Best Gay Bar Phoenix 2013 - Nu-Towne Saloon
Nu-Towne Saloon is sort of a scrappy place, and we're not saying that because of all the rough trade that stops by. This East Phoenix gay bar landmark and grand dame of the scene first opened near the equally historic Tovrea Castle in 1971 and has survived a lot of drama throughout its four-decade lifespan. We're talking recessions, the fickleness of LGBT crowds, and even a massive fire that completely wiped out its interior in 2010. Its proprietors reopened the place a year or so later after restoring the antique-heavy and memorabilia-laden décor of its signature kitschy digs to how things looked before, including the seven-foot plaster rooster statue (insert jokes here, if you must). And the crowd that considers the place its home away from home is still largely male, including bears of every size and their admirers, leather daddies visiting during the twice-weekly beer busts, and dudes looking for some, um, companionship and $1.50 shot specials during the long-running "Cruise Night" on Fridays. Hell, if nuclear war were ever to break out, we're sure Nu-Towne would somehow survive and continue to have the night, despite all the fallout.