Reg: Welcome to the Salty Spittoon. How tough are ya?This is the place where bad guys hang out to plot their nefarious deeds. It is a bar. If it's not dingy and/or a strip club, it is whatever the latest incarnation of "nightclub" looks like — a throng of people dancing in ways that resemble an orgy — the Coolest Club Ever, because as we all know, Evil Is Cool. The principal bar in any self-respecting Wretched Hive will naturally be of this kind. There is usually a pool table. Typically the site of Villains Out Shopping, but if the heroes wander into such a seedy dive, chances are that a Bar Brawl will break out when the local thugs attempt to intimidate the newcomers. In modern times, this is where you will find Orcus on His Throne — a modern-day royal court, complete with bodyguards and a crowd of lessers cheapening themselves for their master's amusement. Contrast of course Good-Guy Bar, where heroes (or sometimes heroes and villains) hang out. A Den of Iniquity is a comparable setting that's hidden from the public. If set in a sci-fi or fantasy setting, it will likely be a Bar Full of Aliens.
Tough Guy: How tough am I? How tough am I? I had a bowl of nails for breakfast this mornin'!
Reg: Yea-hah, so?
Tough Guy: Without any milk.
Tough Guy: How tough am I? How tough am I? I had a bowl of nails for breakfast this mornin'!
Reg: Yea-hah, so?
Tough Guy: Without any milk.
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Anime & Manga
- The Devil's Nest Bar in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Natsuki from Mai-HiME frequents such a bar to gather information on shady dealings.
- Nagi visits one in Mai-Otome to participate in shady dealings, especially when one John Smith is concerned.
- In Sailor Moon SuperS, the fourth season, the Amazon Trio had their own bar in the Dead Moon Circus. A bartender was never seen nor was any furniture other then the bar itself (The background being empty blackness). The only way viewers knew it was at the circus was because the Circus's Logo was seen in some shots.
- The Yellow Flag bar in Black Lagoon. It isn't any noticeably worse than the rest of Roanapur, but it is considered neutral territory by the gangs of the city. It still manages to be blown apart on a semi-regular basis.
- The Mascot Village in Dai Mahou Touge has one of these. It's where Punie first meets Paya-tan.
- Star Driver has a bar where Vanishing Age hang out and play darts.
- A digital bar in Yureka is where professional, specialized murderers just seem to hang out, along with shady, superpowerful businesspeople, conveniently allowing them to conduct deals with each other, and with our questionably motivated protagonists every now and then.
- In Yu Gi Oh Zexal, there's a place called BARian; it's unclear exactly where it is, but this seedy bar with poor lighting seems to be a popular place for the Barians, the villains in season two. (Although, the only customers who have been seen there are two of them, Alito and Girag.)
- In The Seven Deadly Sins, the Boar Hat can be seen as this from a different perspective since the Seven Deadly Sins are seen as criminals within the setting of the manga.
- The Jikochuu in DokiDoki! Precure have one as their HQ where they hang out when not attacking. It's got a bowling alley, and it even has a sleazy Film Noir saxophone musical motiff in its background.
- My Hero Academia has a small, classic-looking bar that also serves as the base for the antagonistic League of Villains. Its bartender is even one of its members, Kurogiri.
- Dante trashes one that's run by demons in the very beginning of Devil May Cry: The Animated Series.
- The Bar With No Name, in Medina County, Ohio (of the Marvel Universe) — infamously the location where the vigilante Scourge of the Underworld disguised himself as the bartender to assassinate 18 supervillains (who had ironically gathered there to discuss how to deal with all the recent Scourge murders). Marvel's Bar With No Name has multiple branches; there's another one operating in New York City.
- This story was reused in an issue of Punisher: War Journal. A group of villains gather at the New York branch to honor Stilt-Man, a supervillain who the Punisher had killed in issue #1 of the series. This time, the bartender is the Punisher, who poisons everyone's drinks and blows the place up. Unlike the Scourge incident, everyone survives and it was back in business in less than a month.
- Regular Mooks go to Josie's.
- A few issues of DC's Justice League International featured a downstairs dive called The Dark Side, that appeared to cater primarily to second-, third-, and no-tier baddies. It also featured a wallboard listing which villains were active, which were in prison, and which were sidelined or missing for various reasons.
- Later, much of the JLI team would re-unite as the Superbuddies and discover their new neighbor, former supervillain Richard "Dick" Hertz (alias Blackguard) was starting a bar next door. While his place (also called the Dark Side) wouldn't actively encourage villainous patrons, his partner (our old buddy Guy Gardner) advised it's best to let them come in should they decide to, seeing as how this is such a litigious society and all.
- Supergirl has visited some seedy bars through her career:
- In The Brave and the Bold story arc The Lords of Luck, Kara needs to hire Lobo to take her to Rann, and her "guide" insists on stopping by every seedy bar he knows along the way.
- In Justice League United #5, Supergirl and her fellow Leaguers visit Block-C20, a derelict space station turned into bar for bounty hunters and criminals.
- In Watchmen, Rorschach tends to visit a bar filled with seedy lowlives whenever he needs info on criminals. This for him means beating people up until they give him a lead or at least until he decides they know nothing. Needless to say, the locals are all scared shitless by him.
- Except that one guy. Shame about his fingers.
- In the Under the Hood fake-documentary feature that was released with the Tales of the Black Freighter, there's a snippet of an interview with the bartender of a bar that Rorschach frequents. He defends his customers and condemns Rorschach. Ironic, considering his patrons are criminals and Rorschach is the so-called hero. Also, within the Black Freighter mini-continuity, there is a pub where pirates congregate.
