By Melissa Fossum
By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
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.
Buffalo Chip Saloon: Founded by the daughter of Super Bowl I hero Max McGee in the late '60s, the small Buffalo Chip Saloon draws a Green Bay Packers-loving crowd. It also appeals to lovers of country music, who come to see the Pat James Band perform every Thursday through Sunday. Thu-Sun: Pat James Band. 6811 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-9118.
Buzz the Original Fun Bar: On Friday and Saturday nights, this almost-commercial but still edgy place is all about a big ol' dance groove. But on Thursdays, an all-ages punk-loving crowd -- definitely not the usual fab danceteria clientele -- fills the space for live hard-core bands. 10345 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-FUNN.
Cactus Jack's Bar & Grill: This busy bar entertains thirtysomething Ahwatukee locals with live rock and blues on Fridays and Saturdays. Pool, darts and sports TVs round out the quintessential pub atmosphere. Mon: DJ. Tue and Thu: Karaoke. Wed: Blues by Carvin Jones. 4747 E. Elliot, Ahwatukee, 480-893-6630.
Cajun House: The New Orleans-themed atmosphere is cool enough, but the patrons pour in for an impressive lineup of established national acts. Rock, rap and reggae are popular here, but the Cajun House is known especially for hip-hop. Quieter side rooms like the Jazz Room Grill allow for conversation and dining. 7117 E. Third Ave., Scottsdale, 480-945-5150.
Cartwright's: Fire up the elk! Cartwright's serves big game meats in a classy setting -- mesquite wood floors with tile accents, iron railings, a 15-foot wooden bar built in Mexico and views of Cave Creek, all basking in candlelight. Singer-songwriters offer light fare on guitar and piano each night while snowbirds and locals dine. 6710 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-8031.
Casa Blanca Lounge: 1801 W. Van Buren, 602-252-5353.
Champions: 330 S. Gilbert Rd., Mesa, 480-649-1650.
Chances Are Restaurant & Lounge: Chances Are mixes supper-club elegance -- candlelit tables, cream and teal decor, filet mignon cut to order -- with retro jazz cool for a baby boom crowd. Big-band-style performers sing standards by Frank Sinatra and others nightly. Mon and Tue: Karaoke. 7570 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-4338.
Chandlers Bar & Grill: 1140 E. Washington, 602-254-2616.
Char's Has the Blues: A freestanding roadhouse, Char's is nearing two decades of showcasing Valley blues artists seven nights a week. Stop in to see local institutions like ax-shredder Carvin Jones every Monday and Friday night, or just to shoot a game of pool and sip bourbon with friends. Wed: Soul music from Fire in the Sky. 4631 N. Seventh Ave., 602-230-0205.
Chaser's: Chaser's is like a rugged Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Men in muscle shirts and softball jackets drink beer, an American flag hangs on stage, and three pool tables inspire competition. Local rock bands play Thursday through Saturday, and jukebox fare ranges from George Thorogood to Limp Bizkit. 8005 E. Roosevelt, Scottsdale, 480-945-4985.
Cherry Moon: Waterfalls and a reading-room-style lounge give this place a touch of elegance. Fridays are a major draw, with a catfish buffet, poetry slams, standup comedy and hip-hop DJs. Sat: DJs. 122 E. Washington, 602-271-0443.
Chez Nous Cocktail Lounge: After your eyes adjust, you'll see that you've found lounge heaven: deep vinyl booths, an old-school bar and smoky dark. One of the most diverse clienteles in the Valley comes together over stiff drinks and a small, crowded dance floor for live funk, soul and R&B. Mon-Tue: Covers and originals by Street Life. Wed: Open-mike jam session. Fri-Sun: Covers by weekend house band Roscoe Taylor, Tim Forkes & Co. 675 W. Indian School, 602-266-7372.
Chico's Paradise: Bamboo rods on the ceiling and portraits of island scenery set the tropical tone at this laid-back spot. Entertainment ranges from karaoke to happy hour bounds to a totally '80s music-video DJ. Wed: Karaoke. Thu: Weekly pool tournament. Fri: Music-video DJ. Sat: Classic-rock cover bands. 1948 E. McKellips, Mesa, 480-615-8636.
