ACME Roadhouse: In its original Scottsdale location, ACME catered to Harley-Davidson weekend warriors. In its new Tempe incarnation, it entertains the college set with dancing and, on Sundays, local rock bands. Dance space is at a minimum, but there's plenty of room for other social rites.
Sun: Live music.
Mon: Industry night.
Wed: Ladies' night.
Thu: College night. 855 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-517-1818.
Ain't Nobody's Bizness: No, sir, it really ain't nobody's bizness. No matter which part of the LGBT acronym you belong to, you'll find a home at this bar. Although ANB caters mostly to lesbian clientele, everyone is welcome to come in, play pool, sing karaoke, or dance on the dance floor in the center of the room. The walls of the bar are decorated with black-and-white portraits you might have found in a 1980s hair salon, but everything else in the establishment is pretty standard: high tables with plenty of barstools, a DJ booth in the corner, and plenty of ladies ready to party. And, bonus, if you work up a lot of energy while dancing the night away, there's a Filiberto's across the street.
Sun: 18 and older/hip-hop.
Tue: Pool tournament.
Wed: Underground house night.
Thu-Sat: Top 40 dance. 3031 E. Indian School Rd., Ste. #7, 602-224-9977.
Alice Cooper'stown: A fusion of rock and jock dreamed up by the Valley's shock-rocker in residence, Cooper'stown sports monster TVs, a full menu, staff in frightening makeup and room for 1,100 to take in top local acts and midlevel national touring acts. Located downtown, it draws large after-event crowds from Suns games, Dodge Theatre shows and other attractions.
Fri-Sat: Live rock, DJs. 101 E. Jackson St., 602-253-7337.
Amber Inn Cocktail Lounge: What a friendly northwest Valley sports bar looks like when it's run by folks who wear a love for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a collector's passion for Marilyn Monroe on their sleeves simultaneously.
Sun: During football season, satellite TV brings all the games.
Mon-Fri: Happy hour starts at 2 p.m.
Wed and Fri: Karaoke.
Sat: Live music. 4238 W. Dunlap Ave., 623-937-5869.
Amsterdam: The tony atmosphere at Amsterdam makes it a gay lounge with hetero appeal: Designer cocktails, cushy couches, freestanding Roman columns and the tinkling grand piano produce a relaxed and classy atmosphere, as do occasional lounge singers.
Mon: Martinis & Manicures for $5.
Thu: Divas, a revue featuring Chantelle Douglas. 718 N. Central Ave., 602-258-6122.
Anderson's Fifth Estate: Anderson's two decades of boozing and boogieing have set the tone for all other local upscale clubs. A roomy loft affords swell views of the city's favorite dance floor, framed by three bars piled with hip wait staff. Hipper still is the snug Elbo Room, a quiet bar that's anything but, with its own live DJ, bartender and cage dancers.
Tue: 75-cent drink night, two DJs, two dance floors.
Thu: Brit pop and industrial dance.
Sat: Retro live. 6820 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-4168.
Anna's Southwest Grill: Located at the Arizona Golf Resort, Anna's overlooks the golf course and draws a mixed crowd of hotel guests and older local residents who come for the live jazz, big band and contemporary piano tunes.
Wed: Rick Jones performs pop hits and other favorites from 5-9 p.m.
Thu: Vocal impersonator Jack Wagner plays piano and trumpet and sings as Sinatra and others.
Fri: Bill Fuschillo plays piano and sings standards from 7-10 p.m. 425 S. Power Rd., Mesa, 480-832-3202.
Arizona Joe's: A meat-and-potatoes establishment, Arizona Joe's is known for, well, its meat. Customers eat the steaks, Buffalo wings and roasted chicken while bands perform live music seven nights a week.
Thu-Sat: Live country music. 417 S. Winchester Rd., Apache Junction, 480-983-6115.
The Arizona Roadhouse: Open 24 hours, the Arizona Roadhouse offers an ambiance that's part rockabilly hot rod, part yuppie loafer. Patrons can enjoy the game on 21 TVs, including five big screens, while munching on delectables from the kitchen's full menu.
Thu-Sat: DJ Chuck spins Top 40 hits. 140 W. Warner Rd., Chandler, 480-726-0505.
At Painted Mountain: 8210 E. McKellips Rd., Mesa, 480-932-0158.
Aunt Chilada's Restaurant:
Fri-Sat: Mariachi from 6:30-10 p.m. Pointe South Mountain Resort, 2021 W. Baseline Rd., 602-431-6470.
Thu-Sat: Emil Flaim, entertainer, singer, pianist. 2728 E. Thomas Rd., 602-956-0900.
Axis/Radius: A catwalk separates these two posh clubs, both favorites among the eclectic and in-the-know party crowd. Radius provides the final word in dance-floor fun, complete with disco ball and up-to-the-second Eurobeat and house music. Axis offers retro dance tunes with giant video accompaniment.
Wed: Latin/salsa night.
Thu: Ladies' night. 7340 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-970-1112.
AZ 88: A magnet for hip types on dinner dates or simply club hopping, AZ 88 is nestled in the northwest corner of Scottsdale Mall, the kind of place where the sound of martinis being shaken is swallowed up in ambient techno and smooth jazz. An artfully lighted patio is especially popular on warm nights. 7353 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, 480-994-5576.
Bahama Breeze: Priding itself as a two-hour island vacation, this frozen-drink mecca may inspire you to dig out your Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops with its breezy ambiance -- heck, the waiters do. Reggae, calypso and Afro-Cuban rhythms thump from the stage every night, alongside coconut-breaded Island Onion Rings and the signature drink, the Bahamarita, a mango, kiwi and strawberry margarita mixed with Cuervo Gold.
Fri-Sat: Various Caribbean musical artists. 1959 E. Camelback Rd., 602-650-1800.
Baja Tilly's Cantina: The weekend starts Thursdays at this spacious, energetic Latino-themed dance club.
Fri: Ladies' night, live music.
Sat: Live music. 1123 W. Broadway Rd., Tempe, 480-968-4437.
Bar Nun: Holy trinity! This Catholic-themed bar and grill, with murals of nuns playing saxophone and piano, is part sports bar, with an abundance of televisions; part family restaurant, as the menu features dishes cutely named the Father Burger and Sister Shroom; and part live music scene -- local roadhouse faves like Sistah Blue and cover bands like the Scones have performed in recent months.
Thu-Sun: Live music with ladies' night from 8-11 p.m.
Sat-Sun: Southwest breakfast, 9 a.m. 4142 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 480-706-5564.
Thu: Bike night.