- By sheer statistics it's unlikely that more than a small percentage of the bar's patrons are actual criminals, but Rorschach isn't interested in whose fingers he breaks in such a place.
- Except that one guy. Shame about his fingers.
- Deadpool used to frequent one of these, the Hellhouse (previously Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Children), both for mercenary work and R&R.
- He also goes to the Bar With No Name mentioned above.
- The Penguin's place of business tends to be this for the Mafia types. Doesn't always work out. Two Face: Year One had the freaks take it over, until the SWAT team invaded, killing all the expendable lackeys. And one penguin. An actual penguin, not the supervillain.
- Kingdom Come, where heroes and villains tend to switch sides just for the hell of it, has an underground bar where many hang out. It also appears in its partial sequel The Kingdom.
- Rorschach of Watchmen fame makes a cameo in a couple of panels. In one panel he's breaking Brother Power's fingers.
- Every bar in Gotham City. One story even said that Batman pays to keep several of them open just so he can have places to overhear information.
- The Iceberg Lounge nightclub (the one run by the Penguin) is one that stands out, both in its popularity with crooks and with Batman if he needs to know something.
- There is one located in the Savage Dragon version of Chicago. Its name is never given but it is a popular hangout for supervillains.
- In Wanted, Wesley's father reveals he met Wesley's mom at a BGB called "The Masquerade Club" during a sex party.
- The Bastion in Copperhead has a single bar that hosts a constant low-intensity barfight. Just getting a drink involves elbowing past several people and throwing a few punches.
- The Pirate Pegasus features a bar in Thieve's Hold, a gathering place for pirates.
- The Slime Bar in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf is implied to be one, though it is only mentioned in "Wild's First Christmas".
- In the original Shadowchasers, there's The Den, a place in Neo Domino City where ophidia hang out. (Not all ophidia are villains, but at this point in the timeline, a lot are, and Ember meets Hebi-Na, who clearly is at this point, here.) The fic also mentions a few other bars that cater to specific races, like the Meat Locker, a nightclub for orcs, bugbears, goblins, and gnolls, which other races were "discouraged" from going to.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl story The Vampire of Steel, Willy's Place is the place where Zol-Am goes to gather an army of undead (“Is there a gathering place where our kind can be found, in this city?”, he asks).
The moon was up and the night was, thankfully, almost cloudless. Willy’s Bar was a place which the living had no business visiting. It still had a bustling and varied clientele. It was run by a bumbling demon who trucked with the criminal supernatural element (which, in Sunnydale, was just about all of it), and you could find pretty much your phantasmagoria of ghoulies, ghosties, and long-leggity beasties there, with their beverages of choice.
Buffy and her friends were among the few breathing folk who came there in a capacity other than as victims.
This time, the Slayer went in with her redheaded friend, the latter of whom was wearing her Supergirl outfit under her jumpsuit.
- The Canceled Op in No Gods, Only Guns. Given that it's a human-friendly dive bar and Humanity Is Insane (because the fanfic is a Borderlands 2/Mass Effect crossover) this might be a given, but it goes deeper. See, the three Asari that decide to rob it have picked the wrong one, because it's where mercenaries go when their missions get canceled, hence the name. So when the Asari try and rob it, a curb-stomp ensues.
- In A Shadow of the Titans, the HIVE has a fully stocked bar in its lower levels, complete with bartender, bouncer, and karaoke machine. Since they're all villains, they don't care that most of its clientele are underage.
- In What About Witch Queen?, there's The Red Boar, bar in Weselton city where society's worst meet. Bar fights seem to be regular occurrence, bartender misses part of his ear, and smuggler king Drachner uses it as his local HQ. Kristoff even outright calls it "a bad-guy bar".
- The gangsters, Sky Pirates and gamblers from Dakota Harris hang out in an Asian bar of this type.
- No Hurry At All mentions Skunk's, the toughest bar in Knockturn Alley, whose owner would do absolutely anything to earn a few galleons.
- The Shoddy Inn from No Competition is more disreputable than evil but still attracts its fair share of prostitutes and dark creatures.
- The Drunken Doxy from Uncle Quentin's Spy doubles as a brothel for "the worst of the magical world."
Films — Animation
- Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third have a straight example featuring fairy tale bad guys. "The Poison Apple Bar" features a Cyclops doorman, the Ugly Stepsisters serving drinks, and Captain Hook on piano.
- It also has signs saying "Unhappy Hour" and "We Reserve the Right to Behead Anyone."
- The Thug Tug from The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie, which has some tight standards of manliness, where a bubble blown from the soap dispenser ends up starting a man-hunt.
- The Red Lobster Inn from Pinocchio.
- The ironically named Snuggly Duckling from Tangled. A subversion, in that the thugs in the bar all turn out to be somewhat nice guys with dreams of doing something with their lives besides being thugs.
- The Rat Trap in The Great Mouse Detective, complete with a Bar Brawl and a dancing showgirl mouse with a surprisingly bawdy song number. This is an homage to a similar scene in one of the original Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films.
- A Bug's Life: Mos Eisley from Star Wars is parodied in turn on two levels with the bar in the tin can and the cantina scene involving Hopper and his gang.
- Batman and Harley Quinn features a dive bar between Gotham City and Bludhaven which evil minions come to unwind. You can see henchmen from past series patronizing it; Two-Face's goons Min and Max sing "Don't Pull Your Love" on open mike, various henchmen from the DCAU series dance along, and even animated versions of Catwoman's goons from the Adam West show indulge in some light-hearted mockery of Batman.
