Toledo is a perpetual city on the rise, a constant engine of revitalization focused on a handful of areas, utilizing the assets of the area to build something new. Some of that development has come at the cost of a dive bar here and there, but the deep, community-driven roots shared by those who live in Toledo keep a strong core of drinking options alive.
One Toledo dive bar on the front line of redevelopment is The Attic on Adams
, a second-floor establishment that has seen nearly half dozen names over the past couple decades, settling on the apt name of The Attic. Above a Greek restaurant up a graffiti-laden staircase, the drinking experience here is one of exploring the second story of a gutted, historic brick building that happens to have a bar in the center of the floorplan.
Down in Maumee just southwest of the city, a bar of dive bars sit along the city’s reimagined Uptown walking district. Dale’s Bar & Grill
first opened in 1920 when there was no such walking district to revitalize, morphing over the year’s to today’s mixture of sports bar and corner neighborhood pub. A few doors down The Village Idiot
occupies a soaring, two-story space with a serious pizza offering and a dedication to live music so thorough that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toledo dive bar narrowed in on 10,000 consecutive nights of live music.
There are, of course, more traditional dive bars throughout the city like The 19th Hole
, every bit a dive that has existed in some form or another since before the 1980s. Its neon sign above the seldom-used front door beautifully advertises the dive bar’s main product (“LIQUOR”) and its best advice (“Park In Rear”).
Ever a city to see new pockets of activity sprout up as the wheels of development continue to spin, pockets in Toledo exist that either allow dive bars to thrive or even better, better take advantage of their divey attributes.