Club Central: A two-tiered jazz, blues and comedy club, Club Central also hosts a karaoke night so the amateurs can share the spotlight with the revolving door of musicians and comedians. An enforced dress code on Saturday nights distinguishes Club Central from other Valley blues clubs. 3110 N. Central, 602-200-8121.
Club Freedom: Among the most popular dance clubs in the Valley, Club Freedom features a massive dance floor on its lower level; wild, twirling lighting; and scores of well-dressed, college-age would-be ravers. Friday nights are big here thanks to "Kind Fridays," where big-name DJs like Frankie Bones and Sandra Collins hit the console hard. Thu: Club Dirty Dirty, a hip-hop night sponsored by Power 92.3. Fri: Kind Fridays. 919 E. Apache, Tempe, 480-303-6696.
Club Level: Local hip-hop radio station Power 92.3 keeps the dance hits coming at this watering hole upstairs on Mill Avenue. The people-watching can't be beat on Friday and Saturday nights, and the high school contingent turns out for occasional all-ages events. 411 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-367-7755.
Club Rio: This mammoth Top 40 and retro dance club hosts live music on occasion, but is better known as the college scene's favorite pickup bar. Before he ever threw a football for the Arizona Cardinals, Jake Plummer got in hot water for an infamous pass he made here. 430 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, 480-894-0533.
Club 245: 245 E. Jackson, 602-254-5303.
Coffee Cabana: 2105 S. Alma School, Mesa, 480-755-7900.
Coffee Plantation (Biltmore): 2468 E. Camelback, Biltmore Fashion Park, 602-553-0203.
Coffee Plantation (Phoenix): 7000 N. 16th St., 602-674-3210.
Coffee Plantation (Gilbert): 1555 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-497-6690.
Coffee Plantation (Ahwatukee): 4740 E. Warner, Ahwatukee, 480-496-0277.
Coffee Plantation (Tempe): 680 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-829-7878.
Coffee Plantation (Scottsdale): 7366 E. Shea, Ste. 101, Scottsdale, 480-596-8122.
Different Pointe of View: 11111 N. Seventh St., Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs, 602-863-0912.
The Dirty Drummer: 2303 N. 44th St., 602-840-2726.
Dos Gringos: Part sports bar, part kitschy cantina and even part movie theater (Strange Brew and Slapshot have been screened here), Dos Gringos is a colorful, graffiti-decorated cavern offering outdoor and indoor drinking and fraternizing. Classic rock of the Neil Young/Eagles variety blasts overhead, and Sundays offer DJ sets from J. Alan. Fri: Drive-In Movie Theatre. 4209 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale, 480-423-3800.
Downside Risk Restaurant and Bar: 7419 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-945-3304.
Drinkwater's City Hall Restaurant: 6991 E. Camelback, Scottsdale, 480-941-4700.
Duck & Decanter: 3111 N. Central, 602-234-3656.
El Chorro Lodge: The cozy piano bar in this charming restaurant, a historic landmark, attracts a tony clientele that enjoys dancing to live jazz and contemporary music on weekends. 5550 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley, 480-948-5170.
Emerald Lounge: The funky, two-room Emerald features eclectic local music along with your cocktail, including neo-garage rockers the Hypno-Twists, as well as anti-mainstream art shows, backyard theater and unusual touring acts such as Bay Area robot-rockers the Phenomenauts. The clientele is a telling cross-section of the downtown scene: part grizzled old-timer, part nouveau loft resident, part art-scene refugee. 1514 N. Seventh Ave., 602-256-9705.
Everett's Steakhouse: 20701 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-515-5891.
Famous Sam's: Sam's has all the sports-bar standbys -- darts, video games, more than two dozen TVs -- but sets itself apart from the pack with an unabashed devotion to classic rock. Karaoke takes over on Tuesdays and Sundays. 940 N. Alma School, Chandler, 480-812-1177.
Fandango: An enormous two-tiered patio lets patrons drink in the desert scenery -- and linger over above-par bar food -- while hard-charging bands rock the joint on Friday and Saturday nights. On Sunday afternoons, the black-leather set rolls in for "Bike Day." 6032 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-595-5633.
