Shuffleboard under the overpass. Writes itself.
Stumbling into a dive bar under some kind of interstate or freeway is typically a good start to a dive drinking evening. Double down on that with a building that looks like little more than a concrete box devoid of windows, exterior signage and really any noteworthy physical feature at all and the dive bar story gets a little bit stronger. Lubbock’s Robbins Nest embodies all of the above, a classic post-work stop-off bar filled with all manner of distraction.
To say Robbins Nest has no physical distinction at all is a bit misleading, with a towering highway-adjacent sign proclaiming the name of the bar and life’s essentials: “Bar. Pool. Darts. Golden Tee Golf.” A window so small that it looks like it was custom built for the purpose houses a simple “Open” sign, the long suggestion attached to the building that people might actually be inside. And in classic dive bar juxtaposition, ornate ironwork inlaid with the name of the bar borders entrance steps covered in fraying green carpet.
Inside, the space unfolds into a space that somehow feels larger than the building that houses it, an open layout featuring a central bar bordered by dart boards & pool tables to the right, shuffleboard to the left. The bar itself winds and folds back in on itself, a collection of hairpin turns that bear some resemblance to Texas’ classic highway turnarounds. While the layout makes for some awkward seating along the edges, the design creates opportunities for small, separated sets of drinkers to carve out their own real estate.
The brick wall interior is ringed with TVs and beer signs. The bar houses a set of trademark ice-filled beer buckets. A yellow traffic sign shouts “Watch For Wild Hogs.” Simply put, the bases are covered here and that’s really the story of Robbins Nest. This is a Texas through and through classic dive bar haunt, the kind of place that swells around 5:30pm as people find a reason not to go home before the regulars buckle down for the night.
Short on wholly unique features, Robbins Nest is long on classic dive bar requirements, from gaming distractions to no-frills drinking, housed in an under-interstate location that accentuates its strengths.