By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Katrina Montgomery
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Monica Alonzo
By Benjamin Leatherman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Katrina Montgomery
When Al Page kicks out a classic jam like the Ohio Players' "Everybody Up" inside the Hidden House's cozy lounge on Saturday nights, it's impossible not to heed the '70s superstars' advice to "get with it" out on the dance floor. Can't drop slick moves like James Brown? Don't fret, fool. Nobody's judging. They're too busy following their own groovy muses and shaking tail-feathers to old school funk and soul. Ditto on Fridays, when guest DJs offer everything from dancehall to drum 'n' bass. 607 W. Osborn Road, 602-279-0170, facebook.com/thehiddenhouse
Whether it's tempestuous tropical tracks, sultry cumbias, or potent merengue, this two-story discoteca has been hip on the Latin music tip since debuting in 2002. It's been a decade of both decadence and dance, as caramel-skinned cuties (and the hombres who adore them) have flocked here for years to wild out with bebidas, baile, and bad behavior. Like, say, for "One O'Clock Tequila Pour," where the bedeviling firewater is suggestively dispensed straight into besotted females' mouths while LMFAO's "Shots" blares. It's loud and lewd. 132 E. Washington St., 602-330-3362, skyloungeaz.com
Thankfully, the roaring fireplace and torches adorning Amsterdam's interior are faux, since the tony gay parlor is already torrid enough from swarms of warm bodies that transform it into a weekend hotspot (literally) for vampy boys and straight-but-curious girlies. Resident DJs keep the dance floor feverish with scorching club bangers and Top 40, while temperatures are spiked further via go-go boys in jockey shorts gyrating atop the bar, making some patrons feel hot to trot. 718 N. Central Ave., 602-258-6122, facebook.com/amsterdamphx
Cocktails here are so cool that naming them isn't necessary. They are designated by number, each with a backstory. Like the nectarous "No. 06," featuring syrup accidentally spawned after leaving sliced strawberries and sugar in the fridge a few days. Award-winning drink tinkerers like Devour champ Matty Helland constantly collaborate on new entries to add to Windsor's twice-yearly menu reboots, be they original concoctions or variations of classics, like "No. 63," a Brown Derby remix with Kentucky bourbon, fresh-squeezed grapefruit, and honey that's smoother than the Sam Cooke tape in Windsor's signature cassette mural. 5223 N. Central Ave., 602-279-1111, windsoraz.com
In business, you spend money to make money. Nightclub impresarios Edson Madrigal, Pete Salaz, and Sean Badger did so, installing a $90,000 PK sound system at their newest spot, Monarch Theatre. And it's worth every penny. It's brought EDM aficionados out in droves to hear marquee-level DJs work mixer magic in 30,000-watt sound. Next on the list: hiring local muralists to enliven the walls, giving Monarch an urban-meets-urbane aura like adjacent danceteria Bar Smith, which remains as popular as ever. 122 E. Washington St., 602-692-9633, facebook.com/monarchtheatre
According to Astor House owner DJ Fernandes, this pint-size spinoff of Tuck Shop walks a different path with its cuisine and cocktails from its straitlaced older sibling next door. Things are more playful here, as illustrated by the delightful one-off daily cocktail specials of bartender Blaise Fabar, like the whiskey-laden Alien's Blood, the fuchsia-soaked prickly pear margaritas, or any of Astor's seven unique specialty drinks. 2243 N. 12th St., 602-687-9775, astorinphx.com
Between the flashy tableaux of high-end and redemption games in the arcade, a vibrant tempest of lights and sounds from the DJ booth, and the eye-popping aerialist and burlesque performances, you might get sensory overload when visiting Gypsy Bar. Maybe even a case of Pac-Man fever, too. Self-medicate at the bar or head to the attached Lucky Strike for some bowling, if your wrists remain limber. 50 W. Jefferson St., #240, gypsybarphoenix.com
Ostensibly a concert venue, the Crescent occasionally goes chameleon and plays host to comedy gigs, screenings, art shows, and spoken-word events, as well as functioning as a social hub and wayward home for downtown hipsters. Oh, and they sell burritos. 308 N. 2nd Ave., 602-716-2222, crescentphx.com
Josh Parry is nothing if not loyal to his patronage. Adopting an "if it ain't broke" mindset, he hasn't changed SideBar's menu much since opening in 2009, keeping it real and keeping around the same finely crafted, well-balanced, and undeniably drinkable favorites (including the popular Whiskeyberry Sour, White Rabbit, and Pimm's Seventh Avenue) that keep crowds coming back and happily imbibing instead of sacrificing 'em to the latest trends. Meanwhile, he's collaborating with employees on some new favorites. 1514 N. 7th Ave., 602-254-1646, sidebarphoenix.com
Culture vultures will find much to dig at FilmBar, as they can sample 16 wines or 30-odd beers and screen art-house flicks, unheralded screen gems, or foreign films. If it's Saturday, patrons join Djentrification on his forays into eclectic world sounds in the lounge. 815 N. 2nd St., 602-595-9187, thefilmbarphx.com
3110 N. Central Ave.
727 W. Camelback Road
702 N. Central Ave.
1724 E. McDowell Road
3110 N. Central Ave., #125
710 N. Central Ave.
ANGELS TRUMPET ALE HOUSE
810 N. 2nd St.
50 W. Jefferson St., #200