While sometimes mischaracterized as the last respite of alcoholism, despair, and questionable motives, Texas dive bars are a reminder that life is not limited to the pressures and profits of the 9-to-5 world. A true dive earns its status through age and patron loyalty, so while dives are outposts from much of society, they’re typically stable businesses and often active in their neighborhoods. Dives are also gathering places, where the members, lubricated by affordable beer and long pours of whisky, solve the world’s problems on a regular basis.
In Texas Dives: Enduring Neighborhood Bars of the Lone Star State, veteran writer Anthony Head and internationally recognized photographer Kirk Weddle visit twelve bars in twelve Texas cities. With pithy text and revealing images, they tell the stories of some of these off-the-radar hangouts of Americana, shining light on the bars and their owners, staffs, and regulars. Head and Weddle are quick to point out that this book is not about drinking, per se: it’s a book about Texas culture intimately observed, plus just enough participation to claim with confidence that dives also serve as community anchor points, social clubs, and even, on occasion, places where enduring friendships are made.
This witty and sympathetic portrayal is sure to become a bucket-list book for general readers, fans of Texana, and almost anyone who has ever ducked around to the corner pub for a quick drink.
ANTHONY HEAD is the author of Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño and other books. His writing has appeared in Texas Highways, Bon Appétit, Robb Report, and The Tasting Panel among other national and international publications. He lives in San Marcos, Texas. KIRK WEDDLE, of Austin, creates enticing imagery for editorial, advertising, and corporate clients around the world. He shoots on location and in the studio.