• Dan Abernathy

The Sportsman Bar, Kingman Arizona

Updated: Feb 22



When passing through Kingman Arizona, on the historic Route 66, there is an incredible and historic Dive Bar that must be visited The Sportsman Bar was built in 1906 and has been serving highballs and beer over the same wooden bar since. As I sit down for my first cocktail, I wondered if perhaps Tom Joad from the Grapes of Wrath might have sit here, or at the very least John Steinbeck. Whoever it was, the wooden slab is worn smooth from the tens of thousands of people, bellying up to the bar.


Reading Trip Adviser you will see some people don’t share my enthusiasm about the Sportsman Bar, but come on people, it’s a Dive Bar. The main attraction in visiting a Dive Bar is the hardcore character of the unique establishment and even more so the bartender. You don’t venture into these dark, dingy places looking for someone to coddle your needs. If this is what you are seeking, perhaps an Applebee’s would suit you.


Dive Bars have a personality that knows their way around a bar and how to serve a stiff drink, a cold beer and will dish you some attitude if they think you are being a bit judgmental. But when you laugh and call ‘em Darling, they will usually give you a life experience that will last forever.


This is just what I had when I wandered into the Sportsman Bar. It was dark, with no need to change the burnt-out lights bulbs, but my eyes adjust quickly and it was fantastic. There is one door in the front, one door in the back and no windows. There is crazy art and relics, especially in the bathrooms and the walls of the entire bar are holding dollar bills, a tradition that stated decades ago. Sandy was slinging drinks and gave us just what we wanted and did it all with a kind and crooked smile while answering all the questions about where I was at.


The Sportsman Bar is a must stop and see for travelers on Route 66. Like I said, it is a historic jewel for Kingman. – dbA


To see the photographs from this excursion please visit my wordpress blog.

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