Washington and Second streets, downtown Phoenix

Don't look now, but it seems as though downtown Phoenix's nightlife scene has finally developed a pulse. Instead of avoiding the formerly lifeless city core (which, in years past, had the reputation of rolling up the sidewalks at 5 p.m.), hordes of hipsters of every stripe are heading downtown to drink and dance. Ground zero for this nightlife explosion has been a particular block of Copper Square where nearly a half-dozen nightclubs and restaurants offer a wide variety of music, bands, and DJs every night of the week. Bringing new definition to the word blockbuster, this off-the-chain area (located between Washington and Adams streets and First and Second streets) contains the queer-friendly cool of Burn, with chic gay and lesbian clubgoers dancing to house one night and indie kids rocking to the turntablism of Mykil and Kevin the Makeout Bandit the next. There's also the trendy two-level joint Bar Smith, with DJ Senbad and Benjamin Cutswell pumping their record decks every Saturday, and the upscale Latin danceteria Sky Lounge packing 'em in next door. Around the corner is jock haven Majerle's, whose 9 Lounge hosts the hip-hop night Grown & Gorgeous Thursdays with Dangerous MC, and on the other side of the block, the Matador Restaurant serves up Caliente Chica Fridays, with DJs AL3 and the Manic Hispanic spinning reggaeton, old school, and cumbias. Looks like Scottsdale isn't the only place to see and be seen anymore.


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