Night Train: The Ultimate Light Rail Pub Crawl

In just a few short days (December 27, to be exact), the Valley Metro will be running. With those electrified cables comes the chance to drink down Phoenix like never before. Yes, soon you'll be able to get booze from Mesa to damn near Glendale without forcing a friend to be your DD. In honor of this occasion, we spent the past month assembling The Ultimate Phoenix Bar Roll. In case you didn't see it online, we're bringing it to you here, from the easternmost stop in Mesa to the westernmost stop in central Phoenix.

A team composed of Niki D'Andrea, Jay Bennett, Benjamin Leatherman, Jonathan McNamara, and Martin Cizmar drove the route, searching out the best drinks at every stop. Yes, every single one. Along the way, you'll hit everything from scuzzy gas stations with well-stocked beer caves to some of the swankest watering holes in town. If you want to do a light-rail bar crawl the right way, this is your guide. Drink up.


Danny Hellman

Location Info


Los Dos Molinos

1010 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Central Phoenix

Where: Main Street Billiards, about 500 feet southeast of the station

Drink: A mug of Shock Top Ale, $2.50

Scene: Boasting more felt than the Muppets, Main Street Billiards features the most pool tables in the East Valley, making it the perfect place for you to stage your own private version of The Hustler. And though there's no scientific proof that alcohol will improve your abilities, a few mugs of Shock Top Ale will at least help calm your nerves when you're getting smoked. — B.L.


Where: Bill's Market, directly north of the station

Drink: Four Maxed Citrus, a 16-ounce can of caffeinated malt liquor (with a hefty 10 percent alcohol by volume) for $1.89

Scene: Not every stop on the light-rail system has a bar within walking distance, so, from time to time you'll stop at places like Bill's Market, an old-school neighborhood bodega with a pay phone (huh?) out front and a herd of stray cats around back. It's decorated with a nice assortment of softball trophies and it sells everything you need. — M.C.


Where: El Pueblo Meat Market, a five-minute walk east from the stop

Drink: A Clamato and a Budweiser, $4.

Scene: There may be worse places to drink, but we haven't seen any. There isn't much scenery to speak of outside the joint — there's an abandoned hotel across the street — and inside, well . . . Our suggestion: Drink your drink, but do it quickly, then get back on the train. — J.M.


Where: The Roc Bar, at 1400 South McClintock, a 10-minute walk south from the station

Drink: 100 Cracked Fists. Imagine everything including the kitchen sink (with a grenadine kiss) and you're still not even close.

Scene: With enough monitors to make the most die-hard sports fan go into convulsions and a few pool tables to boot, Roc Bar is a nice little hangout. — J.M.


Where: The Lucky Devil, one block west of the station

Drink: The "Shot Ski," $5 or more for top-shelf booze

Scene: The joints around ASU find interesting ways to get their patrons drunk. At the Lucky Devil you'll find the "Shot Ski," a large water ski with three shots lined up on it. Try it with a couple of your bros, or attempt to get a pair of hotties to join you. — B.L.


Where: Sushi 101, approximately 500 feet northeast of the station

Drink: Hot sake, $3.50 for a small carafe

Scene: While you can down a few carafes of Nipponese rice wine in the dining room, we dig hanging out in the lounge area, where a funky wooden bartop is decorated with Japanese instructions on how to properly eat sushi and Polaroid snapshots show the comedians who've stopped by after their gigs at the Tempe Improv. — B.L.


Where: Paradise Hawaiian BBQ, a three-minute walk from the stop. Go east from the station, then south on College.

Drink: Kona Longboard Island Lager, $5

Scene: If it's game day, you'll have no problem getting a free beer at this stop, in the shadow of Sun Devil Stadium. Other days, however, you should check out Paradise, a casual little joint with a big patio and typical Hawaiian fare (Spam Musubi, anyone?). If you're here later in the evening, Dirty Devil Sports Bar is next door. — M.C.


Where: Anywhere

Drink: Anything

Scene: Where, oh, where can you get a drink on Mill Avenue? No, really. Since Coconut Club closed, we've been hard-pressed to find a decent bar on Mill! Ahem. Seriously, folks, getting a drink on Mill is obviously easy, so pick your poison. — M.C.


Where: Rolling Hills Golf Course, a 10- to 15-minute walk, northeast from the station

Drink: A pitcher of Bud Light, $6.50

Scene: Our lofty goal with this bar crawl was to find someplace at every stop that was within walking distance and not actually closer to any other stop. We've done that here — barely. There's nothing but office buildings (and the Marquee, which has no public bar) here, so you need to hike up Mill Avenue to the lounge at Tempe's city-owned golf course. — M.C.

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My Voice Nation Help

What jackass organized the pub crawl in Ardmore!? It was a train WRECK, he not only tried to molest my friends but also their dinners. He got escorted out of the pub only after ripping the paper dispenser off the wall in the mens bathroom and making it fucking snow in there. He also paraded around and on the bar yelling "do u know who I am!?" While the owner was apologizing to us about to rediculousness involved, our friend found himself presenting himself on the bar for the third time that night. He also amused himself by blowing a train whistle. Constantly. Into people's faces. I've never wanted to punch someone so badly in the face, even with a police station across the street!


Applebee's is NOT the only bar within walking distance of the Central/Camelback lightrail stop. You never even mentioned Four Kings Central at 24 west Camelback, which is a shorter walk from that stop than Applebee's.I don't even know how you could have missed it, unless maybe you had a few too many at the other stops. Should have done your homework before you started drinking maybe? Maybe you could do an article how many businesses went under or are hanging by a thread , due to the lightrail and it's preceding construction.

Sonja Lockhart
Sonja Lockhart

You missed one of the best brew pubs in Phoenix at the Central & Camelback stop on the light rail system ... Sonora Brewing Company. Its located at 3rd Street & Camelback. All the beers on tap are brewed right there on the premises and I would recommend the Cream Light Rail Ale. For those who prefer more hops try the IPA. Great food too with a very comfortable atmosphere.


I'm one of the younger people that go to the 4 Kings on the weekends. I don't get the whole not liking hoodies and beat up sneakers? Is this sarcasm, cause that's all you see in that place. Lovin it though the 4 Kings is awesome if you like dives with creepy old men!


Too bad you'll have to drink and leave to catch your train just as all the rest are showing up to get their drink on. The Metro is a joke.

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