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Bars & Clubs

  • BEST PLACE TO SEE BIKERS WHO LOOK LIKE YOUR DAD

    Billet Bar - CLOSED

    Get your motor runnin'? Head out on the highway? Lookin' for adventure? Looking for your dentures, more likely. If you haven't already noticed, the median age for the heavy-metal thunder-riding Harleys these days is about 56, and it's the guys who stayed in med school in the '60s instead of pursuing personal freedom and white-line fever across America. So it's… More >>
  • BEST MARTINI

    Devil's Martini - CLOSED

    (and 10825 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-348-1666) The devil's in the details, and this ritzy bar knows exactly what it takes to mix the perfect mart. These toss-backs can get expensive ($7.50 for a basic recipe), but wow, they're worth it, with generous three-ounce pours of alcohol. Of course, these martinis are based on vodka (nobody uses gin anymore, it's… More >>
  • BEST POOL HALL

    Kolby's Corner Pocket Billiards

    This is your cue to make a break to Kolbys Corner Pocket. Forget about those rinky-dink matchbox tables you have to pop quarters into. The 22 regulation-size tables here are works of art from the likes of Gandy, Gold Crown III and Brunswick. At Kolbys, you rent by the hour, which makes it a great destination for a group outing… More >>
  • BEST CIGAR LOUNGE

    Goodfella's Cigar Lounge & Deli

    There's only one place in the Valley to find and enjoy a truly great smoke -- Goodfella's. The recently opened lounge has two buildings in which to relax. The front houses the humidor that is stocked with premium cigars such as Romeo y Julieta, Don Thomas, Arturo Fuente and Montecristo. There is also a flat-screen TV and parlor sofas. If… More >>
  • BEST GAY BAR

    Amsterdam - CLOSED

    Is there a place that meets these requirements: a) a huge selection of top-shelf liquors; b) a spacious floor plan with lots of comfortable seating; c) an outdoor area to take in some fresh air; and d) rows upon rows of beautiful men? Yes sir! Only one place in the Valley can serve up these requirements and keep them coming… More >>
  • BEST HOOKAH BAR

    King Tut Cafe & Catering

    No gyrating belly dancers, no velvet couches. This is just a hookah bar, plain and simple. King Tut, a Middle Eastern restaurant, lounge and de facto cultural center, was around way before the Tempe smoking ban and Gulf War II made smoking hookahs dangerously cool, so, thankfully, it hasn't resorted to becoming a glitzy novelty. The joint is relatively quiet… More >>
  • BEST DANCE FLOOR

    Axis/Radius - CLOSED

    Interested in shakin' that booty to good vibrations? Then shuffle your feet over to Axis/Radius. It's not one nightclub, but two under one roof. Start off at Axis, and when we dip, you dip, we dip in front of the 10-foot video screen. Bust a move to your favorite songs or enjoy live music once a week from sexy Shalom… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FIND A ONE-NIGHT STAND

    Sanctuary

    Relationships require time, money and too much maintenance in the fast-paced 21st century. Sanctuary offers a perfect atmosphere for those looking to have a little fun without any strings attached. There are seven fully stocked bars at which to lose your inhibitions, which also allows more time to make the rounds to locate that party partner for the evening. Sanctuary… More >>
  • BEST AFTER HOURS

    Boom

    Screaming drag queens and young gays and lesbians hover like schoolchildren at recess as the mere mortal 1 a.m. threshold approaches at Boom on Saturday nights. Between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., those players loosen up, as the men line the bar flirting with the muscled bartenders, young boys do the "diva catwalk" on the dance floor's poles and the… More >>
  • BEST URINAL CAKES

    Nita's Hideaway

    Ticker Tape Parade is bashing away on the main stage inside the cavernous Nita's, and you're by the big bar, hanging with Valley scenesters, buying each other beers. Five songs into the set, you get that itch in your back, and the spigots prepare to open. It's pissing time. Buzzing as you are from all the Red Stripe, you stumble… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SEE SOMEONE BREAK UP

    Ladies' rest room at Club Freedom

    It never fails. You're at Club Freedom, and your girlfriend has exceeded her drink limit and excuses herself to throw up. You get worried about her and stand by the ladies' room. Inevitably, you'll find a girl crying in her cell phone trying to secure a ride home after a dance floor argument with a brutish boyfriend -- Victor, Tommy… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BE SEEN

    SIX

    Looking good is only the half of it. You also need to be seen by other good-looking people to truly pull off an ensemble. SIX is the place to be seen in the Valley. This über-chic lounge with its mood lighting and modern decor is the place to flaunt your style. Each night of the week there is a different… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DITCH LAST MONTH'S FLAVOR

    TT Roadhouse

    Sure, breaking up is hard to do. Especially when it comes to gauging the reaction of the one being dumped. Will they cry? Will they come out swingin'? Will they scream at you like Bobby Knight? It is really hard to make that call. We suggest you take them some place . . . different to cut them… More >>
  • BEST UPSCALE BAR FOOD

    Eddie Matney's

    These bar snacks are so flat-out tasty we'd stuff ourselves even if we'd just finished dinner. There is a big, beautiful selection of eclectic savories like sumac grilled lamb chops with mint hummus, spaghettini egg rolls with a spicy peanut dipping sauce, horseradish mashed potato stuffed shrimp with cactus pear and five-peppercorn ranch, and ahi with watercress cucumber salad over… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET A GUINNESS

