MY SCOTTSDALE: Nicole Danis
Nicole Danis knows Scottsdale like the back of her manicured hand. It's a necessity in her line of work as head concierge for the Mondrian Scottsdale. If she's with gal pals, the night starts at such Scottsdale Waterfront spots as Upstairs at Estate House. "Their drinks are fabulous and are always fresh and organic, like the Rose Mojito, with actual rose petals in it," Danis says. Later, they might visit American Junkie, where shots are awarded to ladies that spin its wheel of fortune atop the bar. "I forget which shots I've won," she says. "It seems like every time I go there I walk out not remembering much." The next morning, Danis sometimes recovers with some "phenomenal gingerbread pancakes" at Daily Dose, a walk with Diva, her miniature Pinscher, or shopping at Canal District boutiques.
7353 E. Indian School Rd.
Upstairs at Estate House
7134 E. Stetson Dr., #200
4363 N. 75th St.
4020 N. Scottsdale Rd.
HOTELS & RESORT BARS
The proprietors of the Onyx Bar & Lounge should charge admission, because their lustrous establishment boasts awe-inspiring views of both Troon Mountain and Pinnacle Peak, usually when lit by the amber rays of sunset. The radiantly rustic furnishings and décor of the cozy drinkery, located inside the opulent Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, is equally splendid, having been hewn from mesquite trees and the titular stone. But these posh amenities take a back seat to the vibrant alcoholic concoctions and small-plate delights served here.
10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr.
Depravity and decadence are almost de rigueur at the Mondrian Scottsdale's Red Bar, which isn't surprising given that its designers envisioned it as crimson-colored "love den" or modern-day Garden of Eden (complete with translucent plastic apples placed about the lounge). The swanketeria is a virtual seraglio of sinful behavior packed with chic and sexy types sipping made with coconut and strawberries or snuggling on the outdoor cabanas or by a roaring fireplace.
7353 E. Indian School Rd.
When it comes to luxe libations and sophisticated décor, few other hotels' bars come close to besting the W Scottsdale's potent pair of lounges. The downstairs Living Room is über-upscale hangout of Mid-Century Modern urbanity that's hosted more than a few celebutantes and Hollywood glitterati, as well as hepcat DJs like Soulman and Paul Oakenfold. Upstairs is Shade with lavish brown and white couches scattered amidst Mediterranean-inspired décor and a fully stocked bar armed with a classy staff tending to whatever alcohol need may arise.
7277 E. Camelback Rd.
Situated far from the club hubbub of Old Town, the Stone Rose Lounge is a chic sanctuary housed within the Fairmont Princess Resort. Equal parts outdoor and indoor, the al fresco portion of this tranquil nightspot is dominated by ample amounts of plush seating, as well as a gigantic, cube-shaped outside bar and 10,000-gallon reflecting pool. Inside ain't too shabby, either, as edgy, modernist architecture provides a backdrop for DJs like Noah Wylie spinning up downtempo tracks for shiny-shirt scenesters and the north Scottsdale elite.
7575 E. Princess Dr.
The mixologists at Avalon Scottsdale can slake your thirst with a dozen scintillating precision concoctions, including the candy-filled caipirinha.
7707 E. McDowell Rd.
Geisha A Go Go
Sushi, sake, shochus, and dozens of other tastes of Tokyo are available at Geisha A Go Go, as are several innovative Japanese-inspired cocktails.
7150 E. 6th Ave., Scottsdale
Kickoff the evening at Paris-style bistro Metro Brasserie with such eclectic artisan alcoholic beverages as the potent Strawberry Chamomile Elixir.
7114 E. Stetson Dr.
A social playground in the first degree, Myst overflows with sexy scenesters crowding its glowing patios and marble dance floor, or getting pampered inside high-class VIP areas.
7340 E. Shoeman Lane
Cream Stereo Lounge
World-renowned guest DJs, a high-tech Dynacord sound system, and upscale décor make Cream Stereo Lounge a can't-miss.