Fat Cats: 915 Grand Ave., 602-252-0988.
Fat Tuesday: This New Orleans-themed restaurant located in the heart of Mill Avenue fills with college students on Friday and Saturday nights. The bar is renowned for its wall of daiquiris -- from Piña Colada to Sex on the Beach, the mixed drinks are distributed from silver, slushie-like machines that line the back of the bar. Tue, Thu-Sat: Live DJ. 680 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-967-3917.
Gentle Strength Cooperative: 234 W. University, Tempe, 480-968-4831.
German Corner: As the name suggests, this is the place for all things German, from brats to brewskis. A stage and dance floor in the center of the restaurant allows for polka dancing. Fri-Sat: Live German music. 4900 E. Indian School, 602-840-7838.
Gold Bar Espresso: 3141 S. McClintock, Tempe, 480-839-3082.
Graham Central Station: This megaclub houses Alley Cats Karaoke, retro-bar Confetti's and Top 40 discotheque South Beach. But it's known for its country-western staple Rockin' Rodeo featuring an immense dance floor for two-steppers, a mechanical bull for daring urbanites, a stage for up-and-coming national acts and gregarious, denim-decked barkeeps. Wed: Ladies' night. Sat: Party night. 7850 S. Priest, Tempe, 480-496-0799.
Greasewood Flat: East Pinnacle Peak and Star Route, Scottsdale, 480-585-9430.
Handlebar-J: This saloon-style restaurant in Scottsdale is known for its Sunday chicken and dumplings dinner. Keep an eye out for the bar ceiling lined with cowboy hats. And check out the twangy Herndon Bros., fronted by renowned country guitarist and songwriter Ray Herndon (Lyle Lovett, Kenny Chesney). Mon-Tue: Video DJ. Wed-Sat: Herndon Bros. 7116 E. Becker, Scottsdale, 480-948-0110.
Hard Rock Cafe: The memorabilia at Hard Rock's Phoenix franchise ranges from the hip (Roy Orbison motorcycle, Chet Atkins autographed guitar) to the outdated (Spin Doctors? Ugly Kid Joe?). Live music ranges from hip-hop and Latin nights to performances by high-profile Valley rock bands. 3 S. Second St., 602-261-7625.
Harley's 155: The vibe at this central Phoenix gay dance club depends on which of two house DJs controls the console. Some nights, the selection is decidedly '80s (old-school Madonna, etc.). Other nights, newer fare like DJ Sammy blasts. No matter -- an eclectic, multiracial blend of dancers keeps the huge, Technicolor-lighted floor buzzing. 155 W. Camelback, 602-274-8505.
Harold's Corral: Harold's plays host to dancer-friendly country-western house band Vigilante and a gaggle of country bar amenities -- rustic-wood ambiance, sports on the televisions, four pool tables, and a 30-foot-by-30-foot dance floor. Come Friday, the place opens an enormous patio and a second, 100-year-old bar to accommodate the Harley-riding contingent. 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-1906.
Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino: 15406 N. Maricopa Rd., Maricopa, 1-520-568-4154.
Hola Cafe: Wednesday night salsa lessons, Top 40-spinning DJs and Latin music from Wednesday to Saturday are among the draws at this Caribbean cafe. The atmosphere's decidedly unpretentious, despite the Scottsdale location. 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-945-5900.
Hollywood Alley: A Mesa institution, Hollywood Alley is known for its noisy rock shows, finger foods, black vinyl booths, vintage movie posters on the walls and arcade games in the back. Look for very tall, very thin, very friendly bartender "Fun Bobby," who books the Valley's most avant-garde out-of-town bands for the club. Mon: Page The Village Idiot. 2610 W. Baseline, Mesa, 480-820-7117.
Ice Breakers Restaurant & Brewery: 15730 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, 480-948-6789.
Icehouse: The Icehouse operates in a veil of mystery -- it never offers the same atmosphere twice. The silver, metallic walls and outdoor areas of this actual former icehouse complement everything from raves to art installations. The food and drink depends on the event, and most events are all-ages. 429 W. Jackson, 602-257-8929.
