Henry's Bar & Grill Has Offered Booze to Garbage Grove's Blue-Collars Since the Nixon Administration

Taylor Hamby / OC Weekly
[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our newest nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]

They sure love their Pabst at Henry's Bar & Grill, a shrine to the sludge. Its good ol' red-white-and-blue color scheme makes an ap-pearance on almost every wall in many forms: metal signs, handmade posters, paper garland and, perhaps the best of all, empty tall boys hanging from the ceiling instead of Christmas ornaments.

Of the two sets who are most stereotyped for drinking Milwaukee's finest, the working class and the hipster, Henry's serves as a haven for the former. It's tucked away in an industrial section of Garden Grove surrounded by a neighborhood; it's well-hidden, hardly a destination bar. The main clientele are locals and folks taking a break from work--stop in at lunch, and you'll see bright-orange Home Depot polos and pails, mechanics' shirts, and soot resting on baseball caps and under fingernails. It's good to have a bar walking distance from work, no?

I asked the gal on the day shift what the specialty is. "I definitely recommend our burgers if you haven't tried them yet," she said. So I ordered a classic cheeseburger and garlic fries and sipped on my Blue Moon in anticipation. The bar was alive, not with the sounds of the Internet jukebox or the announcers from one of the many TVs broadcasting sports, but the sounds of the lumpen proletariat letting off steam. This decompression chamber was packed with conversations of girl trouble and work drama. Co-workers listened and offered advice. A man in a work shirt stopped in and gave the bartender a plate of homemade cookies.

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