Chicago Dive Bar Passes (Fails) the Smell Test

South Side's Woodlawn Tap named one of the "Best Dive Bars in America"

There are a lot of bars out there that claim to be dive bars, but aren't the real deal. You know, the types of spots where the posers hang out and drink a few Pabst Blue Ribbons just because it seems like the retro cool thing to do.

But how can you tell when a real dive bar passes the -- I guess you could say, "smell" test?

South Side bar Woodlawn Tap (1172 E. 55th St) doesn't have to worry about its dive bar legitimacy. ranked it as one of the "Best Dive Bars in America."

It searched far and wide for "the greatest spots to pull up a stool, crank the jukebox, and grab yourself a pitcher."

Woodlawn Tap -- or Jimmys as regulars call it in honor of a previous owner -- gets props for once having the distinction of having the worst air quality in a study of 25 Chicago bars.

Of course, the smoking ban has taken care of that, but anyone who's been to a true dive bar before, knows that there's other olfactory annoyances besides smoking to worry about.

You're likely to run into someone from U of C or a blue collar worker in this place, and if it's more information you want, give them a call at (773) 643-5516 -- after all, you wouldn't expect a real dive bar to have a Web site, would you?

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