Jackson's on 3rd: Surrounded by downtown Phoenix's sport complexes, Jackson's 50-plus televisions and outdoor dining will satisfy even the most particular sports fan. With 28 beers on tap and above-average bar fare such as pasta and deli-fresh sandwiches, Jackson's is also home to live blues and rock. (See also Club 245.) 245 E. Jackson, 602-254-5303.
Jazz in the Hills Coffee House (formerly Inspirations): This intimate, smoke-free spot -- in the Appian Way Restaurant's banquet room -- features local and regional musicians playing Latin, classic and modern jazz every Friday at 8:30 p.m. Concerts are free, but gratuities are collected for the performers. 17149 E. Amhurst, Fountain Hills, 480-837-9771.
J. Chew & Co.: Located in Scottsdale Mall, J. Chew stops serving food after 4 p.m., and shifts from a casual restaurant to a chill music club Thursdays through Saturdays. Solo performers such as Phil Hendricks provide rock, blues, jazz and soul, which can be enjoyed from either inside or outside seating. Thu: Phil Hendricks. Fri-Sat: Michael James. 7320 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, 480-946-2733.
Jet Lag Lounge: Secluded and dimly lighted, this bar and restaurant at the end of a Safeway shopping center on Hayden Road is a godsend for acoustic jazz fans. There's no cover charge, either. Tue: "New Orleans Jazz & Swing Music" with Joe Hopkins Quartet, 7-10 p.m. Wed-Sat: Stage Door Canteen Night with Gary Church and Rags Allen, 7-10 p.m. Sun: Jam session, 5-9 p.m. 7908 E. Chaparral, Ste. 102, Scottsdale, 480-941-9144.
Joe's Grotto: Here's a neighborhood bar in the good sense of the word, located in the PV Oasis strip mall. Drinks, darts and open mikes -- what more community do you need? Sun: South Park Party. Mon and Wed: Open mike with David Grossman. Tue and Thu: Dart tourney. Fri-Sat: Bands, $5 cover. 13825 N. 32nd St., 602-992-1007.
John Henry's: 909 E. Elliot, Tempe, 480-730-9009.
Jolta Java: 14418 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-607-7771.
Jugheads: A small punk/heavy rock club with a tiny stage, Jugheads offers an angry jukebox (Korn, Sex Pistols), black light and plenty of attitude. Live music is on tap most nights -- mostly locals with some regional touring acts mixed in for good measure. 5110 E. McDowell, 602-225-0307.
Kerr Cultural Center: 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-965-5377.
Knuckleheads: 13035 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-494-7625.
La Casa del Mariachi: 1420 N. 24th St., 602-275-8565.
Lagerfields: 12601 N. Paradise Village Pkwy. West, 602-765-0059.
Last Call Bar: 1120 E. Apache, Tempe, 480-449-7860.
Leland's: 37433 N. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-4094.
Livingston's Soul Food Restaurant: South Scottsdale locals flock to this soul food restaurant for specialties like catfish and for cultural enrichment six nights a week. A separate, softly lighted lounge area plays host to karaoke, R&B bands, open-mike nights and Wednesday poetry readings (a popular draw; reserve a spot by Sunday). 7111 E. Thomas, Scottsdale, 480-429-6161.
Lobby Bar, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch: 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-3388.
Longbranch: 10600 W. Buckeye, Tolleson, 623-936-1320.
The Longshot Bar & Grill: 7436 E. McDowell, Scottsdale, 480-947-3304.
Long Wong's: Once the linchpin of Tempe's desert-rock scene, the cozy Long Wong's still hosts a revolving cast of local bands (Gloritone, Busted Hearts) to complement blue-collar beers -- Schlitz in the can! -- and phenomenal wings. 701 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-966-3147.
Los Olivos Mexican Patio: 7328 E. Second St., Scottsdale, 480-946-2256.
Los Vaqueros Western Steakhouse & Saloon: 285 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, 480-982-3407.
Lucci's 4 Pasta & More: 4747 N. 20th St., 602-954-2394.