Fri-Sat: Live music.
Sun: Live music with Carvin Jones. 5930 W. Greenway Rd., Glendale, 602-938-9330.
Big Fish Sports Pub: Crammed into an archaic strip mall, the small, tough Big Fish Pub is a loud (!!) haven for attitude, regularly hosting local punk bands and occasionally throwing unannounced gigs by big out-of-town acts. Folks here spend as much time smoking by the front door as they do drinking, playing pool and rocking out inside. Live music seven nights a week. 1954 E. University Dr., Tempe, 480-966-5010.
Bikini Lounge: The ultimate in dive bars, glorious in its dive-osity. Old-school tiki rules the regulars most eves, with a regulation pool table, TV sets, and cool jukebox easing the pain of existence. But on First Friday, the joint's off the chain with everyone and his Scottsdale cousin ending up there wearing a trucker hat and a Von Dutch tee. $3 pitchers, $3 wells. So drink up, fool! 1502 Grand Ave., 602-252-0472.
Billet Bar: 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-1876.
Billiards & Bar: Not just a pool hall, Billiards & Bar offers numerous half-price specials on appetizers and cocktails. During the Monday through Friday happy hour (4 to 8 p.m.), patrons can enjoy half-price appetizers, drinks and pool.
Mon: Service Industry night. Free billiards and $3 domestic beers.
Tue: Ladies' night. Half-price pool for the ladies. 7340 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale, 480-970-5000.
Blue Agave Mexican Cantina: Music is occasionally on the menu at this airy, upscale Mexican restaurant that features modern art and a backlit blue glass window in the dining room. Open Mic Mondays, hosted by local rock musicians Newton's Theorem, draw well, occasionally attracting well-known local acts and out-of-towners to perform or just hang out. 4280 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-429-1123.
Bobby McGee's Conglomeration: The servers at Bobby McGee's periodically break into song and dance, which means you can have your food served to you by a doctor, Superman, or Princess Jasmine.
Sun: $2 you call it.
Wed: Girls Gone Wild.
Thu: Shorts and Shots.
Fri-Sat: $5 cover. 8501 N. 27th Ave., 602-995-5982.
Boom Night Club: Best known for Hot Pink, the wildly popular electroclash night on Fridays that runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. A must for the fabulous and wanna-be fab, the place buzzes with an intoxicating sexual vibe, no doubt aided by the dirt-cheap wells and domestics. Saturdays there's Club Boom, a Latin night, and Sundays it's all '80s licks with History. 4-10 p.m. happy hour and dancing, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. on the weekends. 1724 E. McDowell Rd., 602-254-0231.
Boston's Bar & Grill: 1730 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe, 480-831-0822.
BS West: Blink, and you might miss this well-concealed Old Town Scottsdale gay bar from the street. Once you do find it tucked away on East Fifth Avenue, you'll discover a two-story sports bar/dance club hybrid -- black-painted walls, TV monitors with MTV-style music videos, a dance floor, live music and an upstairs game room featuring pool tables. 7125 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-945-9028.
Buddy's: 1560 E. Osborn Rd., 602-266-0477.
Buffalo Chip Saloon: This place appeals to lovers of country music, who come to see the Pat James Band perform every Thursday through Sunday.
Thu-Sun: Pat James Band. 6811 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-9118.
Buzz the Original Fun Bar:
Fri-Sat: Power 92.3 hosts the night playing hip-hop/R&B music. 10345 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-FUNN (3866).
Cabana: 6810 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-421-9055.
Cactus Jack's Bar & Grill: This busy bar entertains thirtysomething Ahwatukee locals with live rock and blues on Fridays and Saturdays. Pool, darts and sports TVs round out the quintessential pub atmosphere.
Mon: Straight A double elimination pool tournament.
Tue, Wed and Thu: Karaoke with Crazy Rick.
Fri-Sat: Live bands starting at 9:30 p.m., no cover. 4747 E. Elliot Rd., Ahwatukee, 480-893-6630.
Casa Blanca Lounge: True to its name, Casa Blanca is located in an actual white house. A favorite spot for city and state workers, this sports bar turns into a dance club with a DJ on Friday nights, with a wide variety of music. On other nights, doors close as early as 10 p.m., depending on the crowd. 1801 W. Van Buren St., 602-252-5353.
Cash Inn Country: Cash Inn is a large gay country dance club in central Phoenix that features wood-paneled walls, live entertainment, line-dancing lessons on a large, checkered dance floor, video games, a pool table, and dartboards.
Tue-Sat: Dancing, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.
Tue-Wed: Dance lessons, 7:30-9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: DJ from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sun: Karaoke, 6-10 p.m. 2140 E. McDowell Rd., 602-244-9943.
Champions: 330 S. Gilbert Rd., Mesa, 480-649-1650.
Chances Are Restaurant & Lounge: Chances Are mixes supper-club elegance -- candlelit tables, cream-and-teal decor, filet mignon cut to order -- with retro jazz cool for a baby-boom crowd.
Sun-Tue: Karaoke. 7570 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-4338.
Charlie's: A gay country and western bar, ol' Butch and Sundance would have been proud to walk into Charlie's. The place has a rustic theme with an all-consuming wooden decor, from the outdoor patio, which also features a volleyball court, to the rails next to the dance floor.
Sun: Drag show, Pussy LeHoot and Friends.
Mon: Undies Mondays.
Tue: Two-step dancing lessons.
Thu: Beginning line-dancing lessons.
Fri: 75-cent happy hour from 7-9 p.m. After-hours high-energy disco music from 1-3 a.m. 21 and over.
Sat: Advanced line-dancing lessons and 75-cent happy hour from 7-9 p.m. After-hours high-energy disco music from 1-3 a.m. 21 and over. 727 W. Camelback Rd., 602-265-0224.
Char's Has the Blues: A freestanding roadhouse, Char's is nearing two decades of showcasing Valley blues artists seven nights a week. Each week has a different lineup of performers. Or you could just shoot a game of pool and sip bourbon with friends. 4631 N. Seventh Ave., 602-230-0205.
Chaser's: Chaser's is like a rugged Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Men in muscle shirts and softball jackets drink beer, an American flag hangs on the stage, and three pool tables inspire competition.
Mon: Open mic night.
Thu-Sat: Local rock bands. Other nights, the jukebox fare ranges from George Thorogood to Limp Bizkit. 8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, 480-945-4985.
Chez Nous Cocktail Lounge: After your eyes adjust, you'll see that you've found lounge heaven: deep vinyl booths, an old-school bar and smoky dark. One of the most diverse clienteles in the Valley comes together over stiff drinks and a small, crowded dance floor for live funk, soul and R&B.