- Gene and Hi5 in The Emoji Movie after leaving Textopolis enter one of such bars full with everything considering "bad" in computer systems; Trojans, spams, computer viruses and Internet trolls for some reason.
Films — Live-Action
- The pub that the young boy leads Gary to in '71 is being used by protestant paramilitaries to build bombs.
- In the fantasy franchise Pirates of the Caribbean, there is Tortuga and the Captain's Daughter. Played with, since some of the pirates are the good...er...not-as-bad-as-the-rest guys in this world.
- In the British comedy The Naked Truth, Terry-Thomas' character tries to bribe a couple of thugs in such an establishment, filled with shadowy working-class thugs who spit on the floor. When his bribe, a pearl necklace, breaks apart, everyone in the bar dives after the pearls spilled on the floor - to pick them up for him. The so-called Bad-Guy Bar turns out to be a Salvation Army cantina.
- Papa Midnite's bar in Constantine. According to Chaz Kramer it's a "haven for those who rise and fall" - i.e. half-breed demons and angels. Several of the half-breed demons are seen with a struggling victim kidnapped for some nefarious purpose.
- The Oro Verde and Tarasco Bars from Desperado, both of which were hangouts for members of Bucho's gang, and both of which were cleaned out in bloody fashion by the Mariachi.
- The Neo-Nazi bar in The Hebrew Hammer. Strangely enough, they do have an old bottle of Manischewitz lying around.
- Star Wars:
- The Mos Eisley Cantina is perhaps the trope's most famous example.
- The Prequels also had Obi-Wan and Anakin enter a seedy bar in the lower levels of Coruscant.
- On a larger scale the moon of Nar Shadda (orbiting Nal Hutta, the Hutt's homeworld) has been described is a massive bad guy bar. Han Solo described the place as what Coruscant would look like if you took the top 100 layers off of the city-planet.
- Airplane! The Magumba Bar, featuring fighting Girl Scouts and disco dancing.
Ted Striker: I was in the Air Force, stationed in Drambuie, off the Barbary Coast. I used to hang out at the Magumba Bar. It was a rough place. The seediest dive on the wharf, populated with every reject and cut-throat from Bombay to Calcutta. It was worse than Detroit.
- Before deciding based on the "Girl Scouts and disco dancing" description what sort of place it is ... the Girl Scouts in question are having a knife fight.
- Shadow Company, the villains of Lethal Weapon, hang out in a bar and do business there.
- Ye Olde Benbow Taverne in Batman: The Movie (1966). Lair of combative sailors, pirates and the United Underworld organization (Catwoman, the Joker, the Penguin and the Riddler), apparently so irredeemable that Robin questions why Batman would risk his own life to save them.
- The Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange. Alex DeLarge and his droogs always assemble at the bar to sharpen themselves up for a night of ultraviolence by sipping milk laced with narcotics. The decor of the bar is stark black and white, with all furniture composed of white statues of contorted, naked women, some of which dispense the spiked milk. It's never firmly established whether the other patrons of the bar are as violent as Alex's gang, though it seems unlikely: the woman singing Ode to Joy and her companions appear shocked when Alex strikes Dim for mocking her, and a bit flustered when he nods to them. All in all, it seems more of a trendy (or what would have been called "mod" at the time the movie was released) scene bar where (some) bad guys happen to hang out.
- In Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, there is a bar called the "Faux Ghost" which Scooby and Shaggy visit, both run and frequented by many of the gang's old villains and pretty much dedicated to their hatred of the gang, including such things as Whack-A-Mole games of Scooby and co. as well as Dartboards of Hate.
- In A Bronx Tale, a biker gang tries to break up a bar belonging to the neighborhood mob boss and are given a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in a scene that makes a significant impression on the teenage main character.
- In The Matrix Revolutions, the Merovingian and his wife are lounging at Club Hel — so that Trinity, Morpheus and Seraph have to "fight their way through Hell" to rescue Neo.
- The El Sleazo Cafe from The Muppet Movie has some elements of this. It's full of ill-tempered and unsavory-looking characters, and Kermit's arrival coincides with a man getting thrown out through the front door.
Kermit: Rough place, huh?Man: That's the toughest, meanest, filthiest pest-hole on the face of the Earth!Kermit: Well, why not complain to the owner?Man: I am the owner.
- In The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, The Garbage Pail Kids get into a barfight in a bar titled The Toughest Bar in the World
- Eddie Izzard's Death Star Canteen joke revolves around this trope.
- In The Princess and the Pirate, Bob Hope finds himself in a local bar, in a pirate town, so dangerous that he sees a man being killed because his shadow falls on someone. The killer then takes a liking to him and invites to drink a HUGE pitcher of ale - OR ELSE! This is a town where no one stops a man from dumping his victim's body in the harbor because "He has a permit" and his landlady tells him that, yes, there used to be a competing hotel but it burned down "suspicious like" while lighting her pipe with a comically oversized match.
- Another Bob Hope moment - in "Road to Utopia" he orders a lemonade in a Yukon bar - noting the reaction of everyone around him, he snarls "...in a dirty glass!"
- In Dick Tracy, Big Boy Caprice used the Club Ritz as his base of operations, after forcing Lips Manlis to sign the deed over to him (right before killing him). The place offered illegal gambling to patrons, but Caprice mostly used it as a front for his gang's other crimes.
- The Dripping Dagger Bar in Dick Tracy vs. Cueball.
- In Goldeneye, Bond finds Robbie Coltraine's character in a bar like this.
- DEBS. Lucy Diamond kidnaps Amy and takes her to a bar that's a hangout for criminals like her.
