The 6 Best Dive Bars in New Brunswick

One of the draws of the Ale 'N 'Wich, on the corner of Hamilton and Louis streets, is its fenced-in patio. Credits: Ale 'N 'Wich

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Sometimes all you need is a cold pint of beer, a raggedy barstool and a good jukebox.

Sure, downtown New Brunswick’s chic bar and restaurant scene has few rivals in the area, or even the state. Where else can you hear jazz four nights a week, eat kangaroo or catch a first-rate theatrical performance?

Yet there’s something equally charming about a good dive bar. Unpretentious and sometimes unsavory, these watering holes tend to pour heavy and charge light. While you won’t find any Michelin stars in these joints, you will find good conversation and interesting people. And you might leave with a story or two.

Sign Up for E-News

TAPinto New Brunswick compiled a list of the city’s quintessential dive bars. Here they are, in no particular order.

Ale ’N Wich, 246 Hamilton St.

From the pool table to its fenced-in patio, this bar’s amenities make it among the best places in New Brunswick to grab a pint or a pitcher. Since 1974, the ‘Wich has served as a meeting ground for punks, Rutgers students and just about everyone else. Its low lights, wood furnishings and tin ceiling make for a cozy place to hide out. You can usually get Rolling Rock and Miller Lite on the cheap, but there’s also plenty of craft beer, if that’s your thing.

Patrick’s Pub, 309 Somerset St.

Step below the street and into this barroom, and you’re likely to feel as if you’ve traveled back to a time when neighborhood shot-and-a-beer bars were still king. Patrick’s mostly attracts working-class Latinos, with a few artists and the like. Mugs of Budweiser cost $1.75, no matter the time or day. But this place really shines in the late afternoon, as its quiet, dark atmosphere wipes away the stresses of the workday.

Kelly’s Korner, 75 Morell St.

Does it get more New Brunswick than Kelly’s? This Irish neighborhood joint draws cops, firefighters, construction workers and college students—all of whom come for the affordable drinks and friendly people. It also offers free hot dogs on Fridays, in addition to its regular—and shockingly inexpensive—menu of typical bar fare.

Corner Tavern, 111 Somerset St.

A stone’s throw from the train station, the Corner Tavern is another establishment that has taken in a diverse crowd. It has since 1933. The Inzano family, the owners, always post agreeable drink specials. They also have a ton of good stories, from the evolution of New Brunswick to barroom lore. Plus, drinkers can play pool, shuffleboard and darts.

The Hub, 123 French St.

A controversial choice, this small bar lives in the shadow of an attached liquor store. It only has a handful of stools, and sometimes you might find the bar covered in packaging or supplies. But as far as holes in the wall go, The Hub is unique. A seemingly never-ending stream of customers to the liquor store provides bargoers with a show to complement their drinks. The store also stocks any number of libations for when it’s time to go home.

Court Tavern, 124 Church St.

There’s little that needs to be said about this fabled rock-’n’-roll club. Sweaty and covered in stickers, the Court Tavern has given rise to some of the state’s most notable bands—most recently, The Gaslight Anthem—and welcomed punk, indie and metal legends from across the world. Come for the history and stay for the bargain drinks.

But, hey, we’re not the only ones with a say here. Think we missed something? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


TAPinto Nutley's Kevin Knight among Jaycee's Distinguished Service Honorees

March 19, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Jaycees wil hold the 47th annual Distinguished Service Awards Wednesday evening, April 12 at the Valley Regency in Clifton.

This year's awardees are:

Outstanding Young Man

Michael J. Nevin

Civic Affairs

Janet Canonico


Robyn Powell


Kevin Knight

Public Health and  Safety

Thomas Nicolette

The ...

Nutley Boy Scouts Deliver Bags Ahead of Scouting for Food 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Boy Scouts are spending a part of their St. Patrick's Day weekend distributing collection bags to households throughout the township ahead of the annual 'Scouting for Food' drive to benefit Nutley Family Service Bureau's food pantry operation. . The township wide food drive takes place March 24.

The distribution of bags a week ahead of the ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, March 19, 5:30 PM

Nutley Parks and Recreation , nutley

Shrek Jr. Auditions and Callback Date Change

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness


Tue, March 20, 5:30 PM

Nutley Parks and Recreation , nutley

Shrek Jr. Auditions and Callback Date Change

Arts & Entertainment


Tue, March 20, 7:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Martin Luther King, Newark, and the Cool Spring ...

