By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
Thu-Sun: Live music with ladies' night from 8-11 p.m.
Sat-Sun: Southwest breakfast, 9 a.m. 4142 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 480-706-5564.
Bar 74: 7443 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-3313.
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. Live music seven nights a week. 1954 E. University Dr., Tempe, 480-966-5010.
Bikini Lounge: The ultimate in dive bars, glorious in its dive-osity. Old-school tiki rules the regulars most eves, with a regulation pool table, TV sets, and cool jukebox easing the pain of existence. But on First Friday, the joint's off the chain with everyone and his Scottsdale cousin ending up there wearing a trucker hat and a Von Dutch tee. $3 pitchers, $3 wells. So drink up, fool! 1502 Grand Ave., 602-252-0472.
Billet Bar: 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-1876.
Blue Agave Mexican Cantina: Music is occasionally on the menu at this airy, upscale Mexican restaurant that features modern art and a backlit blue glass window in the dining room. Open Mic Mondays, hosted by local rock musicians Newton's Theorem, draw well, occasionally attracting well-known local acts and out-of-towners to perform or just hang out. 4280 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-429-1123.
Boom Night Club: Best known for Hot Pink, the wildly popular electroclash night on Fridays that runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. A must for the fabulous and wanna-be fab, the place buzzes with an intoxicating sexual vibe, no doubt aided by the dirt-cheap wells and domestics. Saturdays there's Club Boom, a Latin night, and Sundays it's all '80s licks with History. 4-10 p.m. happy hour and dancing, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. on the weekends. 1724 E. McDowell Rd., 602-254-0231.
Boston's Bar & Grill: 1730 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe, 480-831-0822.
The Brightstar: 8155 W. Thunderbird Rd., Peoria.
BS West: Blink, and you might miss this well-concealed Old Town Scottsdale gay bar from the street. Once you do find it tucked away on East Fifth Avenue, you'll discover a two-story sports bar/dance club hybrid -- black-painted walls, TV monitors with MTV-style music videos, a dance floor, live music and an upstairs game room featuring pool tables. 7125 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-945-9028.
Buddy's: 1560 E. Osborn Rd., 602-266-0477.
Buzz the Original Fun Bar:
Fri-Sat: Power 92.3 hosts the night playing hip-hop/R&B music. 10345 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-FUNN (3866).
Cabanas: Aptly named, Cabanas' walls are adorned with surfboards and sea-foam-green murals of palm trees. There's not much room for dancing, although there is a stage for exhibitionists. For some quiet time, check out the dock patio, which boasts a Sun Tracker speedboat with tables and chairs on board. 6810 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-421-9055.
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: Straight A double elimination pool tournament.
Tue, Wed and Thu: Karaoke with Crazy Rick.
Fri-Sat: Live bands starting at 9:30 p.m., no cover. 4747 E. Elliot Rd., Ahwatukee, 480-893-6630.
Cash Inn Country: Cash Inn is a large gay country dance club in central Phoenix that features wood-paneled walls, live entertainment, line-dancing lessons on a large, checkered dance floor, video games, a pool table, and dartboards.
Tue-Sat: Dancing, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.
Tue-Wed: Dance lessons, 7:30-9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: DJ from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sun: Karaoke, 6-10 p.m. 2140 E. McDowell Rd., 602-244-9943.
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.
Sun-Tue: Karaoke. 7570 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-4338.
Charlie's: A gay country and western bar, ol' Butch and Sundance would have been proud to walk into Charlie's. The place has a rustic theme with an all-consuming wooden decor, from the outdoor patio, which also features a volleyball court, to the rails next to the dance floor.
Sun: Drag show, Pussy LeHoot and Friends.
Mon: Undies Mondays.
Tue: Two-step dancing lessons.
Thu: Beginning line-dancing lessons.
Fri: 75-cent happy hour from 7-9 p.m. After-hours high-energy disco music from 1-3 a.m. 21 and over.
Sat: Advanced line-dancing lessons and 75-cent happy hour from 7-9 p.m. After-hours high-energy disco music from 1-3 a.m. 21 and over. 727 W. Camelback Rd., 602-265-0224.
Char's Has the Blues: A freestanding roadhouse, Char's is nearing two decades of showcasing Valley blues artists seven nights a week. Each week has a different lineup of performers. Or you could just shoot a game of pool and sip bourbon with friends. 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 the stage, and three pool tables inspire competition.
Mon: Open mic night.