The term “dive bar” can be a good thing. A lot of people hear the words and instantly think of a dark, dirty, cramped bar with two types of clients: sketchy regulars and sketchy outsiders . My definition of a good dive is something located a little bit off the beaten path, low key people, and friendly staff. It’s decor is not swayed by the popular opinion, and the atmosphere is different but not creepy. Kaiju, at 1004 E Oak St in Germantown is a perfect picture of what I am talking about.
We walked into the Oak Street storefront at 4:15 pm and the bartender was taking the chairs down, setting them up at their respective tables. The place smells fresh. It smells clean. I’m reminded of an Outkast song. I’ll give you a minute to catch that… (so fresh and so clean, clean). There is plenty of light coming through the front windows. There’s also a back room and a side room with pool tables. Their rotating draft menu is on a chalkboard on the wall at the end of the bar. It’s good. It’s really good. Like, they have a unicorn or two there. They also have a bottle list with the likes of Three Floyds Cimmerian Sabertooth Berzerker and Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine. You’ll also find Jolly Pumpkin, Evil Twin, Moody Tongue, and so many other cool brews. To put you over the top, Kaiju offers signature cocktails and live music! From the outside, this place doesn’t look like much at all. I passed right by as I was trying to find it. Oak Street is one way, so if you pass Kaiju then you have to circle back around. It kind of felt like being stuck in the Lost Woods of Hyrule; I was turning right a lot. Speaking of Hyrule, there are all sorts of hero figurines adorning the shelves behind the bar. There are a few tables on the sidewalk for al fresco beers, which might be the only indication that there’s even anything occupying that spot.
Yes. Not only is their beer list special, they have a daily happy hour from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm that consists one dollar off all beer and well drinks, plus free pool. They also have free pool all day Saturday and Sunday! As far as food goes, there is a serious snack bar for munching. Another special feature to discuss is the fact that Kaiju offers carry-out beers, so on your way out you can grab a bomber of your favorite coldie. Make no mistake, there are not a lot of frills here (although, their website is actually super nice), but the important items are covered, including service. Our bartender was kind, attentive, and knowledgable. What more could you ask of him?
Look, Kaiju isn’t going to roll out a white tablecloth for you to eat your Reese’s Cups. There’s no valet parking, and you won’t have to dress up in your finest club gear to get in. What you will get is a bunch of good stuff. Check out Kaiju in Germantown when you get a second, or when you feel like grabbing a Snicker’s bar and a delicious, and sometimes rare, craft beer. Cheers!
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