Education Law & Justice Other


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Understanding Liver Disease

Education Health & Wellness


Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness


Thu, March 22, 6:00 PM

Mountainside Medical Center, Glen Ridge

Power Up your Grocery Cart

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Nutley Public Schools March 12 School Security Update

March 12, 2018

Dear Nutley Parents, Staff and Community,

In our efforts to keep the community updated regarding safety and security, I wanted to reach out with another update.

On Monday, March 5, the Nutley Board of Education arranged for a leadership group from the district to meet with a team from Homeland Security including representatives from the Office of Emergency Management, the State Police, the ...

Nutley Public School Year Calendar Clarification

Dear Nutley Staff, Parents and Community,

As you know, we have now used five emergency closing days, one more than we were allotted for the 2017-2018 school year.

It was brought to our attention, prior to this week's snow storm, that due to the timing of Good Friday with Spring Break, the district scheduled to take days away from the beginning of the Spring Break rather than from the ...


Prism Capital Partners, ON3 to Host Suburban Revitalization Forum March 8 in Nutley

March 6, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Prism Capital Partners and On3 will present the second part of a Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 8 in the auditorium of Building 200 on the ON3 campus. Each forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

Part two of the series, March 8,will discuss ways redevelopment can be tailored to take advantage of the demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle changes and ...

Speaker Added to March 8 Suburban Revitalization Forum - Chris Porter

NUTLEY, NJ - A Suburban Revitalization Forum will be presented by Prism Capital Partners and ON3 on March 5 and 8 at 6:30 p.m. on the ON3 campus, in the auditorium of Building 200 on Metro Boulevard, 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley.

The two-part series will feature nationally recognized speakers who will examine trends in urban planning and future growth as New ...

Man Dies from South Orange House Fire on Sunday

March 18, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A man has died from a house fire on Warwick Avenue in South Orange on Sunday afternoon, stated Thomas Fennelly, Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

The fire, which began about 2 p.m. was contained by about 5 p.m., and required mutual aid from fire departments in neighboring towns, according to firefighters at the scene.

Six-Year-Old Discovered Sleeping Unattended on West Orange School Bus

WEST ORANGE, NJ — When a bus driver employed by the Hunterdon County Educational Service Commission, which performs certain bus runs for the West Orange School District, failed to perform the mandatory inspection of his bus after dropping students off at Redwood Elementary School and returning to the bus depot on Friday morning, the district confirmed that a 6-year-old student had ...

Former Rumson High School Student, 19, Arrested Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, N.J. -  A former Rumson high school student was arrested in Ithaca New York. Maximilien R. Reynolds, 19, was charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record. Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, 300 rounds ...

Sparta High School Students Create Donate Life Club

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School students held their inaugural meeting of the Donate Life Club on Wednesday, March 14. Minutes after the walk out in solidarity with Parkland school shooting victims, thirty students met in a classroom during lunch to hear from the NJ Sharing Network about organ donation.

Many of the students were classmates of Isak Anderson, a boy who passed away suddenly ...

Avon Loses Its Last ‘Grand’ Hotel to the Claw of an Excavator

March 18, 2018

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — In less than two days, an Avon-by-the-Sea landmark that stood for 130 years was reduced to a huge pile of rubble. The Norwood Inn no longer stands on the corner of Norwood and Second Avenues — the last of the stately hotels that once graced the streets of Avon.

As onlookers gathered around the demolition site on March 15 and March 16, an excavator clawed its ...

Nutley Police Department Blotter March 3 - March 9, 2018

March 10, 2018

The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can send a (non ...

Pro Staff Institute announces partnership with Uber Health

NUTLEY, NJ - Pro Staff Institute is proud to announce their participation in Uber Health, a new transportation program designed to provide transportation to patients. Pro Staff Institute is the first physical therapy center in the nation to leverage Uber Health, and joins over other 100 health care organizations in the U.S., including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care ...

The Negative Effects Of Prolonged Sitting And Workplace Tips From Pro Staff Physical Therapy

In recent years, media outlets have described sitting as the new smoking. This may seem like a stretch, but once you break that statement down it carries some truth. Cigarettes were not thought to be the cause of lung cancer and other serious diseases until the 1950s. Like the cigarette industry in the 1920s, the effects of prolonged sitting throughout the workday has largely been ignored and ...