- Exaggerated in John Wick with the Continental, an entire hotel for criminals and the hub of Winston's power. Payment for services or a night requires special gold coins unavailable outside the criminal underworld. There's a large, surprisingly classy club in the basement with an access fee of another gold coin. On the grounds of the Continental, there's only one rule: no killing. If you break this rule, Winston will find out and will kill you, as Perkins finds out.
- Deadpool: Weasel runs one wherein many criminals and mercenaries hang out, including Wade. They have a betting pool (called the Dead Pool) where they bet on people's deaths (Weasel bet on Wade, which he bemoans after Wade gains his Healing Factor). Much later in the film Ajax and his cronies show up trying to find Wade and they threaten Weasel; whereupon every merc in the bar pulls a gun on them.
- The Three Cripples pub in Oliver Twist
- Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex: The Sozzled Parrot.
- Atlas Shrugged: The bar where Jim Taggart, Balph Eubank, Wesley Mouch and the other villains hang out. It's designed to look like it's underground but is actually on top of a skyscraper. The basement design is symbolic of the fact that despite their wealth and power, they cannot aspire to greatness, they have to drag it down to their pathetic level. It's established that the drinks are rubbish so they only drink there because it's a fashionable place, which shows that they are conformists. Still, were it not for the bad drinks and the even worse company, you have to admit, it would be a pretty cool place to be. It looks underground, but it's not!
- A Clockwork Orange: The Korova Milk Bar. It's more firmly suggested in the book than the film that the bar is a popular spot for gangsters like Alex and his droogs. Amusingly, compared to the film it's a much more sedate-looking place, with murals of cows on the walls, no statues, and a few private curtained cubicles for people working through a really major synthemesc trip.
- Most Ensenadean bars in Conciencia y Voluntad are depicted that way. Hell, the whole city is a Bad-Guy Bar.
- The Dark Tower: The Dixie Pig and The Travellers' Rest. The former looks like a typical restaurant in New York, except vampires secretly use it for cannibalistic feasts.
- The Death of Achilles: The Hard Labor Tavern has a corpse in the basement.
- There are several variations on the theme in the Discworld:
- Biers, the bar for Ankh-Morpork's most monstrous citizens — except that Pratchett's undead and lycanthropes don't so much prey on helpless humans as hold night jobs and discuss flea shampoos.
- A genuine villain bar (with no name) appears in Hogfather, as a dark room where people have drinks while discussing business. "The business generally involved the transfer of ownership of something from one person to another, but then, what business doesn't?"
- And then there's The Mended Drum, "the most reputable disreputable tavern" in Ankh-Morpork; someone with the name Uglag the Invincible would quickly be proven not to be, but a child walking in to order a glass of lemonade need fear nothing more than a clip upside the ear (and that from the child's mother upon hearing their new vocabulary). It starts out as a straight example and evolves into a rather overt parody of this kind of establishment as the series goes on and Ankh-Morpork becomes more civilized. As of Going Postal, the Bar Brawls are partly choreographed and have a formal points system.
- Then there's The Troll's Head, which is something like a more serious and gritty version of the Drum. To give some idea of what kind of place it is: the thing outside it that shows the bar's name is not a sign, but the actual severed head of a troll. And there are live trolls in town who might object to that — but don't, which probably says a lot about the bar's clientele. This is a reference to English pubs with names like the Turk's Head and the Saracen's Head, which allegedly acquired those names during the Crusades for similar reasons; many pubs with such names still exist, but with rather less grisly signage.note
- Galaxy of Fear: The Brain Spiders: The End Of The World cantina. Uncle Hoole says it's the worst-run establishment he's ever seen, even worse than the Mos Eisely cantina.
- Garrett, P.I.: Morley's Joy House in these novels is a Subverted Trope: while it's a favored hangout for lowbrow thugs and criminals (or upscale thugs and criminals, after its makeover as The Palms), Morley Dotes is a vegetarian teetotaller and refuses to serve anything stronger than cider.
- Gentleman Bastard: In these books, there are the Last Mistake in Camorr, where the Right People hang out, and the Tattered Crimson in Port Prodigal, a Wretched Hive and pirate HQ.
- Harry Potter: There is The Hog's Head, the shadiest bar in Hogsmeade. Whose owner is, incidentally, Dumbledore's brother, but no one knows that. It's implied that he passes on any information he finds to the good guys.
- Honor Harrington: The Rhodesian in the novel Torch of Freedom is notorious for being one of the baddest mercenary hideouts on the whole Mesa. Victor Cachat still manages to rather impress the local population.
- Knight and Rogue Series: In this series, Fisk goes to a bar where most of the criminals in town like to hang out. The bartender even has a system for fetching other criminals if you need to meet up with them.
- The Manual of Detection: The Forty Winks, which is under the mortuary in the cemetery in the old port town.
- Nightside (Strangefellows): Owner and bartender Alex Morrisy will be crushed. Or maybe the opposite, since he hates the place and only hangs around in such a dive because of a family geas; his customers, alas, have no such excuse.
- The Shadow: The Pink Rat and The Black Ship in this series.
- Sinister Six:
- Adam-Troy Castro's series, a Spider-Man trilogy of novels, features the Machiavelli Club in New York City, an upper-class restaurant supposedly created by a villainous mathematician for the purposes of catering to those with a "special brand of vision". Sadly, construction was incomplete, as the Machiavelli's patrons run the gamut across continuities, companies, and universes. A short listing of its patrons include:
- Ra's al'Ghul
- Hans and Simon Gruber
- Justin Hammer
- Diedrich van Horn, a villain from the Ellery Queen mystery novels
- The Joker
- The Kingpin
- Dr. Hannibal Lecter
- Lex Luthor
- Elijah "Mr. Glass" Price, from the movie Unbreakable.