Mon: Apexx Band.
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: Roscoe Taylor, Tim Forkes & Co.
Thu: Fire in the Sky Band. 675 W. Indian School Rd., 602-266-7372.
Club Bash: Touted as ASU's newest party place, Club Bash is located five blocks from the Tempe campus. Clubgoers can boogie down to hip-hop and Top 40 hits on the spacious dance floor, or be wallflowers and watch the platform dancers. And if you get tired of dancing or standing, check out the 30-foot tiki face in the lounge areas.
Thu: Island Thursday.
Fri: Ladies First, no cover for the ladies.
Sat: DJ 2%.
Sun: Salsa de Noche. 230 W. Fifth St., Tempe, 480-966-5600.
Club Central: A two-tiered jazz and blues club, Club Central also hosts karaoke on Friday nights so the amateurs can share the spotlight with the revolving door of musicians and comedians.
Fri: DJ upstairs and karaoke downstairs.
Sun: Live jazz. An enforced dress code on Friday night distinguishes Club Central from other Valley blues clubs. 3110 N. Central Ave., 602-200-8121.
Club Encounters: 3037 W. Clarendon Ave., 602-230-9680.
Club Freedom: Among the most popular dance clubs in the Valley, Club Freedom features a massive dance floor on its lower level; wild, twirling lighting; and scores of well-dressed, college-age would-be ravers. Friday nights are big here thanks to Kind Fridays, where big-name DJs like Frankie Bones and Sandra Collins hit the console hard.
Fri: Kind Fridays. 919 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, 480-929-9003.
The Clubhouse: Formerly Eugene's Rock Cafe and tucked next to the Horse & Hound, the Clubhouse has in short order become a favored room for local bands in Tempe and across the Valley, filling for fans a musical roadhouse niche left bare by the closing of the old Nita's Hideaway. The small club is unpretentious for sure, but tastefully so, with handsomely painted walls and decorative covers obscuring Eugene's old framed rock 'n' roll posters.
Thu-Sat: Live music. 1320 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe, 480-968-3238.
Club Rio: This mammoth Top 40 and retro dance club hosts live music on occasion, but is better known as the college scene's favorite pickup bar. Former ASU and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer got in hot water for an infamous pass he made here.
Wed: College Hump Night.
Fri: Paradise on the Patio with alternative music.
Sat: Wild on Rio and Club Kiss After Hours.
Sun: Salsa with dancing lessons. 430 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, 480-894-0533.
Club 245: Located within Jackson's on 3rd (see entry), Club 245 steals patrons from Jackson's main stage after the bands have called it a night. Offering a dance floor and bar in a separate room for the remainder of the evening, 245 escapes Jackson's sporty image revealing a dance club that rivals anything Scottsdale presents, in terms of showiness. 241 E. Jackson St., 602-254-5303.
Coffee Cabana: If you enjoy the acoustic sounds of singer-songwriters -- occasionally drowned out by the grinding of rich Colombian coffee beans -- the homey, father-and-daughter-run Cabana Republic awaits. Cover bands play the patio some Saturdays.
Thu: Open mike 7-9:30 p.m., no cover. 2105 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa, 480-755-7900.
Coyote Alley Saloon & Dancehall: 6536 W. Indian School Rd., 623-848-1349.
Coyote Hill Bar & Grill: Just 2.5 miles west of Glendale Arena, Coyote Hill Bar & Grill may be the perfect post-game party place. With a huge backyard patio, two sand volleyball courts, and horseshoe pits, there's plenty to do besides drink at Coyote Hill (although the $1 drink specials provide plenty of incentive).
Fri: Bead Night. The girl with the most beads at midnight wins $100. DJ starting at 9 p.m.
Sat: DJ starting at 9 p.m. 12417 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-536-7711.
Craiger's Restaurant & Lounge: 5400 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, 623-934-8071.
Deemo's American Grill: 2501 E. Camelback Rd., #30, 602-381-6870.
Devil House: 829 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-517-1188.
Devil's Martini: There was a time when a woman could actually get her hair done in Devil's ladies' room. Although a stylist's services are no longer on hand, the three bars, dance floors and unique courtyard keep patrons occupied with booze and the latest dance music, mixed with occasional classics.
Thu-Fri: Cocktail hour, 5-9 p.m., when the entire menu is half-off. 4175 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-947-7171.
The Dirty Drummer: 2303 N. 44th St., 602-840-2726.
Dos Gringos: Part sports bar, part kitschy cantina and even part movie theater (Strange Brew and Slapshot have been screened here), Dos Gringos is a colorful, graffiti-decorated cavern offering outdoor and indoor drinking and fraternizing. Classic rock of the Neil Young/Eagles variety blasts overhead, and Sundays offer DJ sets from J. Alan. 4209 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale, 480-423-3800.
The Downside Grille: 2347 E. Camelback Rd., 602-954-5620.
Downside Risk Restaurant and Bar: 14950 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-609-7025.
Downtown Club: 702 N. Central Ave., 602-258-8343.
El Chorro Lodge: The cozy piano bar in this charming restaurant, a historic landmark, attracts a tony clientele that enjoys dancing to live jazz and contemporary music on weekends. 5550 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley, 480-948-5170.
Elixir: For the perfect balance of style, music and food that will lead to the future of Scottsdale nightlife, head to Elixir. This modern Euro-style lounge captures the quality, richness and ambiance of Asia. Elixir delivers the ultimate dining and entertainment experience with an atmosphere aesthetically pleasing to the eye, the ear and the palate. Indulge yourself in the eclectic menu that is tailored to suit the lounge setting. 7419 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-970-1945.
El Zocalo Mexican Grill: If you want to impress your novia, take her to El Zocalo for Mexican food on a Saturday night. A large Aztec mural graces one of the main walls, and outside sits an amazing lush garden patio complete with a fountain and wrought-iron tables. But the real clincher is the free salsa lessons and subsequent dancing that continues through the night in the main dining area. Qué romántico!
Fri: Live music by Freddy Duran.
Sat: Live music. 28 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler, 480-722-0303.
Emerald Lounge: The funky, two-room Emerald features eclectic local music along with your cocktail, including neo-garage rockers the Hypno-Twists, as well as anti-mainstream art shows, backyard theater and unusual touring acts such as Bay Area robot-rockers the Phenomenauts. The clientele is a telling cross-section of the downtown scene: part grizzled old-timer, part nouveau loft resident, part art-scene refugee. Live music every night.
