The general consensus for Doc Holliday’s Saloon seems to be “appreciate it for what it is.”
Lucky for us, it’s a dive bar!
The Dive Bar Tourist was trekking across the country, headed to Burning Man, in a beat-up, 30-year-old RV when he came upon Doc Holliday’s. Miraculously, the RV only broke down once, so DBT got to Reno earlier than planned, so why not do the usual thing: find out where the locals like to hang and start hanging!
Doc Holliday’s has an excellent location, right off the main strip (if you can call it a main strip), across from Harrah’s and near the ballpark. You can expect some tourists to wander in, but mostly it’s locals and drifters. When DBT arrived at Doc’s on this particular late-summer afternoon, there was a nice older woman who kept asking “Where you from, honey?” and then immediately forgetting and asking again. The conversation flows freely at this dive.
That’s just a taste of the…er…culture? you’ll find in this joint.
Doc’s doesn’t serve food, and they never close. (Someone said they don’t even know where the keys to the front door are!) Because this place is open around the clock, you’re likely to get a different experience at different times of the day. The daytime bartender is known for being a little friendlier than the nighttime bartender, but you have to keep in mind that the night bartender has to work harder to keep the place in order.
Here, the bartenders arethe bouncers.
Expect chatty locals during the day and party people at night. Homeless folk wander in and out, trying to decide whether or not to spend their few dollars on a beer or the machine. Doc Holliday’s is a popular spot for bikers, too.
Only visit this dive bar if you like getting to know people from all walks of life.
Come for a cold one and stay for the pool, darts, and, of course, video poker. Argue with the locals about what’s playing on the juke box and gripe about kids these days. You can get a pint of beer for less than $5, well drinks, and top shelf whiskey at a steal. This is where you go to escape those watered-down casino drinks.
As with most dive bars, you’re either going to love or hate the staff. They can be loud and fun, but if you’re a stick-in-the-mud or you’re not spending money, they’ll give you a hard time. Keep an eye on your stuff in case the riff-raff wander in and don’t demand too much from your friendly neighborhood bartender, and you’re sure to have a great time.
Side note: Smoking is allowed here, so you will not come out smelling like roses. You’ll come out smelling like you’ve just been to the best—or at least diviest—dive bar in Reno.
Location: Reno, Nevada
Be sure to try: $2.50 domestic drafts during happy hour