Photo Courtesy of Carina Bosse

6 Great Dive Bars

Mendocino County is home to some fantastic bars, many of which have been serving patrons for close to a hundred years, and some of which are new to the scene – but still authentically interested in a good drink at a fair price.

Photo Courtesy of Carina Bosse

Dick’s Place

How to describe Dick’s Place? The last bastion of Mendocino’s rough-and-tumble past, a true community dive bar surrounded by boutiques and gift shops, perched on the headlands overlooking the mighty Pacific. For all its dive-bar appeal, Dick’s is a friendly place, and you’re welcome to join the locals. Just don’t ask what time the whales go by. 

Photo Courtesy of @goatcheeseenthustiast

Golden West

Fort Bragg at one point was famous, so they say, for having more bars and churches than any other small town in America – true or not, a pretty good indicator of its past. The Golden West was one of many bars that used to be flooded by men returning from the lumber camps to blow their pay over the weekend. Unlike many of the others, it has survived, and was recently bought by a young local couple, who are committed to preserving its integrity as an historic dive, while offering more than the beer-and-a-shot that used to be all you could get away with. 

The Milano

A key player in Fort Bragg’s dive bar scene, The Milano distinguishes itself with a large back patio. Like many local dives, it has maintained its rough edges while fostering a newer, more welcoming spirit.

Photo Courtesy of @dreadfullvegan

Forest Club

A classic dive bar that delivers the goods while not taking itself too seriously, The Forest Club features firepits, pool tables and, according to their website, one of their bartenders is a “5-time spelling bee runer up.”

Photo Courtesy of Sergio Alves

Little John's Bar

Now in its second location, in Willits, after a fire consumed the original John’s Place, Little John’s Bar is a classic dive with bar games, live music, and a good happy hour. Plus everyone loves second chances. 

Sign of the Whale

A charming, rustic staple of the South Coast bar scene, The Sign of the Whale also makes a point of carrying more local spirits than any other bar in the county. 

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