Mon: Love Lounge.
Tue: Soul Tracks. 1514 N. Seventh Ave., 602-256-9705.
Famous Sam's: Sam's has all the sports-bar standbys -- darts, video games, more than two dozen TVs -- but sets itself apart from the pack with an unabashed devotion to classic rock.
Wed: Thor and the Swinging Johnsons.
Thu: Chuck E. Baby.
Fri-Sat: House band Sweaty. 940 N. Alma School Rd., Chandler, 480-812-1177.
Fandango: An enormous two-tiered patio lets patrons drink in the desert scenery -- and linger over above-par bar food -- while hard-charging bands rock the joint on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. On Sunday afternoons, the black-leather set rolls in for Bike Day. 6032 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-595-5633.
Fat Cats: This unassuming little joint for unassuming neighborhood folks located near the warehouse district of Grand Avenue hosts karaoke and local rock and blues bands.
7 Nights a Week: Drunk Idiot's Club.
Thu, Fri and Sun: Karaoke.
Sat: Various rock and blues bands. 915 Grand Ave., 602-252-0988.
Fate: Face it, folks, our desert town is not the first place that comes to mind when it comes to Chinese food. Fate, a downtown restaurant and performance space built inside of an old house, defies this, um, fate, as well as many other conceptions. On any given night, the restaurant's clientele is made up of artists, designers and musicians. The atmosphere is friendly and unpretentious. Art from locals decorates the walls and sometimes finds its way onto the front yard. On weekends, DJs are a staple and patrons are known to dance into the wee morning hours.
Thu: Live DJs play jazz and old-school funk.
Fri: Live DJs play house music.
Sat: Live DJs play trip-hop and drum & bass. 905 N. Fourth St., 602-254-6424.
Fat Tuesday: This New Orleans-themed restaurant located in the heart of Mill Avenue fills with college students on Friday and Saturday nights. The bar is renowned for its wall of daiquiris -- from Piña Colada to Sex on the Beach, the mixed drinks are distributed from silver, slushie-like machines that line the back of the bar.
Tue, Thu-Sat: DJ Adrenaline. 680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-967-3917.
Fibber Magee's: A traditional Irish pub, Fibber Magee's authenticity extends beyond the Guinness on tap and the Jameson's behind the bar. The place is loaded with Irish artifacts, from the cigarette signs to the trinkets, and it prides itself on pumping its festive clientele with craic, an Irish term for the vibe of celebration. Irish folk music from Blackwood and other bands and twice-monthly Irish gourmet feast nights help that cause as well.
Thu-Sun: Live music. 1989 W. Elliot Rd., Chandler, 480-722-9434.
Flicka's Baja Cantina: Walk in to Flicka's and think really happy thoughts. You just might fool yourself into thinking you're really in a beachside cantina in Cabo San Lucas instead of a roadside cantina in north Scottsdale. The lively wooden outdoor patio caters to laid-back lovers of Mexican beer, and chips and salsa. Inside, there is a bit more of a Scottsdale flair -- barstools covered in velvet leopard print, bar stocked with everything from apple-tinis to margaritas.
Thu-Sat: Live music. 2003 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-945-3618.
Four Kings: 5041 N. 19th Ave., 602-433-1066.
Frank & Lupe's Old Mexico: 4121 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 480-990-9844.
Fuel Motorsport Café: 2827 E. Bell Rd., 602-788-0500.
George and Dragon English Restaurant and Pub: A traditional English-style pub -- with bangers and mash on the menu and fine Scotch and cigars at the bar -- the George and Dragon features a decidedly nontraditional English jukebox, with rockin' fare ranging from the punk and ska of the late 1970s to the Mod stylings of the Who and the Kinks a decade earlier.
Mon: No Country karaoke.
Wed: Trivia Night. 4240 N. Central Ave., 602-241-0018.
German Corner: As the name suggests, this is the place for all things German, from brats to brewskis. A stage and dance floor in the center of the restaurant allows for polka dancing.
Tue-Fri: Happy hour, 3-7 p.m. with beer and food specials. Reverse happy hour, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
Fri-Sat: Live German music. 4900 E. Indian School Rd., 602-840-7838.
Graham Central Station: This megaclub houses Alley Cats Karaoke, retro-bar Confetti's and Top 40 discotheque South Beach. But it's known for its country-western staple Rockin' Rodeo featuring an immense dance floor for two-steppers, a mechanical bull for daring urbanites, a stage for up-and-coming national acts, and gregarious, denim-bedecked barkeeps.
Wed: Ladies' night.
Thu: Honky Tonkin', Long Neckin' Thursdays.
Fri: Fabulous Happy Hour, 5-8 p.m.
Sat: Party night. 7850 S. Priest Dr., Tempe, 480-496-0799.
Greasewood Flat: A former bunkhouse built in the late 19th century, Greasewood Flat is rustic and genuinely Western -- barnyard animals even roam the premises.
Wed-Sun: Live music. 27500 N. Alma School Pkwy., Scottsdale, 480-585-9430.
Handlebar-J: This saloon-style restaurant in Scottsdale is known for its Sunday chicken and dumplings dinner. Keep an eye out for the bar ceiling lined with cowboy hats. And check out the twangy Herndon Bros., fronted by renowned country guitarist and songwriter Ray Herndon (Lyle Lovett, Kenny Chesney).
Mon-Tue: John Allen Band.
Wed, Thu, Sun: Dance lessons, 7 p.m.
Thu-Sun: Live music with the Herndon Bros. 7116 E. Becker Lane, Scottsdale, 480-948-0110.
Hard Rock Cafe: The memorabilia at Hard Rock's Phoenix franchise ranges from the hip (Roy Orbison motorcycle, Chet Atkins autographed guitar) to the outdated (Spin Doctors? Ugly Kid Joe?).
Thu: Latino ladies' night. DJs play hip-hop, merengue and old-school.
Sat: Battle of the bands night. 3 S. Second St., 602-261-7625.
Harley's 155: The vibe at this central Phoenix gay dance club depends on which of two house DJs controls the console. Some nights, the selection is decidedly '80s (old-school Madonna, etc.). Other nights, newer fare like DJ Sammy blasts. No matter -- an eclectic, multiracial blend of dancers keeps the huge, Technicolor-lighted floor buzzing.
Sun: DJ at 9 p.m. 155 W. Camelback Rd., 602-274-8505.
Harold's Corral: Harold's plays host to dancer-friendly country-western house band Vigilante and a gaggle of country bar amenities -- rustic-wood ambiance, sports on the televisions, four pool tables, and a 30-foot-by-30-foot dance floor.
