By Benjamin Leatherman
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Troy Farah
By Roger Calamaio
By Mark Deming
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Brian Palmer
ACME Roadhouse: In its original Scottsdale location, ACME catered to Harley-Davidson weekend warriors. In its new Tempe incarnation, it entertains the college set with dancing and, on Saturdays, local rock bands. Dance space is at a minimum, but there's plenty of room for other social rites. Mon and Wed-Fri: DJs. 855 S. Rural, Tempe, 480-517-1818.
Alice Cooper'stown: A fusion of rock and jock dreamed up by the Valley's shock-rocker in residence, Cooper'stown sports monster TVs, a full menu, staff in frightening makeup and room for 1,100 to take in top local acts and midlevel national touring acts. Located downtown, it draws large after-event crowds from Suns games, Dodge Theatre shows and other attractions. Fri-Sat: Live rock, DJs. 101 E. Jackson, 602-253-7337.
Amber Inn Cocktail Lounge: What a friendly northwest Valley sports bar looks like when it's owned by a man torn between his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a fetish for Marilyn Monroe. Mon-Fri: Happy hour starts at 2 p.m. Fri: Karaoke. Sat: Reverse happy hour 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Sun: During football season, satellite TV brings all the games. 4238 W. Dunlap, 623-937-5869.
Americana Espresso Lounge: 6890 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-934-0745
Amsterdam: The tony atmosphere at Amsterdam makes it a gay lounge with hetero appeal: Designer cocktails, cushy couches, freestanding Roman columns and the tinkling grand piano produce a relaxed and classy atmosphere, as do occasional lounge singers. Mon: Martinis & Manicures for $5. Thu: "A Class Act," a revue featuring Topaz Crawford. 718 N. Central, 602-258-6122.
Anderson's Fifth Estate Anderson's two decades of boozing and boogieing have set the tone for all other local upscale clubs. A roomy loft affords swell views of the city's favorite dance floor, framed by three bars piled with hip wait staff. Hipper still is the snug Elbo Room, a "quiet bar" that's anything but, with its own live DJ, bartender and cage dancers. This group-friendly dance club features weekend after-hours and is always worth its $5 cover. 6820 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-4168.
Anna's Southwest Grill: 425 S. Power, Mesa, 480-832-3202.
Arizona Joe's: 417 S. Winchester Rd., Apache Junction, 480-983-6115.
Aunt Chilada's Restaurant: 7777 S. Pointe Pkwy. West, Pointe Hilton on South Mountain Resort, 602-431-6470.
Avanti: 2728 E. Thomas, 602-956-0900.
Axis/Radius A catwalk separates these two posh clubs, both favorites among the eclectic and in-the-know party crowd. Radius provides the final word in dance-floor fun, complete with disco ball and up-to-the-second Eurobeat and house music. Axis offers retro dance tunes with giant video accompaniment, along with an extravagant flavored-martini menu and impressive selection of cigars. Upstairs is the newly remodeled UV room. 7340 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-970-1112.
AZ 88: A magnet for hip types on dinner dates or simply club hopping, AZ 88 is nestled in the northwest corner of Scottsdale Mall, the kind of place where the sound of martinis being shaken is swallowed up in ambient techno and smooth jazz. An artfully lighted patio is especially popular on warm nights. 7353 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, 480-994-5576.
Bahama Breeze: 1959 E. Camelback, 602-650-1800.
Baja Tilly's Cantina: 1123 W. Broadway, Tempe, 480-968-6224.
Ballpark Pub: 1855 E. Guadalupe, Tempe, 480-838-9585.
Barwinkles: 5930 W. Greenway Rd., Glendale, 602-938-9330.
The Bash on Ash: With its support for local and touring hard-rock bands, punk decals plastered on the rest-room walls and college-age clientele, you'd think the atmosphere would be of the ol' dive-y, rotting wood variety -- but it's not. The Bash is actually a huge, well-lighted open space with a classy bar tucked in back, making it a comfortable spot to absorb the noise in relative peace. 230 W. Fifth St., Tempe, 480-966-8200.
Big Fish Sports Pub: Crammed into an archaic strip mall, the small, tough Big Fish Pub is a loud (!!) haven for attitude, regularly hosting local punk bands and occasionally throwing unannounced gigs by big out-of-town acts. Folks here spend as much time smoking by the front door as they do drinking, playing pool and rocking out inside. Sun: Open mike night. Tue: Punk night, featuring local bands. 1954 E. University, Tempe, 480-966-5010.
Blue Agave Mexican Cantina: 4280 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-429-1123.
Bobby McGee's Conglomeration: 8501 N. 27th Ave., 602-995-5982.
Boomers & Stix: Home to the Arizona Idol contest, Boomers employs Valley Top 40 DJs nightly and occasionally features local talent such as blues messiah Carvin Jones. With burgundy carpet, a granite bar and a VIP section, Boomers caters to affluent twentysomethings. 1964 N. Alma School, Chandler, 480-821-7144.
Boom Night Club: 1724 E. McDowell, 602-254-0231.
Bravo Tomaso's: 1035 W. Queen Creek Rd., Chandler, 480-899-2728.
Buddha Bar For the perfect balance of style, music and food that will lead to the future of Scottsdale nightlife, head to Buddha Bar. This modern Euro-style lounge captures the quality, richness and ambiance of Asia. The Buddha Bar delivers the ultimate dining and entertainment experience with an atmosphere aesthetically pleasing to the eye, the ear and the palate. Indulge yourself in the eclectic menu that is tailored to suit the lounge setting. 7419 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-970-1945.
Buddy's: A gay and lesbian neighborhood bar, Buddy's entertainment varies broadly, from rock band Big Mama & White Bread (Big Mama is a petite, blond black woman) on Fridays to the Naughty Body's Male Review on Thursdays. A funky kiosk-style jukebox plays MP3 downloads and, since this once was a 7-Eleven, a storefront cooler behind the bar displays the beer. 1560 E. Osborn, 602-266-0477.