4252 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Energy and excitement abound at double-sided danceteria Axis/Radius, where two adjacent clubs blast trance, house, Top 40, and dance hits.
7340 E. Indian Plaza
Voyeurs will thrill at the recent upgrades at Pussycat Lounge, including more bar space for go-go dancers and a two-way mirror revealing scantily clad femmes in their boudoirs.
4426 N. Saddlebag Trail
Sleep is overrated, especially when after-hours club Afterlife offers energy drinks, video games, dancing, and other eye-opening distractions all night.
4282 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Downtempo beats and sumptuous soul food selections (including catfish, pork chops, and barbecue) are served up at Sultry until 4 a.m.
7333 E. Shoeman Lane
MY TOWN: Bryan Navarro
As manager of Scottsdale's Apple Store, Bryan Navarro makes nice bank. Although it affords the 26-year-old some vices, like Lacoste shoes, he eschews ostentatiousness for a more subdued existence. This almost anti-Scottsdale mentality means Navarro shuns trendy, cacophonous clubs for quieter joints like Drift Lounge, where he's had some interesting interactions. "My friend thinks I resemble Maroon 5's singer [Adam Levine] and tells girls that as his opener," Navarro says. "It's never worked out." No one's ever mistaken him for a pop star at AZ88, nor does anyone gasp when he shows up wearing shorts. ("It's got a nice vibe where you can dress practically anyway you want.") Plus, it's adjacent to the secluded Civic Center Park, perfect for a post-meal stroll over to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. "I can't speak to art — at least not intelligently — but I just know what I like visually." Don't expect him to buy up any masterpieces for his walls.
The Apple Store
15169 N. Scottsdale Rd.
4341 N. 75th St.
7353 Scottsdale Mall
Scottsdale Civic Center Park
3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 E. 2nd St.
Walking is for plebes. (Why waste your precious drinking energy by hoofing it?) Here are some top-shelf options for getting around Scottsdale:
Any simpleton with a C-note can hire a limousine to schlep to and fro. But a 40-foot-long SUV that's rolling on 60-inch tires? That takes chutzpah (not to mention serious chedda).
813 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Almost two-dozen options are available for rent, including Hummers, Escalades, and a vintage 1939 Rolls-Royce.
6425 E. Thomas Rd.
This agency's fleet includes Ford Navigators, a Chrysler 300M, and ginormous party buses.
A recent trend is clubhopping on golf carts. Two companies offer free rides on weekends.
4 p.m.-3 a.m. Thursday-Sunday
9 p.m.-3 a.m., Thursday-Saturday
A favorite of the inebriated, bicycle-powered rickshaws are common in Old Town.
Worth venturing out of Scottsdale for: the monthly First Friday art walk extravaganzas, where thousands of artists, musicians, and other imaginative types mass along Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue in celebration of their creative efforts. Esteemed galleries such as Five15 and eye lounge exhibit some of the more stunning works than their neighbors, while Perihelion Arts offers stylishly lowbrow and genre-defying pieces.
Five15: 515 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
eye lounge: 419 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
Perihelion Arts: 610 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
Head away from the hipster hullabaloo and you'll encounter nightlife aplenty, including Steve Rogers' mini-empire of gorgeously elegant danceterias steeped in sophistication. The recently opened Sanctum is a cathedral-like club featuring a darkly Baroque interior design mixed with Pagan influences that's similar in spirit to his pulchritudinous Goth parlor Palazzo.
Sanctum: 4343 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix,
Palazzo: 710 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
A trio of urbane urban nightspots reign over downtown's weekend scene: Bar Smith serves house and electro nights on both its floors, while PHX Nightclub and Stoudemire's Downtown attract pro athletes and blockbuster recording artists with off-the-hook hip-hop and R&B parties. Watch your back, Old Town.
Bar Smith: 130 E. Washington St., Phoenix
PHX: 122 E. Washington St, Phoenix
Stoudemire's: 3 S. 2nd St., Phoenix
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