Sun: Football on satellite.
Wed: Play trivia for cash prizes.
Thu-Sun: Live music with Vigilante. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the place opens an enormous patio and a second, 100-year-old bar to accommodate the Harley-riding contingent. 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-1906.
Hollywood Alley: A Mesa institution, Hollywood Alley is known for its noisy rock shows, finger foods, black vinyl booths, vintage movie posters on the walls and arcade games in the back. Look for very tall, very thin, very friendly bartender Fun Bobby, who books the Valley's most avant-garde out-of-town bands for the club.
Mon-Sat: Live music. 2610 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa, 480-820-7117.
Horse & Hound: Off-track betting makes this strip-mall sports bar even more attractive for the regulars, who absorb the races and other sporting contests on any of nearly 50 televisions. Otherwise, the Horse & Hound is a large bar and grill establishment with an abnormally large outdoor patio for smokers -- and with all those placed bets, nicotine is surely a coping device. The bar fosters local music with the Clubhouse, the live music venue next door that it owns.
Mon-Fri: Happy hour, 3-7 p.m. Reverse happy hour, 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m. 1320 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe, 480-967-7977.
Icehouse: The Icehouse operates in a veil of mystery -- it never offers the same atmosphere twice. The silver, metallic walls and outdoor areas of this actual former icehouse complement everything from raves to art installations. The food and drink depends on the event, and most events are all-ages. 429 W. Jackson St., 602-257-8929.
Jackson's on 3rd: Surrounded by downtown Phoenix's sport complexes, Jackson's 50-plus televisions and outdoor dining will satisfy even the most particular sports fan. With 28 beers on tap and above-average bar fare such as pasta and deli-fresh sandwiches, Jackson's is also home to live blues and rock. (See also Club 245.) 245 E. Jackson St., 602-254-5303.
Jazz in the Hills Coffee House: This intimate, smoke-free spot -- in the Appian Way Restaurant's banquet room -- features local and regional musicians playing Latin, classic and modern jazz every Friday from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Concerts are free, but gratuities are collected for the performers. 17149 E. Amhurst Dr., Fountain Hills, 480-837-9771.
J. Chew & Co.: Located in Scottsdale Mall, J. Chew stops serving food after 4 p.m., and shifts from a casual restaurant to a chill music club Thursdays through Saturdays. Solo performers such as Phil Hendricks provide rock, blues, jazz and soul, which can be enjoyed from either inside or outside seating.
Fri-Sat: Michael James. 7320 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, 480-946-2733.
Jet Lag Lounge: Secluded and dimly lighted, this bar and restaurant at the end of a Safeway shopping center on Hayden Road is a godsend for acoustic jazz fans. There's no cover charge, either.
Tue: New Orleans Jazz and Swing Music with Joe Hopkins Quartet, 7-11 p.m.
Wed-Sun: Doc Chaney and Friends Jazz Band (Wed-Sat, 7-11 p.m., Sun 5-9 p.m.). 7908 E. Chaparral Rd., Ste. 102, Scottsdale, 480-941-9144.
Joe's Grotto: Here's a neighborhood bar in the good sense of the word, located in the PV Oasis strip mall. Drinks, darts and open mikes -- what more community do you need?
Sun: South Park Party.
Mon: Acoustic open mike with David Grossman.
Tue and Thu: Dart tourney.
Wed: Open mike and pool tourney.
Fri-Sat: Live bands, $5 cover. 13825 N. 32nd St., 602-992-1007.
John Henry's: Locals and businessmen in need of a classy meeting place frequent this freestanding Tempe restaurant and lounge, decorated with cast iron, tasteful paintings and wine racks. Live entertainment five nights a week while folks dine on cuisine like rack of lamb and veal Marsala. Fedoras are optional.
Tue-Sat: Live music starts at 7:30 p.m. 909 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe, 480-730-9009.
Johnny Gee's Sports Bar & Grill:
Sun and Wed: Karaoke.
Sat: Live music. 7200 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, 480-961-3080.
Jugheads: A small punk/heavy rock club with a tiny stage, Jugheads offers an angry jukebox (Korn, Sex Pistols), black light and plenty of attitude. Live music is on tap most nights -- mostly locals with some regional touring acts mixed in for good measure. 5110 E. McDowell Rd., 602-225-0307.
La Casa del Mariachi: Housed in a huge building, La Casa is a Valley destination for fans of traditional Mexican music. Fridays through Sundays, talented mariachi groups entertain diners with ballads and standards in the smaller Salon Tapatio, while Salon Guadalajara, which occasionally has a cover charge, takes on more of a club atmosphere.
Fri-Sun: Mariachi, 8 p.m. 1420 N. 24th St., 602-275-8565.
Lagerfields: The place is the closest neighborhood sports bar and grill to Paradise Valley Mall, but don't hold that against it. With Tuesday night pool tournaments, a Black Lagoon pinball machine, live rock and 18 different beers on tap -- now that's a nice field of lager -- Lagerfields holds its own.
Sun: Industry night, 20 cent wings.
Mon: Live Top 40 bands.
Tue: Karaoke and pool night.
Wed: Live comedy/DJ.
Thu: Ladies' night.
Sat: Live Top 40 bands or DJ. 12601 N. Paradise Village Pkwy. West, 602-765-0059.
Last Exit Bar & Grill: 1425 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, 480-557-6656.
Lobby Bar, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch: An exotic and romantic date spot thanks to its lakes, waterfalls and gondola rides, the Hyatt's further buoyed by the resort's rotating live music roster. Every night in the lounge you can find one of three acts -- Paul McDermand (steel drums and marimba), Mosaico (a flamenco group with dancers) and Nuance (a contemporary classical group). 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-3388.
The Loft: 420 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-967-4848.
Longbranch: 10600 W. Buckeye Rd., Tolleson, 623-936-1320.
The Longshot Bar & Grill: Televisions in the rest rooms? Yes, Longshot doubly ensures its neighborhood patrons don't miss a second of any action when Mother Nature pulls them away from any of 14 televisions surrounding its two bars. The traditional bar and grill also stacks itself with a host of diversions, including three pool tables, a pinball machine and live bands on the weekends.
Fri-Sat: Live music, featuring classic rock cover bands. 7346 E. McDowell Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-3304.
Los Olivos Mexican Patio: Part restaurant and part club, Los Olivos is the oldest Mexican food establishment in Scottsdale and features the most ornate stage in the Valley -- bands play in front of an angry Mayan god with glowing red eyes. Traditional mariachi bands play every Thursday and Sunday.
