By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
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 Sundays, local rock bands. Dance space is at a minimum, but there's plenty of room for other social rites.
Sun: Live music.
Mon: Industry night.
Wed: Ladies' night.
Thu: College night. 855 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-517-1818.
Ain't Nobody's Bizness: No, sir, it really ain't nobody's bizness. No matter which part of the LGBT acronym you belong to, you'll find a home at this bar. Although ANB caters mostly to lesbian clientele, everyone is welcome to come in, play pool, sing karaoke, or dance on the dance floor in the center of the room. The walls of the bar are decorated with black-and-white portraits you might have found in a 1980s hair salon, but everything else in the establishment is pretty standard: high tables with plenty of barstools, a DJ booth in the corner, and plenty of ladies ready to party. And, bonus, if you work up a lot of energy while dancing the night away, there's a Filiberto's across the street.
Sun: 18 and older/hip-hop.
Tue: Pool tournament.
Wed: Underground house night.
Thu-Sat: Top 40 dance. 3031 E. Indian School Rd., Ste. #7, 602-224-9977.
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 St., 602-253-7337.
Amber Inn Cocktail Lounge: What a friendly northwest Valley sports bar looks like when it's run by folks who wear a love for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a collector's passion for Marilyn Monroe on their sleeves simultaneously.
Sun: During football season, satellite TV brings all the games.
Mon-Fri: Happy hour starts at 2 p.m.
Wed and Fri: Karaoke.
Sat: Live music. 4238 W. Dunlap Ave., 623-937-5869.
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: Divas, a revue featuring Chantelle Douglas. 718 N. Central Ave., 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.
Tue: 75-cent drink night, two DJs, two dance floors.
Thu: Brit pop and industrial dance.
Sat: Retro live. 6820 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-4168.
Anna's Southwest Grill: Located at the Arizona Golf Resort, Anna's overlooks the golf course and draws a mixed crowd of hotel guests and older local residents who come for the live jazz, big band and contemporary piano tunes.
Wed: Rick Jones performs pop hits and other favorites from 5-9 p.m.
Thu: Vocal impersonator Jack Wagner plays piano and trumpet and sings as Sinatra and others.
Fri: Bill Fuschillo plays piano and sings standards from 7-10 p.m. 425 S. Power Rd., Mesa, 480-832-3202.
Arizona Joe's: A meat-and-potatoes establishment, Arizona Joe's is known for, well, its meat. Customers eat the steaks, Buffalo wings and roasted chicken while bands perform live music seven nights a week.
Thu-Sat: Live country music. 417 S. Winchester Rd., Apache Junction, 480-983-6115.
At Painted Mountain: 8210 E. McKellips Rd., Mesa, 480-932-0158.
Thu-Sat: Emil Flaim, entertainer, singer, pianist. 2728 E. Thomas Rd., 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.
Wed: Latin/salsa night.
Thu: Ladies' night. 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: Priding itself as a two-hour island vacation, this frozen-drink mecca may inspire you to dig out your Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops with its breezy ambiance -- heck, the waiters do. Reggae, calypso and Afro-Cuban rhythms thump from the stage every night, alongside coconut-breaded Island Onion Rings and the signature drink, the Bahamarita, a mango, kiwi and strawberry margarita mixed with Cuervo Gold.
Fri-Sat: Various Caribbean musical artists. 1959 E. Camelback Rd., 602-650-1800.
Balboa Cafe: 404 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-967-5887.
Bar Nun: Holy trinity! This Catholic-themed bar and grill, with murals of nuns playing saxophone and piano, is part sports bar, with an abundance of televisions; part family restaurant, as the menu features dishes cutely named the Father Burger and Sister Shroom; and part live music scene -- local roadhouse faves like Sistah Blue and cover bands like the Scones have performed in recent months.