What's in a dive bar? 5 dives to see in Central Pa

When I spoke to Paulina Georgaras, owner of Wrightsville’s 5ive Star Dive Bar which opened October 1, I had to ask – what’s the appeal in opening a dive bar?

In an era when craft beer restaurants and pubs are en vogue, opening a dive bar seems to be so “over.” For instance, Georgaras says 5ive Star – located in the building that used to be the Flying Dutchman on Front Street – hasn’t seen a lot of business, because of the “dump” that the previous bar had been.

But, Georgaras said, people like what they like. And in the Wrightsville area, people like dive bar food – as well as the prices.

Instead of trying to revamp the building into something completely different, Georgaras and her brother Aris Karageorg decided to stick with what the area was familiar with.

“It was always a dive bar,” Georgaras says.

They’re hoping to have daily specials, and to keep it maintained and hopping with activities.

“Starting January 4, we’ll have a pool league every Monday,” Georgaras says.

And while business has been slow since 5ive Star opened due to the Dutchman’s reputation, Georgaras said there hasn’t been a negative comment on the food or service. It’s just a matter of getting more people in to try it. Before long, the co-owners are hoping to open at 7 a.m. on Fridays to get the third-shifters in.

But the story of 5ive Star Dive Bar says more about the persistence of the dive bar than anything else. It’s a place to go with friends that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and where locals can go to be themselves. It’s not a fad, it’s a kind of hangout that will always have its niche.

With 17 reviews on Facebook, 5ive Star has a solid 4.6 out of 5 stars. On October 19, user Brad Geesey wrote, “Friendly staff and a huge improvement from the last place that was there. Nice place to hang out and have a beer with friends.”

The references to 5ive Star being an improvement over Flying Dutchman continue, and only solidify the notion that dives not only have a place in Wrightsville, but a strong presence in Central Pa. overall.

We would like to present our transformation video to you. A close look at how we became 5ive Star Dive BarIt was a long journey, but we made it! Please share to help us reach people who have no idea we opened. Thank you!Video by -> 5ive Star Impressions

Posted by 5ive Star Dive Bar on Thursday, December 10, 2015

So, what is a dive bar?
For the purposes of this article, the term dive bar is defined as the results that come up when you search “[York, Lancaster, Harrisburg] Pa dive bar” on the Internet, accompanied by my own intuition.
But I also asked myself what was present at all the bars that the web deemed dives. They turned out to be daily specials, weekly activities and die-hard regulars.
Of those results, I randomly chose four located throughout York, Lancaster and Harrisburg – this includes 5ive Star.

5ive Star Dive Bar

Where: 338 S Front St., Wrightsville

Specials:
Sloppy Monday – $1 Sloppy Joe sliders
$2 meatball sliders
$1 Miller Lite pints

Taco Tuesday – $1 tacos
$3 Corona bottles
$3 Jose Cuervo tequila

Wing It Wednesday – $5.99 dozen jumbo wings
$2 Coors Light pints
$3 Jack Daniels

Philly Thursday – $7.99 Philly Cheese Steak or Pepper Steak Sub
$2 Coors Light Bottles
$5 Martinis

Crabby Friday – $7.99 crab balls
$6.99 fish and chips
$2 Yuengling Lager pints
$3 Jagermeister shots
$3 Fireball shots

My Big Fat Gyro Saturday – $7.99 lamb or chicken gyro
$5 Long Island Iced Tea
$3 Wines

NFL Sunday – Flatbread Pizza – $3.99/6 inch or $6.99/12 inch
$3 Bloody Marys
$2 Bud Light Bottles

Best eats: Gyro, cream of crab soup

Gab (on Facebook):
‎Julie Ehrhart‎: All you need to know is that the food is awesome and the staff is going to take great care of you and your family – come down and have some fun.
Michael Wheeler: Stopped here today for the first time–great food, drinks and superb people. Coming back Monday for Sloppy Joe sliders.
Peggy Kellar: Had a great time tonight at the 5ive Star Dive Bar! Thanks to Aris and the staff for taking care of me. Look forward to seeing you again soon!

Hey, The Waterway York regulars – how would you describe Waterway in one sentence?

Posted by Fly Magazine on Monday, December 14, 2015

Waterway

Where: 220 West Philadelphia St., York

Specials:
DJs Thursday-Sunday

Karaoke Monday

Happy hours everyday from 8-10 p.m.