    The Friendly Irish Pub

    If you're really a Guinness drinker, then you know how hard it is to find Guinness in this town, poured like it was meant to be served: warm, in a pint glass, by someone who knows what they're doing. You know how to wait for it, mouth watering, watching until the slow fizzle of the light brown bubbles clears to… More >>
  • BEST PICKUP BAR

    Bikini Lounge

    Crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, as you push your way through the Bikini Lounge toward the bar, you'll find a mix of pseudo-intellectual artists, wanna-be underground college students and hooker-chic women and men who look like truck drivers. Tiki torches line the back walls around the deep-seated booths and the pool table in the back while the jukebox roars… More >>
  • BEST STRIP CLUB

    Bourbon Street Circus

    It takes more than scantily clad gyrating women to make a good strip club. Try finding one with a variety of great music, a low cover charge and good drink specials. Add friendly waitresses, clean rest rooms and, oh yeah, beautiful dancers and the list gets pretty short. The Bourbon Street Circus has all of this and more, which puts… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DRINK LIKE HEMINGWAY

    Merc Bar

    Call it novel inspiration: On many a sweltering Havana day, Ernest Hemingway kept cool at his favorite watering hole, La Bodeguita, with a steady supply of ice-cold mojitos. Not surprisingly, the famous Cuban concoction helps beat the heat here as well -- if it's good enough for the literary legend, it's good enough for the parched souls of Phoenix. A… More >>
  • BEST LATIN CLUB -- GAY

    Paco Paco Club Premier

    Feel the passion, dust off those dance shoes and drop into the hottest gay Latin club in the Valley. Whether you are looking to cha-cha or for muchachos, this club spins dance hits that are en fuego. The mostly male patrons (although there are a number of trannies that work and hang out here) are hot, hot, hot! If you're… More >>
  • BEST CLUB NIGHT FOR LATIN MUSIC

    Fridays at Sky Lounge

    On Friday nights, the Sky Lounge in downtown Phoenix turns into a virtual Buena Vista Social Club, where young and hip Latinos throughout the Valley lounge downstairs and gyrate upstairs. Afro-Cuban salsa jammers Cascabel (that's "rattle" to you) liven the atmosphere for the drinkers -- and themselves -- with their unique blend (for Phoenix, anyway) of Latin jazz, samba… More >>
  • BEST BEER SELECTION

    Papago Brewing Company

    Tired of going out and looking for a beer but having a limited selection to choose from? Looking for a place that offers the full gamut to fill your goblet? The Papago Brewing Company knows your pain. The owners believe that there is more to beer than Pabst Blue Ribbon and Coors Light. Featuring 30 different beers on tap as… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR

    Horse & Hound - CLOSED

    Any dive with more than one television, beer, a pool table, a Golden Tee machine and a couple of obnoxious drunks in hockey jerseys can call itself a sports bar. But to count as a really notable sports bar, there has to be something that grabs you. The Horse & Hound has a couple of things going for it. For… More >>
  • BEST STRIP MALL HOOT 'N' HOLLER

    Yucca Tap Room

    The Yucca Tap Room doesn't look like much from street level. The front marquee is nearly impossible to read at night from the street, and the entrance is obscured by rows of loading docks along the Southern Avenue strip mall where it resides. Open the door and walk in, however, and the place induces delighted shivers for the unpretentious faithful.… More >>
  • BEST ENGLISH PUB

    George and Dragon English Restaurant and Pub

    Generally when Phoenicians get pissed, it's because it's 115 degrees and the seat-belt buckles are branding "GM" into their chests. Of course, back in the mother country, "pissed" means inebriated or just plain drunk. What better place to do that than the George and Dragon, where in the tradition of similarly named alehouses all over the world, you can work… More >>
  • BEST BARTENDER

    Mama Lita

    Once upon a time, Angelo's Lounge must have been quite a bar. All the signs of past success are there: the dusty disco lights, a waterless fountain, woodland scene wallpaper stained gray with smoke. Customers still shoot pool and play "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" on the jukebox, but the main draw to the place is the same… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DEBUT YOUR DREADLOCKS

    Sail Inn

    Poor hippies. Mill Avenue used to be a place where patchouli and sage were always in the air and the irie goodwill ran wild. Now, it would be a miracle to find so much as a drum circle that wasn't broken up by the cops in five minutes. Fortunately for the city's disgruntled Deadheads, dread heads, parrot heads and maybe… More >>
  • BEST CRAIC-HEADS

    Fibber Magee's

    Irish pubs in the U.S. like to brag about their "authenticity" -- Guinness on tap and a bartender in a silly cap with a pompom. Luckily, the Valley's Irish pubs are a little more true to themselves than most. For atmosphere, we'll take Fibber Magee's. The wooden floor creaks like the ships used during the potato famine; stained-glass windows advertise… More >>
  • BEST DIVE BAR

    Chez Nous

    Of course, we mean "dive" in the most affectionate sense of the word. Chez Nous is a Phoenix institution because it's so darn welcoming -- as unpretentious as it gets, and that applies to the drink prices, too. Frankly, it's impossible to bar hop once you stop by here, because you'll find no reason to venture elsewhere. It could be… More >>
  • BEST LESBIAN BAR

    Ain't Nobody's Bizness

    Girls have always been about having fun. The Biz is a cornerstone of the gay community that has been housing local lesbians since '93. Live bands play from time to time, but the real draw is the DJs, who play eclectic dance music from Top 40 hits to patron requests (yes, they actually will play the song that you ask… More >>

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