- Carmen Sandiego
- Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects.
- Randolph and Mortimer. Even the Gentleman takes a moment to wonder how they managed to get an invitation. The novel even covers their Intercontinuity Crossover appearance in Coming to America. When the Gentleman remarks that last he heard, their fortunes had both been wiped out, they coyly reply that they had come into a new source of venture capital, calling it "a grant from a visiting African dignitary".
- Their waiter is even Henry from Isaac Asimov's Black Widower mystery series (something which is a serious slander to a fine upstanding gentleman).
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish: The Old Pink Dog Bar of Han Dold City, where customers are periodically murdered by a large bird and disembodied arm which live behind the bar.
- Soon I Will Be Invincible: The superhero team The Champions visit a super-powered villain bar to squeeze the patrons for information. Later, Doctor Impossible goes to another villain bar, held in a secret location that changes every so often to avoid the heroes.
- Star Wars: Crucible: The Red Ronto cantina. Han feels that it reminds him of the cantina back on Tatooine all those years ago.
- Subverted with Valabar's, where the food is so good that while assassins and others hang out there, it is a safe zone as they wouldn't be allowed back if they committed a hit there.
- Five Hundred Years After has a straight example.
- The restaurant Vlad's father owned was patronized mainly by House Jhereg, although it's unclear how many of the customers were actually part of the Organization.
- Wicked Lovely: There is both the Crow's Nest, a mortal bar which is something of a nostalgia-fest for Seth, and the Rath and Ruins, a faerie club which much of the series revolves around (and the name of the fan forum).
- Carnosaur: Sir Darren Penward's Mooks hang out at a pub near his mansion that is essentially explicitly owned and operated by them. No one else is welcome, and strangers tend to get roughly escorted out and sometimes beaten up.
- The Book With No Name: The Tapioca, the bar in Santa Mondega where all the bad guys go to drink, strangers are served piss instead of booze, and once every five years the entire clientele (except the barman) is massacred by an angry man with a taste for bourbon.
- Played with in Starship Troopers, the bar isn't exactly bad, but most of the clientele are hostile to M Is.
- Multiple demon bars on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, including one called Willy's, operated by Willy the Snitch.
Vi: They're demons! It's a demon bar. It's like a gay bar, only with demons.
- Any bar on Alias.
- Even Power Rangers has this (no villains are ever explicitly shown drinking alcoholic beverages). The Space and Lost Galaxy incarnations of the show have the Onyx Tavern, in which Mooks and Monsters of the Week from different incarnations of the show, going all the way back to the beginning, hang out. A more recent incarnation, SPD, had Piggy's. A Running Gag was the Rangers showing up to grill the proprietor for information, and the patrons immediately running for their lives.
- The Roadhouse Bar in Twin Peaks. Which has gone through a weird sort of defictionalization as the building that was used for exterior shots was bought by new owners who turned it into a steakhouse called "The Roadhouse"
- Supernatural has a nasty example in the episode "The Magnificent Seven". Now those guys were evil. Made a hunter chug Drano in front of his wife. Good times.
- The series also has The Road House, technically a Good-Guy Bar.
- The BBC series Hustle has an Anti-Hero bar, where its cast of delightful confidence tricksters hang out. They have never paid their tabs.
- Subverted in Due South, twice. The first was in the pilot episode, when Ray is fishing for information on who killed Fraser's father, and is being menaced after the patrons get suspicious that he's a cop. Then Fraser kicks the door down is alternately uber-polite (weirding them out) and kick-ass violent. Plus, he's got a wolf. The second time is when a friend of Fraser's father is running from a convict he arrested with a murderous grudge. It's the same bar, Ray's being menaced again, and this time two mounties kick the door in, extract the information they want, and rescue Ray, whilst completely ignoring the two dozen guns pointing straight at them.
- Almost every bar in the Dallas area on Walker, Texas Ranger fits this trope. They're all filled with big, mean, lowlifes, and they all get their butts kicked by Walker and his partner(s). One wonders why the bad guys never wised up.
- No Heroics, takes place in a Good-Guy Bar, but mentions a supervillain bar called the Stronghold.
- In one Heroes episode, Adam Monroe took Hiro and Ando to one of these.
- Babylon 5: Marcus Cole has been known to frequent bars in the Downbelow when looking for information, typically getting it via being the only one in the room left standing. G'Kar had a similar method, on occasion.
- A subversion: Garibaldi stumbles into a particularly nasty one while on the run from Earth Force security officers as the result of a frameup. A somewhat shady looking patron recognizes him and calls security to deal with him!
- The Wire contains both variations: in season 1, the Barksdale crew plot their nefarious deeds from within Orlando's, a strip club that Avon Barksdale uses as a front. Meanwhile, Blind Butchie's was a more dingy place, but where Stringer Bell, Proposition Joe, Omar Little and drug-dealing prison guard Tilghman were equally likely to patronize, and equally welcome. It became the location of choice to parley with Omar as of season two.
- Lampshaded in Human Target:
Winston: So who's this Donnelly guy?Chance: Just a guy.Winston: Yeah, but a bad guy. See, 'cause that's a bad guy bar, so he must be a bad guy.
- 'The Raven', Jeannette's vampire-bar in the TV series Forever Knight. A very dangerous place for the living, but not everybody there is necessarily evil.
