Good dive bars are invaluable. Sticky, grimy and dark, they are incomparably disarming. Whether you've been frequenting the same one since before you were legally allowed to be there, or if it's your first time in a new haunt, you will instantly feel at home in a dive bar. There's just something comforting about an old-timey jukebox and the obligatory kitsch you'll inevitably find no matter where you are in the world.
Truly great dives have regulars. They have sassy bartenders and excellent drink specials. They're inconspicuous and will never be trendy. They're stale in every way. John Waters describes his ideal bar this way: "a good one that isn't ironic, that isn't infected with expensive coolness."
While the soul of a dive bar is intangible, certain tangible qualities -- like year-round Christmas lights -- are important indications of a solid establishment. Here are 16 signs of a great dive bar.