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Allen library will host ‘Texas Dives’ author Anthony Head and photographer Kirk Weddle

They’ll discuss their book about neighborhood bars on March 30.

Dive bars. The phrase may conjure a certain, shall we say, inelegant atmosphere. But in many areas, these neighborhood bars are a vital piece of the social fabric.

Veteran writer Anthony Head and internationally recognized photographer Kirk Weddle chronicled 12 such establishments in their 2022 book Texas Dives: Enduring Neighborhood Bars of the Lone Star State, and they’ll share some of their findings at the Allen Public Library on March 30 at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the program is free, and a live webcast can be accessed at by clicking on the “Watch” button.

In an interview with The Dallas Morning News last summer, Head said he’d asked friends and strangers alike, “What’s a bar you’d never take your mother to?” Those were the places he’d end up writing about. “This book is not about alcohol or drinking,” he said. “It really is about the people and the places.”

"Texas Dives: Enduring Neighborhood Bars of the Lone Star State" features stories and photos...
"Texas Dives: Enduring Neighborhood Bars of the Lone Star State" features stories and photos from a dozen Texas bars.(Texas A&M University Press)

Two North Texas dive bars made the cut: The Goat in Dallas and A Great Notion in Fort Worth. Other establishments featured in the book include Riley’s Tavern in the tiny town of Hunter, Mynars Bar in West and La Perla in Austin.

Head, a longtime journalist who has turned his attention in recent years to the people and history of Texas, is also the author of Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño and other books. The San Marcos resident’s writing has been published in dozens of national and international publications, including Texas Monthly, Reader’s Digest, Texas Highways, Bon Appétit, Robb Report and the Austin American-Statesman.

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Weddle, who lives in Austin, is an accomplished photographer who is perhaps best known for his shot of an underwater baby on the iconic cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album, Nevermind.


The library is at 300 N. Allen Drive in Allen. For more information, call 214-509-4911.

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