- Sort of subverted on Leverage.
- In seasons 2-4, McRory's, the bar they work out of, isn't particularly seedy or shady, but it is implied to be at least tied to the Irish mob through Nate's family. Hardison is shown bribing the bartender not to break up a fight.
- In season 5, Hardison's microbrewery in Portland is technically this, due to being the base of operations for Leverage, but it is as far removed from the normal atmosphere of the Bad-Guy Bar as possible.
- Depending on how you view the Leverage group, it could even be a Good-Guy Bar.
- In Day Break, Detective Choi is assaulted in a white supremacist bar.
- A Running Gag in Person of Interest has John Reese slugging his way through a gang bar (usually involving a Battle Discretion Shot and Destination Defenestration) in order to talk to the one guy who has the information he needs.
Reese: Why don't you wait in the car?Carter: *unimpressed* Why don't you wait in the car?Reese: Give me three and a half minutes.Carter: Oh, please. There are at least ten guys in there.Reese: ...Okay, four minutes.
Carter: I got bored sitting in the car. And it took you longer than four minutes.Reese: Well, this guy hit me over the head with a neon sign. Not very sportsmanlike, and none of them want to tell me where to find their pal Monty.Carter: Yeah, that's why you should ask them before you knock them out, John.
- ...and later, after Carter shoots a member of the gang and saves Reese:
- Subverted with Josie's Bar. In the comics, it's one of these, with Josie being extremely apathetic to the amounts of drugs, weapons, and even worse stuff that her patrons tend to sell or trade. In the show, Matt, Karen and Foggy are patrons, and have helped Josie out with legal issues. They also spend their after-hours at the bar playing pool.
- The season 2 premiere sees Foggy visit a crowded Dogs of Hell biker clubhouse to get info on a Punisher attack. He ends up encountering a particularly nasty bunch at the pool table and only narrowly manages to escape without injury.
- The Defenders: Luke, tasked by Misty with helping out Cole and also looking for information on who killed Cole's brother, is directed by Claire to go to an uptown bar called Trouble in a Pair of Dice, as it's the hotspot for criminals to hang out at. When he walks in, he encounters Turk Barrett trying to sell a stolen watch, and takes Turk out back to rough him up for information.
- Club Villain is a song about such a place.
- Invoked in Fire!, which has a building named the "Back Alley Saloon".
- The Cape 'n Cowl in the Freedom City Sourcebook for Mutants & Masterminds.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- In the Planescape setting, Sigil has lots of bars that cater almost exclusively to fiends, most which being in the Lower Ward. Of course, this city has a bar for almost every type of creature.
- Some sources mention bars and coffee shops in the Lower Planes themselves. How the staff of these places react to mortals varies. (Some you shouldn't enter at all, others seem to be safe, but have bartenders who might try to offer a diabolic pact to such customers, and a few are relatively safe so long as you don't start trouble.)
- The Basic system supplement "GAZ5 - The Elves of Alfheim" has a short adventure that involves a visit to the Gut Bucket, a low-class dive in the orcish quarter of Alfheim Town.
- Encounter Critical supplement Asteroid 1618. The Shattered Dome is full of monsters of all sorts. The Wretched Hive Cantina always has a number of orcs, goblins and criminals present, and they regularly have fights among themselves.
- In Sentinels of the Multiverse, the Rook City environment has one of these, allowing whatever villain deck you're playing against to draw more cards, representing the heroes running into one such bar and finding a whole lot of trouble.
- A less "tough" and more "dishonest" example is the Bar/Inn run by Monsieur and Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables. Definitely an example according to Monsieur Thenardier's description of his patrons
My band of soaks, my den of dissolutes
My dirty jokes
my always pissed as newts
My sons of whores spend their lives in my inn
- The Undersquare in Mega Man Battle Network, although it isn't usually affiliated with the Big Bad du jour. Oftentimes the thugs there will actually seem more Chaotic Neutral then truly evil, and the merchants there tend to sell powerful chips.
- World of Warcraft has a number of neutral locations, but bad ones include Booty Bay, a city run by goblin merchants and pirates. Apparently pirates who don't do anything, at that — though that's probably because protection contracts pay more. Since the gobs don't take sides and inter-faction fighting is bad for business, any attempt at PvP is met with bouncers.
- This used to make PvP impossible, in the days when the maximum player level was 60 and the bouncers were level 67. Now, however, the maximum player level is 80... and they're still 67...
- They were upgraded to level 77. Their main threat comes not from their damage, but from their muskets that can knock you halfway across the city in one shot. And they just love juggling you in midair.
- There's also the Grim Guzzler, the bar of choice for Dark Iron Dwarves, which funnily enough is the only place in Blackrock Depths where they don't attack you on sight; it takes a golem starting a Bar Brawl to turn it into a battlefield.
- In The Punisher for the PS2, Frank nonchalantly walks into a bar full of mob thugs, none of whom recognize him until he pulls his guns and kills them all. A cop was hanging out at the bar but not killed because he was in the bathroom. The cop was Frank's contact, and knew what was coming.
- Mass Effect has Chora's Den, a seedy little place run by a local crime lord with brutish alien clientele and saucy alien strippers. One character remarks it often smells funny there, not unreasonably guessing that the owner hides his enemies' bodies under the centre stage.
- The Hanged Man tavern in Dragon Age II is probably the seediest place (aside from the brothel) in Kirkwall. Unsurprisingly, all party rogues who aren't choirboys hang out there.
- Given the main characters are clearly patrons, it also obstensively doubles as a Good-Guy Bar.
