This one was sent to us by fellow dive bar enthusiast, Matthew Beaton. Elliott’s Bar was his dad’s favorite spot until his untimely death in 2017. Elliott’s put up a photo of him in memoriam because, after all, a good dive bar loves its regulars as much as its regulars love their dive.
Now Matthew carries on the tradition of visiting this classic dive—and his dad’s photo—whenever he gets the chance.
The Dive Bar Tourist has had the pleasure of visiting Elliott’s before, during an extended stay in the Bay Area. This little place has been in business for over 100 years (with the exception of a brief stint as an ice cream parlor during Prohibition) and proudly calls itself “Your favorite Dive Bar.”
Danville residents won’t disagree.
Elliott’s is dimly-lit and crowded. It boasts a cool vintage fridge, which is used as a cooler, as well as the original 1940s mahogany bar. That’s where the classiness ends and the diving begins!
A “use facilities at your own risk” sign hangs on the bathroom door, which does not bode well for anyone looking to break the seal. There are a couple of TVs where you can watch the game (but DO NOT call this place a sports bar; it’s a dive bar, plain and simple, so say all of us—and the owner), a juke box you can control from your phone, a couple of arcade games, and a beat-to-shit shuffle board table.
The décor is everything you would expect from a dive, complete with a “Helping ugly people get laid since 1907” sign above the bar. DBT can attest this may especially true of the weekend evening crowd.
The walls are plastered with Budweiser memorabilia, sports pendants, and, of course, treasured photos and newspaper clippings. On the bar top, you’ll find not one, but twoJagermeister tap machines anda Fireball shot chiller. They almost make up for the fact that you’re likely to only find Bud Light on draft.
While most of the regulars at Elliott’s are there for a cold one, the bartenders are knowledgeable and can make anything with hard liquor. Expect strong pours at unbeatableprices.
One visitor called Elliott’s a great escape from “the kiddieville yuppie environment” typical of the Bay Area and DBT agrees! In fact, what makes this dive really special is how people of all ages, from all walks of life, gather here. You’ll find grandparents chatting with grandkids, college kids chatting with war veterans. Elliott’s is a meeting place for anyone who loves good conversation and cheap drinks. It’s one of those rare places that manages to bridge the generation gap and bring an entire community together.
It’s a place full of memories—for our friend Matthew, in particular.
We need more places like this, and DBT certainly hopes Elliott’s Bar will be around for many more years to come.
Bring cash, as this place does not accept cards, and say hi to Ruthie the bartender for us!
Location: Danville, California
Be sure to try: $5 Jameson’s