.
One of the oldest bars in Seattle, the 5 Point — slogan: “Alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929” — has also constructed a cozy, heated outdoor area for its patrons. But now that the wind and rain are whipping around, owner David Meinert doesn’t expect the allure to last long. That’s why he recently upgraded his heating, venting and air-conditioning system with Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filters to improve air circulation.
With the help of Dr. Bruce Davidson, a pulmonary physician and the former president of the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association, he installed fans and UV-C lights — not to be confused with retina-singeing UV-A and UV-B lights — on the bar’s ceiling.
As Dr. Davidson, who became enamored of this specific type of ultraviolet light when he observed how effective it was in the tuberculosis wards of Philadelphia, explained, the fans suck the air that customers exhale straight toward the ceiling.
Should any of those customers unknowingly have the coronavirus, the UV-C lights stop it from spreading, protecting patrons and staff alike. (Such lights are also being used to as a safeguard against the coronavirus in hospitals, schools, restaurants and subway systems, including New York City’s.)
Yet for as confident as Dr. Davidson is in UV-C lighting’s ability to slay the coronavirus, he remains a staunch advocate of mask wearing as a means of “source control.” It just so happens Seattle has an indoor mask mandate, something Mr. Meinert’s employees aren’t shy about enforcing.
“One of the good things about the 5 Point is people have always gotten thrown out of here,” he said. “We’re not like, ‘The customer’s always right.’”