Lucky Dragon: A Pan-Asian eatery, the Lucky Dragon splices pot stickers with performance, an eclectic weekly selection of jazz, R&B, hip-hop, rock and, occasionally, comedy. The place's decor showcases local art that's as cutting edge as its Ginsu-wielding chefs. Sun: Phoenix Jazz Workshop, no cover. Mon: Drums and Bass Night, 18+. Tue: All for House, 4 DJs, $3. Wed: Pulse Modulation, 18+. Thu: Night of Reggae, $5, 21+. Fri: Rock Night -- 4 bands, $5. Sat: Hip-Hop Night, 5 p.m.-3 a.m. 3318 S. McClintock, Tempe, 480-768-9800.
Mabel Murphy's: 7018 E. Main, Scottsdale, 480-946-0363.
Macayo's on Central: 4001 N. Central, 602-264-6141.
Malone's Bar & Grill: 15220 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-595-5021.
Marco Polo Supper Club: Billing itself as an "East meets West" restaurant -- Italian dinners with egg rolls? Who knew? -- Marco Polo combines dining, live entertainment and tasteful decor such as black-and-white photography. After dinner, a mixture of locals and resort dwellers dances to standards and pop covers by local musicians. Wed, Sat: Aaron Nelson Project. Thu-Fri: Van Gogh. 8608 E. Shea, Scottsdale, 480-483-1900.
Martini Ranch & Shaker Room: 7925 E. Stetson, Scottsdale, 480-970-0500.
Mason Jar: 2303 E. Indian School, 602-954-0455
McDuffy's Wide World of Entertainment: 15184 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, 623-334-5000.
Mickey's Hangover: The attraction to this Scottsdale bar lies in its 3 a.m. closing. None of this turning-into-pumpkins, 1 a.m. stuff. While it stops serving alcohol at the witching hour, it keeps late-night snack food coming 'til 3. The back patio allows for fresh air, conversation and cigarette smoking while the DJs spin inside. Wednesday's Funk and Soul is a big night with Parliament coming from the DJ and blaxploitation films showing on the wall. 4312 N. Brown, Scottsdale, 480-425-0111.
Minder Binder's: A barn on the outside, your grandmother's cluttered attic on the inside, this college-minded bar and grill features hip-hop/Top 40 DJ music upstairs on Friday and Saturday nights, and salsa dancing and group lessons on the patio out back. 715 S. McClintock, Tempe, 480-966-1911.
Modified Arts: Mainstream-shunning hipsters flock to this tiny performance space located in downtown's up-and-coming Roosevelt gallery district. Modified hosts raw indie rock, emo and punk bands, as well as experimental film screenings, alternative theater and a variety of genre-defying performances. Smokers congregate on the front sidewalk between sets. 407 E. Roosevelt, 602-462-5516.
Moondoggie's: The Arizona Center may have seen better days, but this second-floor nightspot can still pack 'em in for mainstream retro, Top 40 and high-energy dance music. 455 N. Third St., 602-253-5200.
Mr. Lucky's: 3660 Grand Ave., 602-246-0686.
Next: Nestled down the street from Cajun House, this darkly lighted lounge offers aggressive house music, a small dance area and a bar buzzing with the gym- and surgically enhanced, some no doubt judging their own assets against those of the exotic nudes that decorate the walls. Well-furnished dining areas tucked in side rooms provide serenity for the rest of us. 7111 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-970-6398.
Nifty 50s Nightclub: 6767 N. 35th Ave., 602-973-2023.
Nita's Hideaway: Now situated in a 14,000-square-foot facility along the Loop 101, Nita's is the venue for vital national indie-rock acts and up-and-coming local rockers. The new place promises to keep the old Nita's kitschy charm (including a velvet JFK painting) while keeping every show indoors. 3300 S. Price, Tempe, 480-966-7715.
Noyz: Noyz hosted a night for beauticians when it opened late in 2002, and the clientele is as cosmetic as that promotion suggests. Well-dressed folks move to dance-pop hits under a mirror ball downstairs and sink into plush couches on a bright, wooden floor upstairs. Flat-screen televisions and an industrial-looking metal staircase create a Euro-New York hybrid atmosphere. 4224 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale, 480-941-9333.
O'Kelley's Sports Bar & Grill: 2120 W. Guadalupe, Mesa, 480-756-6069.