- In Fallout 3, in Underworld, there's the "Ninth Circle". It is run by Ahzrukhal, a charming, yet actually very evil, ghoul. He holds contract for Charon, a servant who you can own by either paying 2000/1000 caps or doing a little "favor" for Ahzrukhal...
- And when you buy him, Charon shoots his former master in the face. Nobody becomes hostile because of this.
- In Megaton, we have Moriarty's Saloon as this when compared to The Brass Lantern.
- Fallout: New Vegas has Gommorah Casino, controlled by the Mafia-esque Omertas. They plot various schemes there, and it's implied that agents of Caesar's Legion also meet there.
- Very terrible people are seen wandering around The Third Rail in Fallout 4. People there behave for many reasons; such as extortion means getting shanked. By the mayor.
- In Fallout 3, in Underworld, there's the "Ninth Circle". It is run by Ahzrukhal, a charming, yet actually very evil, ghoul. He holds contract for Charon, a servant who you can own by either paying 2000/1000 caps or doing a little "favor" for Ahzrukhal...
- Subverted in The World Ends with You. The bad guy bar (in the sewers no less!) is actually very nice.
- In the Raidou Kuzunoha duology, the local bathhouse fills this role for the local Yakuza expies.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, the Lost's clubhouse is a Bad-Guy Bar and your primary save point.
- A bar full of all the chasers in Yume 2kki can be found within said game. You can only gain access with a certain effect and they're not hostile to you. Unless you attempt to attack someone with a chainsaw.
- Villain players in DC Universe Online use nightclubs in Gotham and Metropolis as hideouts.
- The final part of the first level in Streets of Rage 2 has you storming a bar run by the Syndicate and the boss fight is against the bartender of the place.
- If you pick the SOR2 route in Remake, you revisit this place. And if you choose to take the stairs instead of going to the bar, someone sets it on fire!
- Anarchy Reigns gives us Asylum in the run-down city of Altambra. It's a rough place where a lot of Killseekers can be found. It also serves as the setting for the menu screen, where all of the playable characters are depicted doing various things, such as playing cards or arm wrestling.
- The Ragged Flagon is the home of Skyrim's Thieves Guild. The guild in the game is quite a bit darker then previous incarnations, and the bar's setting fits as it's dark and literately underground. It probably smells like sewer too.
- Pokémon X and Y has Lysandre Cafe, a cafe in Lumiose City that's a popular hangout for members of Team Flare since it's owned by their leader Lysandre. It also serves as the entrance to their secret base.
- The bar at Ulence Flats in Space Quest I. Made more explicit in Space Quest IV when you travel back in time to Space Quest I to the same bar (complete with crappy 16-color lo-res graphics) and run afoul of a biker gang.
- A closed bar in The Matrix: Path of Neo is basically this as it's filled with the Merovingian's Mooks. You have to fight your way through it during an Escort Mission.
- In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, Rean has to board the Pantagruel in exchange for his hometown Ymir's safety. He then encounters all of the bad guys he's fought in the past game and a half and all of them are very accommodating with him.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Has this as one of its many, many taverns, but only in On the Origin of PCs. During the scene, Elan boldly walks in and announces the arrival of his Paladin companion. In addition to the usual assortment of pissed-off criminals, there are also a Minotaur and a drow looking threatening. They both walk away slowly.
- In Start of Darkness, there's a Bad Guy Café. They serve terrible coffee, but Xykon likes it.
- In Nodwick, there's the Fang and Flagon. It's not exclusively a Bad Guy Bar (good guys are welcome) but most patrons are tough to say the least, so much that Bar Brawls are actually encouraged by the management.
- What would you expect at a place called ''The Cloak and Dagger''?
- Bad Moon Rising has Lee's, a popular hang out for the monster hunter crowd, which has rarely obeyed rules forbidding weapons, magic, and mummies.
- One came up in Schlock Mercenary, although when going up against the Toughs the bad guys turned out to be overmatched.
- Woland's in Rhapsodies seems to fit this role.Generally referred to as a smoke filled pit, It's where Fedya goes to contact his friends in the Russian Black Market for his highly toxic cigarettes.
- Halo 2 ARG I Love Bees has Sharfie's, a pool parlor at which gangsters hang out.
- Global Guardians PBEM Universe:
- The protagonists of Pay Me, Bug! visit a Bad Guy Bar to get information and some cargo as a cover for their real job. They get interrupted.
- Tech Infantry has the Jade Flower and Emile's Pub, among others. The Rage fits the trope even more so.
- In the Randomverse, Lex Luthor runs a villains' bar, ostensibly to serve as a counterpart to Stan's Place, the regular hangout spot of Batman, Spider-Man and the other heroes.
- Whateley Universe: Not surprisingly, several are mentioned at times.
- For a while the only one shown was Superbad, which is specifically a hangout for minor supervillains with day jobs (and the occasional bunch of retired supervillain hunters who are looking for a nice quiet place to drink). It's basically an ordinary working folks bar, except for some of the decor and the tolerance for odd costumes.
- The Black Mask, a magically self-relocating bar that only those it wants to allow in can find.
- Moriarty's, an upscale hangout mainly for the sort of supervillains who either are too powerful for the law to touch, or have avoided getting caught even when everyone knows what they are doing.
- Ribbon tracks down Lady Havoc (his/her daughter) in an unnamed one in Pittsburgh; hilariously, the patrons mistake Ribbon for being Havoc's daughter, calling her 'Baby Havoc'.
- Dragonblade (who is the son of a superhero and a supervillain) mentions that there are separate bars where supervillains' minions go to have a good time (usually by picking fights with each other), at least in the super-criminal haven of Karedonia.