The Other Way NFSB Feeds Families

I remember how my teenage pride swelled the first time a friend confided in me for emotional support. Before long, my phone was clogged nightly as friends tapped my unearthed talent to lament breakups, or collapse under academic expectation. Because therapy was in the shadows then, and often thought of as a crutch for the “sick” or the “weak,” parents never sought ...

The Women Artists of Nutley Exhibit at the Nutley Public Library

 Enjoy an exhibit of new works by members of The Women Artists of Nutley in the gallery and display case of the Nutley Public Library during the months of March and April. Acrylic, gouache and watercolor paintings as well photography, pastels and drawings by these talented women will be featured.

Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States in March every year. This art ...

Educational Leadership with Coach Tom Gargiulo

Learn some of the secrets of high-performing teachers and students with “Coach” Tom Gargiulo on Thursday, March 1st at 7:00 p.m. Motivate yourself and others with time-tested tips and strategies presented by Coach Tom in a lively and interactive manner. Mr. “G” is in his 28th year of teaching and coaching and teaches Physical Education at ...

Nutley United Soccer Club - Spring Season

The Nutley United Soccer Club is the travel division of the soccer program offered by the Nutley Parks & Recreation Department directed by Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci. Teams play in the very competitive Northern Counties Soccer Association against towns in Northern NJ and Lower NY State. The travel soccer program offers a high level of instruction by professional trainers and experienced ...

Registration for Spring Tennis Lessons Now Open

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces Spring Tennis Lesson registration is now open!  The Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation offers a top quality tennis program, directed under the supervision of Barry Rubach, an accredited member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association and former Collegiate Champion.  Classes range in age groups starting in 1st grade and continuing through ...

Commissioner Tucci Opens Registration For Toddler Sports Sampler

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation are pleased to open registration for Toddler Sports Sampler.  This program is for Nutley youngsters ages 3-5. Not quite sure sport your child loves most? Look no further!  This class allows kids to participate in a variety of sports that will help them in their decision of which sport they enjoy most. Each ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 19, 2018


TRENTON - New Jersey, one of the only employers who pays its workers for unused sick time, and then appears mystified when it struggles to balance its budget, may finally be capping sick-leave payouts.  The proposal, obviously unpopular with labor unions, has been discussed before, but not with traction. It is back in the mix again, to cap payouts ...

The Price We Pay for School Security

March 17, 2018

In light of recent events with the Parkland school shooting, I understand the concern of parents when it comes to school safety.  Especially, when you end up having an incident from a high school kid in your own town posting threatening videos the next day. The BOE, police officers, and other administrators all handled the incident promptly and took the proper steps in calming jittered ...

#Enough Nutley High School Walkout: By Students, for Students

To the Editor:

Disgusted by federal inaction, devastated by the Parkland shooting, and determined to see real change, students around the country walked out of class at 10 a.m. on March 14th, one month after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students of Nutley High School also protested, in solidarity with students from over 3000 other schools ...

Ten Ways to Be Productive on a Snow Day

March 7, 2018

Another Nor’Easter has smacked us in the face today.  After so many of us lost power for what seemed to be an eternity, it’s a good time to make up for lost productivity and work on the famous Stephen Covey Quadrant 2 Activities.  What are they you may ask?  Those are the activities that are Important, yet not urgent (well some of them can be).  In other ...

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Presents:Ron Guidry Book Signing, Apr. 3

March 19, 2018

Ron Guidry, known as "Gator" and "Louisiana Lightning" to his teammates, quickly rose in 1977 to become the ace of the Yankees' stellar pitching staff, helping the team regarded as one of the most famous and controversial in Yankees history to win two World Series championships. 

Join us on Tuesday, April 3 for a signing of Guidry's new ...

4th Wall Announces Auditions for FUN HOME

4th Wall Theatre, a non-union NJ theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles in the final production of its 2017-18 season, FUN HOME, with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. 4th Wall’s production will be directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Grae-Hauck. The show will be presented at ...

Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc 50/50 Raffle

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. (JLMN) has provided support and service to women and children in Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Montclair, Newark and Verona for more than 95 years.

Our trained, enthusiastic members are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Past Deputy Grand Marshall of St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Merchant Marine veteran James J.
Read more
Nov 23, 1963 - Mar 12, 2018
Jeffrey Roy Imhoff passed away on March 12, 2018. He was a lifelong resident of Nutley, graduating ...
Read more