Fri-Sat: Atrapados, an eight-piece band, plays Latin music, $5 cover Fridays and $7 cover Saturdays. 7328 E. Second St., Scottsdale, 480-946-2256.
Los Vaqueros Western Steakhouse & Saloon: An old-fashioned country-western bar with brands on the ceilings, tequila at the bar, and beef on the grill. There is free pool from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Sun-Thu: Clint Williams and Running Wild, 9 p.m.
Mon-Wed: Country Karaoke, 9 p.m. 285 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, 480-982-3407.
M3 Bar & Lounge: 2623 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-423-7087.
Mabel Murphy's: More Midwestern than Scottsdale, this Cheesehead haven (there's a Packer shop inside the place) becomes a true hip-hop and R&B spot on Saturday nights as the 30ish crowd gets jiggy with the occasional local pro athlete.
Sat: DJ Dark Vader, $7 before 11 p.m. (food until 2:30 a.m.).
Sun: DJ Dark Vader (reggae), $5. 7018 E. Main St., Scottsdale, 480-946-0363.
Macayo's on Central: Trendy Latino clubsters and business folk sipping Coronas are drawn to Macayo's popular Friday happy hour at the restaurant with the tropical-Mexican decor. DJs keep the party going with a mix of Tejano, salsa, Top 40 and old-school jams.
Wed-Fri: DJ 4-10 p.m.
Sat: DJ 6-10 p.m. 4001 N. Central Ave., 602-264-6141.
Majerle's Sports Grill: Majerle's draws a healthy before-and-after crowd, serving downtown event dwellers and after-work patrons. Helmets from every NFL team, photos from Majerle's career and occasional patronage by athletes such as Houston Rockets star Steve Francis solidify its sports identity, though musical theme nights and a friendly staff also augment the atmosphere.
Thu and Sat: DJ nights, featuring DJs spinning different musical genres. 24 N. Second St., 602-253-0118.
Marco Polo Supper Club: Billing itself as an East meets West restaurant -- Italian dinners with egg rolls? Who knew? -- Marco Polo combines dining, live entertainment and tasteful decor such as black-and-white photography. After dinner, a mixture of locals and resort dwellers dances to standards and pop covers by local musicians. Call their on-site event coordinators for private party accommodations and catering.
Tue-Sat: Live entertainment with Kokomo. 2621 E. Camelback Rd., 602-468-0100.
Marquee Theatre: 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-829-0607.
Martini Ranch & Shaker Room: An outdoor courtyard separates the two parts of this clubbin' complex. On the spacious Martini Ranch side, themed cover bands serve up favorite hits. On the more cramped Shaker Room side -- it's a converted office space -- the clubgoers absorb a swank lounge environment as hip-hop DJs spin dance music.
Thu: The Chadwicks play Top 40 and alternative hits.
Fri: 9Ball plays rock music.
Sat: Rock Lobster kicks out '80s jams.
Sun: Metalhead cranks out heavy-metal faves. 7925 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-970-0500.
Mason Jar: This former hair-farmer haven still provides a steady stream of punk, metal, goth and industrial acts. The Jar even books country acts on occasion, so look for an eclectic crowd of underage hard-core enthusiasts and middle-age partyers through the black-lighting and basement ambiance. 2303 E. Indian School Rd., 602-954-0455.
Mastro's Ocean Club: 15045 N. Kierland Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-443-8555.
McDuffy's: McDuffy's is an off-campus Irish pub and sports bar for Tempe locals and ASU students with a punk-rock influence, if only because sister club the Bash on Ash sits right next door. The atmosphere can be described as busy -- long bar, tables interspersed, pool tables, televisions, roomy booths for you and a clown-car full of friends, occasional live music and a healthy, drunken vibe.
Mon-Fri: Reverse happy hour.
Thu: Island night. 230 W. Fifth St., Tempe, 480-966-5600.
McDuffy's Wide World of Entertainment: 15814 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, 623-334-5000.
Mickey's Hangover: The attraction to this Scottsdale bar lies in its 3 a.m. closing. None of this turning-into-pumpkins, 1 a.m. stuff. While it stops serving alcohol at the witching hour, it keeps late-night snack food coming 'til 3. The back patio allows for fresh air, conversation and cigarette smoking while the DJs spin inside. Wednesday's Funk and Soul is a big night, with Parliament coming from the DJ and blaxploitation films showing on the wall.
Thu: Ladies' night.
Sat: '80s for the ladies. 4312 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, 480-425-0111.
Minder Binder's: A barn on the outside, your grandmother's cluttered attic on the inside, this college-minded bar and grill features rock and ska punk DJ music.
Wed: Live blues.
Thu: Live reggae.
Fri: Hip-hop night.
Sat: Ska punk night. 715 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, 480-966-1911.
Moda Lounge: 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-429-0990.
Modified Arts: Mainstream-shunning hipsters flock to this tiny performance space located in downtown's up-and-coming Roosevelt gallery district. Modified hosts raw indie rock, emo and punk bands, as well as experimental film screenings, alternative theater and a variety of genre-defying performances. Smokers congregate on the front sidewalk between sets. 407 E. Roosevelt St., 602-462-5516.
Mr. Lucky's: You can find this legendary country haunt of Waylon's by spotting its frightening 50-foot maniacal clown marquee in the parking lot. Downstairs has pool tables and video games.
Thu: Free country dance lessons, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Fri-Sat: J. David Sloan and Western Bred, 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Closed Sun-Wed. 3660 Grand Ave., 602-246-0686.
My Favorite Lounge: As eclectic as imaginable, the atmosphere at My Favorite Lounge changes almost nightly, ranging from an upscale, artsy crowd for electroclash events to a Caribbean and hippie influence during reggae events. The two-room lounge is reminiscent of a lower New York establishment, with low lighting, lengthy bar and standing-room-only second room. 4809 N. 27th Ave., 602-336-8826.
My Florist Cafe: A lively little cafe, My Florist Cafe features a menu that reads like poetry in gourmet sandwiches and salads. Many dishes lean to the sweet side, and it's advisable to get often-syrupy dressing on the side. But ingredients are topnotch, and some dishes sparkle, like the cafe clubhouse sandwich, and pear salad. Lately, though, the music sparkles as much as the food, as the cafe now offers singer-songwriters and pianists sharing their tunes seven nights a week. 530 W. McDowell Rd., 602-254-0333.
Myst: 7340 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale, 480-970-5000.
