BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX - 2006
The ongoing redevelopment of downtown Phoenix has been something of a love-hate thing for us. We're down with revitalizing our city's urban core, but for every new posh loft and upscale eatery that debuts in and around Copper Square, cool places like Emerald Lounge and Newman's get shuttered. Which is why we're holding onto The News Room for dear life. It's a dope dive that's a little rough around the edges, because of its shabby decor and working-class regulars, but it's also one of the few downtown drinkeries that values character over kitsch. There ain't no highfalutin mixed drinks or overpriced bar food here, just plenty of cheap beer and booze, a jukebox, a pool table, and old-school bowling games. As the ultimate sign of hipster acceptance, punky and funky scenesters from the nearby arts district have started stopping by the joint, rubbing elbows with grizzled retirees and construction workers. You'd better get down there soon before Mayor Phil Gordon and company decide to raze it in favor of some ugly urban renewal project.