April 22nd, 2010

H-Town Showdown: Diesel vs. Big Top

The debates never stop around The Loop Scoop campus. Since all of us are stubborn, we’ve taken to airing out our fights in the public forum. This is where you come in, dear Loopster. We need your help to figure out who wins. That’s why we created the H-Town Showdown. That’s why we need you to read and vote below. Who wins? Diesel Dive Bar or Shoeshine Charlie’s Big Top? It’s a clash of the faux-dive bars!


Contender #1: Diesel Dive Bar
New to the scene, Diesel popped up on San Jacinto on the edges of Midtown earlier this year. It’s secluded, in it’s own unique way, by not fitting in with the other places within walking distance. Appealing to the hispster or fauxhemian sect, it’s dark, loud, and rather open. There are plenty of places to sneak away for a little privacy or rope yourself off from the rest of the crowd. Those two things do not a dive bar make, but they have appropriated the title in their name. For that, we give Diesel Dive Bar the benefit of the doubt and stack it up against the rest of the genre. You’re not going to find barflies brooding in barstools along the counter, but the bartender will crack open a can of Shiner for you. That’s one good sign.


Contender #2: Shoeshine Charlie’s Big Top Lounge
Big Top isn’t old (as in La Carafe old) by any means, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. From the mishmash of leather booths and chairs worthy of being called thrones to the corrugated steel over the bar and lead paint circus scene peeling away from the wall, it feels seasoned to say the least. The bartenders specialize in popping the top of a Pabst Blue Ribbon or four (at least when I’m there). But can it still retain the title of being a dive bar? Big Top is more of a dark, gritty, loud music venue than anything else. They have more of a regular, hardened crowd and if you go on the right night you’ll catch the Todo Moto crew hanging out on the front patio around the abandoned bumper car. Biker gangs equal immediate street/dive cred.

The Final Jabs
- Live Music at Big Top vs. Scantily Clad Dancers at Diesel.
- Walking distance to Tacos a Go-Go if you’re at the Big Top. Never a bad thing.
- Walking distance to Nouveau Antique Art Bar from Diesel. Mix in some Tiffany lamps with your hipsterdom? Probably not.
- Big Top connects to Continental Club’s secluded backyard. Diesel has it’s own secluded second floor for the more private minded.
- Beer in a can? Both got it covered.
- Hiding in the shadows? Both got it covered.

Vote It Out

— Paul


Dive Bar Lover — Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:16 pm

In my humble opinion, Diesel is more like douche than dive…

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