Best Neighborhood Bar, Tempe Phoenix 2012 - Baer's Den
Baer's Den used to be one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of bars, as its teeny-tiny former location tucked alongside a motel was literally about the size of a one-car garage. After moving about 200 feet down Apache Boulevard earlier this year, however, this sports and spirits paradise is now housed in bigger and much more prominent digs. Thankfully, owner Scott Baer kept the bar's wood-paneled walls, as well as the cozy aura and amiable atmosphere that's not unlike the convivial dives that the East Coast native used to frequent before moving out west more than two decades ago. Since there are more HDTVs around the place and the bar and patio are both larger, there's less jockeying for elbow room amongst the ASU coeds who frequent Baer's for a drink or a glimpse at the game. Sun Devils looking for an after-class adult beverage or residents from the surrounding neighborhood enjoying any of the 10 beers on tap or $2 tequila shots on Tuesdays aren't the only ones who cruise into Baer's Den, as it's a major haven for Red Sox fans and other devotees of Boston's fabled sports franchises. So it might behoove you to never besmirch Tom Brady or utter the names Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner when stopping by for a cocktail.