Upstairs you can explore the dimly lit old brothel -- remnants include a rusty refrigerator, discarded pinball machine and clawfoot tub.
Keep heading down the hall and you'll find Nate, an elderly gentleman who serves cheap drinks and shares plenty of local history.
Downstairs you can order a famous "soul burger."
Earnestine & Hazel's, 531 S. Main St., Memphis; + 1 901 523 9754; Monday-Friday and Sunday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 a.m.
Frolic Room, Los Angeles
LA Weekly crowned the Frolic Room the city's best dive in 2012, and few would argue with the bar's legendary status.
Charles Bukowski, the prolific poet and novelist whose favorite subject was the City of Angels, drank here often. His portrait hangs above the cash register.
Bartenders donning suits add a touch of class to the place, but not enough to disqualify the Frolic Room as a true Hollywood dive. The embedded grime dates to the 1930s.
Frolic Room, 6245 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, + 1 323 462 5890; open daily 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Mac's Club Deuce, Miami Beach
Not many bars boast a happy hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the Deuce is one of them, where drinks are two for one for 11 hours.
The neon lights outside scream Miami, the black-tiled floors inside scream, "We haven't been waxed since 1926!" and these characteristics appear to be celebrity bait: Keith Richards and Cameron Diaz have been spotted here.
Kate Moss was reportedly once denied entry at the door. No one gets special treatment.
Mac's Club Deuce, 222 14th St., Miami Beach; + 1 305 531 6200; open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pinkie Master's Lounge, Savannah
Legend has it that Jimmy Carter, a friend of Pinkie's, stood on the bar and announced his run for the presidency here, and this haunt still draws politicians, as well as art students and aged regulars.
Faded rebel flags and political memorabilia adorn the walls and the stiff gin cocktails and cold PBR tall boys are as cheap as ever, $3.50 and $2 respectively. There's also free Tabasco popcorn.
Pinkie Master's Lounge, 318 Drayton St., Savannah; + 1 912 238 0447; Monday-Saturday 5 p.m.-3 a.m.