Nasty Habits: A small, divey mixed gay bar with a definite dingy vibe going for it -- in a good way. Nasty Habits' interior is stark, with beams that look like old telephone poles running across the ceiling and a yellow-brown wall. Patrons can enjoy a jukebox, a pool table and even a quick game of shuffleboard.
Wed-Fri: Karaoke, 8 p.m.-midnight.
Sat: DJ, midnight-1 a.m. 3108 E. McDowell Rd., 602-267-8707.
NEXT: Nestled down the street from Cajun House, this darkly lighted lounge offers aggressive house music, a small dance area and a bar buzzing with the gym- and surgically enhanced, some no doubt judging their own assets against those of the exotic nudes that decorate the walls. Well-furnished dining areas tucked in side rooms provide serenity for the rest of us.
Tue: Hip-hop music.
Wed: House music.
Thu: Style night with fashion show.
Fri-Sat: DJ. 7111 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-970-6398.
Nifty 50s Nightclub: Early in the evening, Nifty 50s starts with classic rock 'n' roll from the sock-hop era, and as the night progresses so does the DJ, who eventually plays from a contemporary set list. Video games, pool and karaoke are also part of this casual bar's appeal.
Thu: Ladies' night.
Fri-Sat: DJ plays dance music. 6767 N. 35th Ave., 602-973-2023.
Northern Lounge: The Northern Lounge is the Northern Lounge once again. Known previously as the gay-friendly Triangles on the inside (while keeping the old Northern marquee on the outside), new ownership has restored the Northern name.
Sat: Karaoke. 5008 W. Northern Ave., Glendale, 623-937-0940.
North Star Lounge & Restaurant: The atmosphere at the North Star depends on the hour. By day, it's a sports bar and off-track-betting spot, as patrons view any of 30 televisions. By night, it becomes a rollicking nightclub spot, with pool tournaments, trivia nights, karaoke and, on Saturdays, live music.
Wed: Pool tournaments.
Thu: Open mike.
Fri: Name That Tune.
Sat: DJ and ladies' night. 3329 E. Bell Rd., 602-971-1013.
NOYZ: NOYZ hosted a night for beauticians when it opened late in 2002, and the clientele is as cosmetic as that promotion suggests. Well-dressed folks move to dance-pop hits under a mirror ball downstairs and sink into plush couches on a bright, wooden floor upstairs. Flat-screen televisions and an industrial-looking metal staircase create a Euro-New York hybrid atmosphere. DJ seven nights a week.
Fri: School Girls Rock Party.
Sat: Bachelorette party with male revue. 4224 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale, 480-941-9333.
O'Kelley's Sports Bar & Grill: A touch of the Irish in Mormon country, O'Kelley's is a dark-wooden pub that boasts 70 televisions, a regular gaggle of bar patrons, a pool table, darts, golf arcade and full menu. It also hosts local rock cover bands Wednesdays and Sundays and karaoke Mondays and Thursdays. 2120 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa, 480-756-6069.
Old Brickhouse Grill: Sitting across the street from Alice Cooper'stown, the Old Brickhouse Grill celebrated its grand opening in August, offering the immediate promise of bringing a viable live music club venue to downtown Phoenix, with hip-hop-oriented shows, poetry slams and regular band nights. Urbanites, artsy types and unpretentious bar-rock lovers all figure to flock to the Grill, which features a center bar and massive stage, as well as high ceilings and brick walls for a warehouse feel. 1 E. Jackson St., 602-258-7888.
Ole Brass Rail Saloon: As the name portends, this is a neighborhood watering hole with a throwback feel that gives Arcadia locals the chance to lift a few after-work beers. Entertainment ranges from sports on TV to live blues, cover bands and, two nights a week, country and pop karaoke -- think Dolly Parton, Air Supply and other light-rock superstars.
Fri-Sat: Live blues. 3788 E. Thomas Rd., 602-956-1280.
O'Mallys Sports, Spirits & Grill: Resting rather anonymously in a west Phoenix strip mall, O'Mallys is as hip-hop as the Valley gets. An odd hybrid of pool-tabled sports bar, swank lounge complete with a roped-off VIP booth and dance club, the place attracts local rap and turntable hopefuls, who congregate to sip Hennessey and Cristal, strut mightily in their best threads and celebrate urban music.
Mon: Open spin night, featuring local DJs.
Tue: Open mike.
Thu: Latin House Party.
Fri-Sat: Ladies' night.
Sun: R&B night. 3544 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, 602-589-7180.
On the Rocks: 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-5527.
The Other Place: A traditional steak house with Southwestern coloring, furnishings and ambiance, the Other Place attracts a boomer crowd that munches on mahi-mahi, prime rib and trout beside a beehive-shaped fireplace on a beautiful tree-covered patio. One-man band Phil Hendricks plays country, blues, jazz and light-rock faves for the patrons Fridays and Saturdays. 7101 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, 480-948-7910.
Owl's Nest: What came first, the Hooters or the Owl's Nest? Patrons can bask in the irony of the fact that the two establishments share the second floor of the building at Fifth Street and Mill in Tempe. And the lively Owl's Nest does indeed have the feeling of a roost, with few windows and a rustic, wooden dance floor.
Mon: Metal-Head Mondays.
Tue: Live music.
Thu: Ladies' night.
Fri and Sat: DJ.
Sun: Hospitality Night. 501 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-967-3060.
Paco-Paco: 3045 N. 16th St., 602-263-8424.
Paisley Violin: A restaurant with a casual work lunch crowd and enormous deli sandwiches, the music, entertainment and atmosphere are the real draw of this local secret. Relax in the eclectic atmosphere, buy some of the constantly revolving art collection, or lie back on the couch and watch the scene unravel into a mecca of comfortable cool -- chic art and local street musicians are often part of the ambiance. 128 E. Roosevelt St., 602-254-7843.
Pasta Brioni: This Scottsdale restaurant/club advertises Neighborhood Italian Dining, promising to treat you like a favorite cousin.
Tue: Industry Night. DJ Rob Wagner spins groovy house music. 4416 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale, 480-994-0028.
Pat Murphy's Pub and Grill: A drinking man's pool hall-cum-neighborhood blues bar, Pat Murphy's has no stage to speak of, leaving blues bands no option but to man a back wall. But you can't beat 6 a.m. hash browns and bourbon for that good morning, world, how are you? feeling.
Wed and Sun: Blues jam with the Rocket 88's.
Fri-Sat: Live blues band. 3215 E. Thomas Rd., 602-522-0669.
Philthy Phil's Night Club: 2939 N. 16th St., 602-279-4339.