Ole Brass Rail Saloon: 3788 E. Thomas, 602-956-1280.
O'Mally's Sports, Spirits & Grill: 3544 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, 602-589-7180.
On the Rocks: 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-5527.
The Other Place: 7101 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, 480-948-7910.
Paisley Violin: 128 E. Roosevelt, 602-254-7843.
Parrot Bay: 6949 E. Shea, Scottsdale, 480-948-9710.
Pat Murphy's Pub and Grill: A drinking man's pool hall-cum-neighborhood blues bar, Pat Murphy's has no stage to speak of, leaving blues bands no option but to man a back wall. But you can't beat 6 a.m. hash browns and bourbon for that "good morning, world, how are you?" feeling. Wed and Sun: Blues jam with the Rocket 88's. Thu: Karaoke. Fri-Sat: Live blues band. 3215 E. Thomas, 602-522-0669.
Pattie's First Avenue Lounge: 7220 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, 480-990-0103.
Pinnacle Peak Patio: 10426 E. Jomax, Scottsdale, 480-585-1599.
Priceless Inn: The owners of Boston's (RIP) kept the old strip-mall bar pretty much the same way it's been for 25 years -- pool tables, shuffleboards, dartboards. But at night, the lights dim for live entertainment in a lounge atmosphere. Thu: Blunt Club, featuring spoken word, poetry and open mike with DJ spinning acid jazz and trip-hop. Fri-Sat: Live music. 5014 S. Price, Tempe, 480-897-1466.
Reata Pass Steakhouse: 27500 N. Alma School Pkwy., Scottsdale, 480-585-7277.
Remington's Restaurant: 7200 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-948-3001.
Rhythm Room: Local blues impresario and killer harmonica player Bob Corritore's passion for roots music attracts legends such as John Hammond and other touring acts to his intimate, energetic Rhythm Room that would otherwise skip town. That passion also attracts the Valley's most diverse audience -- old, young, black, white. 1019 E. Indian School, 602-265-4842.
The Rockin' Horse: 7043 E. McDowell, Scottsdale, 480-874-1112.
Rodeo Nights: Grab your boots and hat and take a swing on this enormous dance floor. Or walk a few feet to one of the seven full-service bars. Or try the mechanical bulls, the pool tables, or slip away for a quieter rendezvous under the flashing lights of a saddle covered in mirror-ball tiles. Wed: Ladies' Latin night. Thu and Sat: Male revue, plus country dancing lessons. 4029 N. 33rd Ave., 602-279-3800.
The Rogue: The jukebox spins both Gene Vincent and Motörhead, which may explain why skateboarders, cowboys, and Vespa and Harley riders are all drawn to this dark roadhouse. Thu: Ska and '60s mod. Fri-Sat: Punk and rockabilly. 423 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-3580.
Roman's Oasis: 16825 W. Yuma Rd., Goodyear, 623-932-0922.
Roosters Country: 3731 E. Main, Mesa, 480-641-2125.
Rula Bula: An authentic Irish pub designed, dismantled, transported to Tempe and then reassembled! Acoustic performers and small groups keep the rousing Irish music flowing while the bar serves an array of pints and lagers. Thu-Sat: Live music. 401 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-929-9500.
Rustler's Rooste: A real live bovine inhabits a large pen next to the entrance, a variety of beers flow from the tap, and a nice view of the East Valley are some of the amenities at this popular tourist destination with a ranchlike feel. Tue-Sat: Peso Dollar Band. 7777 S. Pointe Pkwy. West, 602-431-6474.
The Rusty Spur Saloon: 7245 E. Main, Scottsdale, 480-941-2628.
Sail Inn: 26 S. Farmer, Tempe, 480-921-1775.
Sampan Seafood Village: 668 N. 44th St., 602-286-9888.
Sanctuary: One of the Valley's sightliest clubs, it has everything to keep up with its major-city counterparts: a line outside the door miles long; velvet rope and hulking bouncers; a dress code; and a VIP room. Local DJs pump out trance and techno on the decks Wednesday through Saturday on the two dance floors. It's a good place to get away from the "collegiate" atmosphere of Tempe. A tucked-away lounge offers dancers a breather. 7340 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale, 480-970-5000.
