Matteucci’s almost didn’t make the list, not because we don’t appreciate its appeal (it was recommended by several staffers), but because owner Dan Pieri insists that it is not a dive bar. To Pieri, a dive is well, divey, and the patrons and staffers at Matteucci’s are more preservers of history than daytime drunks. To his credit, Matteucci’s is the only true bar in San Anselmo; they are clearly doing something right. But from the strictly “scientific” perspective that guided our research, Matteucci’s hits every dive bar criterion, with just one exception — they will muddle your cocktail if you so please.

For the magazine:

“When I was a kid in San Anselmo there were at least nine bars. Now there is only one, and I have been the proud owner of it for 36 years,” says current proprietor Dan Pieri. Matteucci’s was born when Harold Matteucci, a former member of the San Anselmo Police Department, began buying up local bars. First came the Knot Inn in 1960, followed by the Escrow, which Harold renamed Matteucci’s, in 1973. “All the bars in Marin are survivors of many generations and changing times,” says Pieri, who insists his bar is much more than just a dive. He, his employees and his patrons enjoy golfing, bocce, cribbage tournaments and even trips to Italy and Mexico.

What They Say: Dan Pieri, owner

Is Matteucci’s a dive bar? Definitely not. I think not only my bar, but all the bars that are left in Marin are all great bars, not dives. Our longevity is due to our commitment to and our care for our patrons.

Your definition of a dive bar? A place where you may find yourself uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. The bathrooms tell a story in and of themselves. 

Describe Matteucci’s. Matteucci’s is a great neighborhood bar with a diverse clientele who respect us as much as we respect them.

Dive Bar Checklist:

Games? Two pool tables.

Celebrity photos? Several pictures of old celebrities on the walls and the Blues Brothers on the roof.

TV is always on? Yes.

PBR available? Yes, on tap.

Muddled cocktails? We’ll muddle your cocktail.

Wedding parties and high school reunions? We have had many Drake High School reunions — including many from the great class of 1970.

Fake fireplace? Gas fireplace and AC.

Food served in bags (chips, nuts, etc.)? Yes.

Matteucci’s T-shirts? We have great T-shirts for sale.