Alex Twefik, food editor for Philadelphia Magazine, leaned into a bar on South Street for branding itself a "dive bar" with its name.

Twefik recalls a quote from a previous article about the opening of Love in Rittenhouse with Stephen Starr, from its owner Aimee Olexy.  She stated, “Restaurants are what they are. They evolve out of the people who go to them.”

The point is that as hard as an establishment may try to brand itself with names and décor, it’s the patrons that make or break what the place becomes.

This has been the root of the food editor’s qualm with Wine Dive on South Street.  The wine bar has cracked the code for serving a niche audience in a city of many trials and failures in the same area.  Despite its knowledgeable staff and pristine product, the name and concept are what has gotten under the critic’s skin.

Calling yourself a dive bar, in a city that has a rich history of true dives, is something that just shouldn’t be done.  It isn’t a quirky décor that makes a dive – it’s years of sticking around “with your head down, indifferent to the allure of trends and fads,” according to Twefik.


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