Night of the Undead Bar

Dr. Dremo’s, Arlington’s archetypal dive bar, has seen more drama in its existence than a whole afternoon of cheesy soap operas. It’s condemned! It’s open! The hurricane caved in the roof! It’s re-opened! It’s closing to make way for condos! The county might not approve the condos! It’s moving! It’s not! For the number of times Dremo’s has died and returned, George Romero ought to be making movies about it.

Through it all, people keep coming back to Dremo’s because the beer is good (Fuller’s ESB! On tap!) and it’s the opposite of foofy and pretentious.

Now, I like Dremo’s as much as the next chick who hates beer does, but there’s one thing I just don’t get.

How the HELL does Dremo’s stay in business in the summer? They don’t have AC. There is only one fan, an ancient, rickety, tabletop model pointed straight at the bartenders. The place is a freaking sauna. We went last night to hang out with some friends, but we only lasted 5 minutes because the air was more oppressive inside than outside.

I suppose this might have added to Dremo’s unique brand of always-one-step-ahead-of-condemnation charm, but then I made one simple request: I wanted a big glass of ice to pour my Diet Coke over.

There’s no ice.

No… ice?! How the HELL does a BAR not have ICE?! No AC and no FREEZER?! WTF?

(I realize this is not a shocker to most of you, particularly those in Arlington, but I do most of my drinking downtown, right after work, and don’t spend a lot of time at Dremo’s.)

I drank my Diet Coke as fast as I could, pausing only to hold the can against my forehead and neck to make up for the utter lack of air movement, and yet by the time I had nearly finished it, it was room temperature.

I don’t understand how any establishment in this area, even one with the history of tenacity that Dremo’s has, can attract customers without even some damn ceiling fans and a bag of ice from 7-11. We promptly left and headed for the Courts up the street, as did the other guys sitting at the bar with us.

Sorry Dremo. See you in late September.

4 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 9:49 am

    September? I’ve heard rumors that Dr. Dremo’s will be gone by then, replaced by some bland apartment tower. And as much as I like the Washington Psychotronic Film Society screenings, any bar that can’t give me my Beer + Lime + Ice is not on my short list.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 9:53 am

    Worse case puts Dremo closed around March of 2006, Wayan.

  3. darpino (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 11:11 am

    Never muched cared for the place, even back when it had that other name – Bardo or something-like that. And the WPFS screenings were more fun when they were at the Lucky Bar.

  4. JennB (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 12:25 pm

    No ice? But ice is what distinguishes us from other nations! Isn’t there something in the Bill of Rights about Americans and ice?

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