- As of the Thor: The Dark World episode, How It Should Have Ended has a Villain Pub to contrast with the Super Cafe where Superman and Batman usually hang out.
- The Yellow trailer of RWBY takes place in one of these. It doesn't actually look like a rough place per se, but it's a kinda seedy nightclub run by Junior, a mafia boss, and the place is crawling with his hatchet/machete-wielding thugs (who he hires out to the Big Bad of the show's first episode) and also Militia and Melanie, two deadly twins. Too bad none of them are even close to a match for Yang Xiao Long.
- Yang returns to this establishment in season two, while looking for information on the guy Junior loaned his thugs two. But this time, they are all so scared of her, the thugs immediately panic and pull their guns as she walks in, while Junior wisely decides to cooperate without a fight.
- The Stacked Deck Club on Batman: The Animated Series, which was the setting for the episode "Almost Got 'im". Though all the other patrons turn out to be undercover cops. Later episodes show the bartender to be so unbelievably jaded and accustomed to everything that goes on there that his reaction to a bar-wide battle complete with gunfire is to calmly pull up a bowl of peanuts and enjoy the show.
- Harlequinade has Batman and Harley Quinn go to one of the Joker's old hideouts expecting it to be deserted and instead find a very lavish (and highly illegal) criminal casino being operated there. Needless to say everyone there is packing heat, hates the Bat, and it ends about as peacefully as you'd expect.
- There is a similar bar in Central City shown in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash & Substance", but populated by The Flash's various enemies. Batman, Flash and Orion show up there to find out information about the attacks by the Rogues and all the patrons (including the bartender) clear out the moment they see the heroes. The only remainder is the mildly insane Trickster, the exact man they were trying to find.
- Lobo's debut in Superman: The Animated Series has him lightheartedly rampaging though an intergalactic bar called "The Steaming Load" after he spots the target of his current bounty hunt.
- Lately, the Penguin has opened the Iceberg Lounge, which is Gotham's Bad Guy Bar, where the rich slum for excitement and which Batman tolerates as long as Pengy provides criminal underworld info on demand as required. (After all, as long as the bad guys are just there for drinks, Penguin's not doing anything illegal... but he might hear things...)
- The Evil Eye Club on The Tick. Newcomers and suspected heroes-in-disguise may be asked to eat a kitten to prove their evilness.
- The Stinger for the Grand Finale of Kim Possible shows the show's entire Rogues Gallery hanging out in a coffee shop. Well, everyone except Shego.
- The Skull and Dagger in Aladdin: The Series which serves as the headquarters of Agrabah's thieves guild.
- For Halloween, all of the Disney villains turn the House of Mouse into one of these with a Villain Song .
- The Salty Spitoon in Spongebob Squarepants
- In the episode "Plankton's Army", an Expy of the Salty Spitoon, called the Tough Tavern, appears. It even has some of the same characters that appeared in the Salty Spitoon.
- The bar at the Misty Palms Oasis; in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Also, the "seedy tavern" where Jun hangs out, drinking and beating up huge dudes between jobs.
- In a side comic called Boys Day Out, Katara and Toph try to enter one, but they get rebuffed because it was for guys only. So they come back disguised as guys, and Toph teaches Katara the ropes about being a dude. It works...then Hilarity Ensues.
- The Misty Palms Oasis bar makes its reappearance in the sequel The Legend of Korra. Complete with bounty hunters who are fans of Bolin's Nuktuk movie, a rather small inn room, and wanted posters.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man had one owned by the Shocker, though he left the running of the place to Blackie Gaxton. It gets burned down in a fight between Spidey and the Molten Man.
- Codename: Kids Next Door
- In "Operation: F.L.U.S.H." there's a coffee house that would seem just like Starbucks if not for the fact that it was villain-exclusive.
- The Candy Bar is a place exclusively for candy pirates, like Stickybeard, but they reluctantly let Numbuh Five in.
- An episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had one of these named "The Secret Hideout"... advertised by huge illuminated signs and neons.
- In other episode, there was The Meat Locker, a club owned by a mobster. (It was actually a lot better than its name made it sound.)
- Subverted in Olive the Other Reindeer. The "Top of the World Bar" near the North Pole, Olive stops in looking for a ride seems to be populated by criminals, but it turns out they aren't that bad. Well, except for that bunny. They even have a song about it.
- Jack from Samurai Jack has a bad tendency to hang out at these, which are all filled with shady bounty hunters wanting to collect the reward for him. Of course, they're all no match.
- There's one in the town of Gravity Falls called "Skull Fracture", seen in the episode "Headhunters". The place is dingy and dimly-lit, has at least one patron unconscious on the floor (Mabel prefers to believe "He's resting"), and the clientele consists of rowdy bikers and other tough guys.
- The Venture Bros. has Don Hell's, an underground nightclub that admits only members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent and is owned by one of the Guild's ruling councilmen. When Dr. Venture and Billy Quizboy unwittingly crash it, things go quite badly for them.
- In the UK (generally not the US, though, which usually has newer buildings), a common sign of this is the bar will be in its own little area and be a very functional building with a crappy tarmac roof.
- "The Hub" was the name of a saloon on Madison Street in Chicago where con artists, counterfeiters, thieves, and other criminals could hang out, drink alcohol, and talk business. This saloon was notable for being the location where Irish crime boss "Big Jim" Kennally would plot his infamously incompetent attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's dead body and hold it for ransom (and would also serve as the location where he would later be captured by authorities after the botched crime).