Scorch Bar: Mix lava lamps, neon booths and drinks with names like the Inferno served in an underground bar and, well . . . it's getting hot in here. The lounging and conversing last until 9 p.m.; then it's dancing time. Mon: Alt. dance. Tue: Sexy silhouette contest. Wed: Industry night, '70s to present dance. Thu: Ladies' night, Top 40 and hip-hop. Fri-Sat: House, Top 40 and hip-hop. Sun: R&B, club classics. 21001 N. Tatum, Phoenix, 480-513-7211.
702 Dwntwn: A former gay club that now draws a heavily Latino crowd, 702 Dwntwn features DJs who spin Latin, hip-hop and house sounds. Well-dressed dancers keep the beat going until 3 a.m., while loungers relax on plush high-back couches nearby. 702 N. Central, 602-252-0080.
Shadow Lounge/Splash Sports Bar: 8021 N. 43rd Ave., 623-937-6355.
Shannon's Grill: Shannon's is something of a rarity -- an unpretentious neighborhood sports bar and grill with an outdoor patio for extra drinking space and view of South Mountain. Sports fans can catch games on any of 30 televisions while they eat prime rib, and would-be singing superstars tackle karaoke on the weekends. Fri-Sat: Karaoke. 1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 480-283-8750.
Shepherd's: 3114 E. Cactus, 602-482-0751.
Six Restaurant and Lounge: Selected as one of the top bars in the U.S. by InStyle and Esquire magazines, Six, with its neon ambiance and gym-augmented clientele, may make you feel like you just sneaked into a Hollywood première. The unisex rest room can be a peep show if you forget to lock the door. Catch jazz jam sessions on Mondays and sets by world-class DJs on Sundays. 7316 E. Stetson, Scottsdale, 480-663-6620.
Sky Lounge: Part of Sports City Grill, the popular two-level eatery hosts various themed nights beginning on Wednesday with DJ Shy and friends blasting danceable jams; "Subconscious" Thursdays with DJs spinning drum and bass; and Friday Latin night, which features Afro-Cuban band Cascabel downstairs Friday nights and salsa dancing upstairs until 3 a.m. 132 E. Washington, 602-229-1110.
Steel Horse Saloon: One of the most popular biker hangouts in the Valley, annual events include Bike-toberfest and the anniversary of AZ Rider Motorcycle News. Mon: Pool tournaments. Tue: Open-mike night. Wed: Blues night, featuring bands. Thu: Karaoke. Fri-Sun: Live country music. 1768 W. Bell, 602-942-8778.
Steve's Mexican Food & Lounge: 1711 S. Central, 602-254-3787.
Storyteller Café: 2655 W. Guadalupe, Mesa, 480-491-3363.
Sugar Daddy's: Here, Old Town Scottsdale meets Bourbon Street and turns blues at the corner with local, national R&B acts. And there's a roomy outdoor patio where you can enjoy Sunday brunch with your live entertainment. Sun: Hans Olson/Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-970-6556.
Sushi N' Rock: 15111 N. Hayden, Scottsdale, 480-991-ROCK.
TJ's Bar & Grill: 1734 E. Main, Mesa, 480-833-1950.
Tom Ryan's: 70 W. Warner, Chandler, 480-792-1699.
UB's Uptown Bar & Grill: 2801 N. Central, 602-264-2000.
Undici Undici Fine Art Coffee House: 1111 S. Longmore, Mesa, 480-962-4224.
Victorian English Cafe: 309 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-633-6128.
Victory Sports Bar & Grill: 7103 E. McDowell, in Papago Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-945-3890.
The Vine Tavern & Eatery: 2808 E. Indian School, 602-957-9806.
Warsaw Wally's: 2547 E. Indian School, 602-955-0881
Willow House: 149 W. McDowell, 602-252-0272.
Yucca Tap Room: Tucked away in a grungy Tempe strip mall, this casual bar evokes a small-town atmosphere with its crowd of working-class regulars. College kids come by for alternative rock, karaoke and open-mike nights, while a more diverse bunch shows up for live bluegrass and country. 29 W. Southern, Tempe, 480-967-4777.