Best Country & Western Bar - 2009
Tom Ryan's - CLOSED
The Chandler strip mall that houses Tom Ryan's is turning into a virtual ghost town, for all intents and purposes, with more than a half-dozen shuttered retail spaces looking more vacant than Boot Hill Cemetery at midnight. But the bar has managed to cheat death (à la Clint Eastwood's badass bounty hunter in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars), thanks to the loyal patronage of buckaroos and urban cowboys. One of the major draws is the bar's live shows, each Thursday through Saturday, by a Southern-fried slate of boot-scootin' bands like Mesa's country-rock trio Mogollon. Another regular is ASU poli-sci student Michael Easterday, a CMT Music City Madness contestant who performs along with a three-member backing band. Everyone at Tom Ryan's thinks the kid crooner will someday make it to Nashville. Guess they can say they heard him here first.