Best Street Scene - 2011
The crowd outside Hanny's
A friend of ours was visiting from Los Angeles, and he wanted to go out for a drink after we'd had dinner at District, the restaurant at the downtown Phoenix Sheraton. We walked over to Arizona Center, and it was dead (except for Hooters, but, um, we were trying to impress our friend, not frighten him). We headed back to the Sheraton — home to not one, but two bars — but they were no longer serving. We dropped in at a nearby hotel cafe, but they didn't serve drinks. Then we noticed the crowd outside Hanny's and made a beeline for what looked like the only Friday-night scene on the block. We were glad we did. Fast, friendly service, cool lounge-y tunes from a hip DJ, and a list of boutique cocktails made for a very cosmopolitan night. Even before the drinks, we stopped to talk with the folks who were hanging outside, and left wondering whether these hip young people hadn't been hired by Hanny's (a former department store turned bar and restaurant) to draw us in. We knew we were in the right place because hipsters never lie, and every one of the guys and gals we met on the curb outside Hanny's had one thing to say: "Go inside! It's great!" Come to think of it, we hope they weren't just trying to get rid of us.