Best eats: Crab grilled cheese and hog wings

Gab (on Facebook):
Gerald Orr: My home [away] from home – great people amazing place to kick back after a long week. Long live Waterway
Mike Djhawk Hoffman: It’s kind of like the TV sitcom Cheers… Who wouldn’t want to go where everyone knows your name? Love it!
Linda Collins: Friendly staff, yummy food, and a warming, smoke-free atmosphere!

Snappers in Harrisburg was so good. That burger… Mmm.

A photo posted by Hyde (@shredpunx) on

Snapper’s Bar & Grill

Where: 120 E. Allen St., Mechanicsburg

Specials: Daily – Happy hour 4 to 6 p.m. $6 domestic pitchers $5 appetizers $4 house wines $1 off all beers Monday – Troeg’s Pints $3.50 Middle Neck Clams Wings and Chicken Bites Peel and Eat Shrimp Tuesday – Stella Artois Drafts $4 Pasta night $15.95 Wednesday – Yuengling Lager Pints $2 Fresh Fish Fry $11 Wings and chicken bites Thursday – Bud Lite drafts $2.50 Long Island iced teas $4.50 Queen cut prime rib $17 Friday, Saturday – Coors Light drafts $2.50 Sunday – Miller Lite pitchers $5.50 Prime rib melts Wings Braised short rib sliders Lobster mac and cheese Peel-and-eat shrimp

Best eats: Ribs

Gab (on Google): Kaitlyn Laughlin: Every time that I come home to Pennsylvania to visit my family I always make sure that I stop into Snapper’s. Not only is the food always amazing and fresh, but the service is incredibly friendly and attentive. The owners, Athena and Tom, are by far the kindest people that you will ever meet and always go above and beyond to make sure that my family and I have the greatest time. The quality and experience cannot be overstated. Gomer Pyle: Been here three times now. Best kept secret in the area. Service is excellent and you can get casual bar menu in the dining room. Bar is bright and open. They also have Stella on tap. Slavia Schrey: Great food and good customer service. We enjoyed it so much. I would recommend it. 

Hildy’s Tavern

Where: 448 W Frederick St., Lancaster

Specials:
Daily (9-11 p.m.) – $6 large domestic pitcher
$4 well drinks

Best eats: Order in

Gab (on Facebook):
Scott Snyder: Typical dive bar, lots of college kids and locals most of the time.
Kimberly Brown: Most of the bartenders are awesome, atmosphere is great!!
Jeanne Cope: Friendly people, feel comfortable going in alone!

Classy Redheaded flapper and her pearls #iwantthissign #zembies

A photo posted by Naomi (@gingerfarmingfashionista) on

Zembie’s Sports Tavern

Where: 226 N 2nd St., Harrisburg

Specials:
Daily – Happy hour, Monday – Friday 5-7 p.m., Sunday 8-10 p.m.
All domestic pitchers $6 Monday – Friday

Monday – $2 Miller Lite pints
$5.75 Miller Lite pitchers
$5 specialty burgers

Tuesday – $3 well vodka drinks
$.60 jumbo shrimp

Wednesday – $2 Sol bottles
$2 tacos

Thursday – $3 Blue Moon pints
$9 Blue Moon pitchers

Friday – $5 Captain & Coke pints

Saturday – Craft/micro beer of the month
$.50 wings

Sunday – $2 Coors Light pints
$7.50 Coors Light pitchers
$.50 wings

Best eats: Wings

Gab (on Google):
Jacob Evans: One of my favorite spots, and that is saying something since I don’t smoke and rarely do karaoke. It’s all about the people here. Erin, Maddi, Meghan, Pauli [are] all very attentive, food is the best when Jay is working, I always order the enchiladas, extra spicy. Wings are good and it is a sports bar so always good beer specials and screens. If you are ever here, ask for the girl with the lip ring!
Brittany Baker: Always a fun time – great atmosphere and service!
Kevin L: Always great service. Great atmosphere. Best sports bar in the area. Gotta get the wings. Negative [reviewers] are cry babies who believe the bull they read in the papers. Diverse crowd every day.

Which dive bar do you frequent? Add to our list, or let us know what you think of the bars in this story on Twitter and Facebook.

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Posted in Articles, Drink, Drink – Harrisburg, Drink – Lancaster, Drink – York, Eat, Eat – Harrisburg, Eat – Lancaster, Eat – York, Harrisburg, Headlines, Lancaster, York

Blayne Waterloo is a reporter for Fly. She loves food, books, her dogs, her husband... and food.

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