Best Dive Bar Phoenix 2002 - Mecca Lounge
Plus: a sense of history (in Phoenix, this means at least 25 years old). Draft beer, of maximum three flavors. A less than six-dollar pitcher. A cold-ass bottle of Bud for around two bucks. Affordable shots of your favorite amnesia. At least one pool table and one pinball game; shuffleboard and darts a bonus.
Finally, a jukebox featuring '70s rock, tear-in-my-beer country and eclectic oldies. And a good, take-no-shit bartender.
Mecca fills the bill. It's dark and smoky, old and wonderfully worn. The indoor/outdoor carpet was once burgundy, the patrons range from neighborhoody to weekend hipsters to indigent.
Having opened in 1933, it boasts the second-oldest continuous liquor license in the county. The paneled-cum-patchwork ceiling droops poetically in the right places, making the average Joe feel 10 feet tall. The bar has a seasick quality to it, seemingly designed by munchkins with a desire to add on, like a vortex house on the side of the highway.
And if you have to break the seal, the rest room features a green shower curtain tween urinal and toilet for moments of reflection.