RAPIDS CITY, Ill. — UPDATE: The Edge Eatery and Drinkatorium has been declared the winner of the March Dive-ness tournament, earning them bragging rights with the official title #1 Dive Bar in the U.S.
The Rapids City bar, located near the I-80 Bridge on 2nd Avenue, beat out a Michigan bar in the championship round. The final vote tally was 7,005-6,655.
ORIGINAL: A Rapids City bar is vying for a national championship win to become the #1 Dive Bar in the U.S.
Since 2019, Dive Bar Road Trip has hosted its own March Madness tournament. The March Dive-ness bracket narrows down dive bars across the country to find the people's favorite.
This year, the bracket was expanded to include 128 dive bars in the first round, and it included The Edge Eatery and Drinkatorium in Rapids City.
"Dive Bar Road Trip is an organization that seeks out locally owned Mom and Pop type restaurants or bars across the United States," owner Lynn Hunt said. "We had friends nominate us and started rolling with it."
On Monday, The Edge was competing in the championship against Farmer's Home Tavern in Michigan.
"It was a surprise," owner Donnie Hunt said. "Very humbling experience."
The bar's been working hard throughout the whole competition to drum up votes, including bringing a goat and a horse to the bar.
"I went to the Chicago Cubs game," said regular customer Jessica Snyder. "I promoted at the game. We promoted having a few drinks after the game and I got quite a few people to get on Facebook that didn't know what was going on."
Other customers, like Luke Besse, said it's a place that deserves to be on the map and that people should know to visit.
"It's just a fun place to be," Besse said. "I'm a retired farmer and I come here for camaraderie and sometimes a few laughs. Somebody is new here all the time from the interstate and they can just waltz in here, have no idea what this place was, but it's the friendliest place on earth."
The Hunts have owned The Edge for 10 years this summer, but said it's been around for 80 years.
"A dive bar designation is almost a term of endearment these days," Lynn Hunt said. "You're somewhere you're comfortable, you know you're gonna laugh, you're gonna talk and tell stories about your day. It's somewhere it's inclusive, you feel like you belong and you want to stop."
The Hunts both agreed the win isn't for them.
"It would be all of these people right here," Donnie Hunt said. "This is their trophy, not ours. The support they're showing us is unbelievable. Overwhelming."
Voting is open up until the final buzzer in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game. You can vote here by liking the image that reads "Like this image to vote for The Edge Eatery." Make sure to click on and like the picture, not the post.
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