PHiX: 1113 Grand Ave., 602-252-7449.
PI: The owners of Boston's (RIP) kept the old strip-mall bar pretty much the same way it's been for 25 years -- pool tables, shuffleboards, dartboards. But at night, the lights dim for live entertainment in a lounge atmosphere.
Thu: Blunt Club, featuring spoken word, poetry and open mike with DJ spinning acid jazz and trip-hop.
Fri-Sat: Live music. 5014 S. Price Rd., Tempe, 480-897-1466.
Pinnacle Peak Patio: Red-checkered tablecloths tell you this is cowboy country, but it's the capacity that really ropes you in: Nearly 600 dancers and eaters can be herded into the main room, featuring a massive dance floor for fans and a stage for the nightly bands.
Mon-Thu: Live country music.
Fri-Sun: Mainstream country tunes from the Stragglers. 10426 E. Jomax Rd., Scottsdale, 480-585-1599.
Remington's Restaurant: 7200 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-948-3001.
Rhythm Room: Local blues impresario and killer harmonica player Bob Corritore's passion for roots music attracts legends such as John Hammond and other touring acts to his intimate, energetic Rhythm Room that would otherwise skip town. That passion also attracts the Valley's most diverse audience -- old, young, black, white. Doors open at 8. 1019 E. Indian School Rd., 602-265-4842.
Rio Salado Brewing Co. Salt River Saloon: Thank the Rio Salado Brewery for this cramped but vibrant Mill Avenue drinking hole. With its red-brick-lined interior and classic wooden tables, the place has a classic microbrewery feel, and lovers of Rio Salado's beers can definitely mark this one down as a pub crawl destination.
Mon-Sun: Live music. 605 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-829-6775.
Rodeo Nights: Grab your boots and hat and take a swing on this enormous dance floor. Or walk a few feet to one of the seven full-service bars. Or try the pool tables, or slip away for a quieter rendezvous under the flashing lights of a saddle covered in mirror-ball tiles.
Thu: Male revue.
Sat: Male revue plus country dancing lessons. 4029 N. 33rd Ave., 602-279-3800.
The Rogue: The jukebox spins both Gene Vincent and Motörhead, which may explain why skateboarders, cowboys, and Vespa and Harley riders are all drawn to this dark roadhouse.
Mon: Fifty Cent PBR.
Fri: Live music.
Sat: Punk rock DJ. 423 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-3580.
Roman's Oasis: Out here, in the far reaches of the West Valley, legions of laid-back folks in cowboy boots scoot to live country-western music on Friday and Saturday nights. Other high points: good grub, a sociable staff, karaoke five nights a week and -- raise my rent! -- never a cover charge. 16825 W. Yuma Rd., Goodyear, 623-932-0922.
Rula Bula: An authentic Irish pub designed, dismantled, transported to Tempe and then reassembled! Acoustic performers and small groups keep the rousing Irish music flowing while the bar serves an array of pints and lagers.
Tue: Walt Richardson.
Thu-Sat: Live music. 401 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-929-9500.
Rustler's Rooste: A real live bovine inhabits a large pen next to the entrance, a variety of beers flow from the tap, and a nice view of the East Valley are some of the amenities at this popular tourist destination with a ranchlike feel.
Tue-Sat: Peso Dollar Band. 7777 S. Pointe Pkwy. West, 602-431-6474.
The Rusty Spur Saloon: A genuine historic landmark in Old Town Scottsdale, this watering hole slaked cowboys' thirsts long before Southwestern art galleries with crying Indians surrounded it. Now, it's a fine place for hearing historic Willie Nelson covers. Live entertainment every day and every night.
Thu-Sat: Psychobilly Rodeo. 7245 E. Main St., Scottsdale, 480-425-7787.
Sail Inn: Located a few blocks away from the throngs of Mill Avenue, Sail Inn caters to a crunchy, bohemian crowd with live music -- from classic rock and funky bluegrass to reggae and blues -- every night of the week, and asks only modest cover prices. Between sets, pool tables and sports TVs keep guests entertained. 26 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, 480-921-1775.
Salty Se&ntile;orita: Designed by Judith Testani (Elements, Furio, Oceana, Tarbell's, Barmouche), the Salty Señorita boasts a friendly, innovative design reminiscent of the works of Antonio Gaudí, the famous Spanish architect of the early 1900s. The bar is stocked with more than 100 different brands of tequila, and the signature Señorita Slushes and Papa Grandes drinks will quench your thirst. For an extra $2, you can keep the custom shaker.
Thu-Fri: Live music on the patio. 3636 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-946-SALTY (7258).
Sanctuary: One of the Valley's sightliest clubs, it has everything to keep up with its major-city counterparts: a line outside the door miles long; velvet rope and hulking bouncers; a dress code; and a VIP room. Local DJs pump out trance and techno on the decks Wednesday through Saturday on the two dance floors. It's a good place to get away from the collegiate atmosphere of Tempe. A tucked-away lounge offers dancers a breather. 7340 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale, 480-970-5000.
San Felipe's Cantina: 20825 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, 480-563-9495.
Scorch Bar: Mix lava lamps, neon booths and drinks with names like the Inferno served in an underground bar and, well . . . it's getting hot in here. The lounging and conversing last until 9 p.m.; then it's dancing time.
Thu: Ladies' night.
Fri: Male revue. 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., 480-513-7211.
Shepherd's: 3114 E. Cactus Rd., 602-482-0751.
Sky Lounge: Part of Sports City Grill, the popular two-level eatery hosts various themed nights beginning with Progress Thursdays with DJs spinning drum and bass; and Friday Latin nights, which feature Afro-Cuban band Cascabel downstairs and salsa dancing upstairs until 3 a.m.
Sat: Rainbow Room Night. 132 E. Washington St., 602-229-1110.
Sneaky Pete's: 2547 E. Indian School Rd., 602-955-0881.
Static: A walk-up around the corner from Scottsdale Civic Center, Static is at once trendy and edgy. It combines the atmosphere of a traditional lounge with the tattooed, leather and vinyl-leaning style of urban dwellers and extreme-sports enthusiasts. The televisions, in fact, play videos featuring snowboarding and other events nightly. The bar, located to the right of the stage, occasionally attracts impromptu pole dancing. As a burgeoning live music venue, it veers toward hip-hop rock, metal and punk -- in other words, all things loud guitar.
Tue and Sun: Industry night.
Wed-Sat: Live music. 7373 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, 480-990-0029.
Steel Horse Saloon: One of the most popular biker hangouts in the Valley, annual events include Bike-toberfest and the anniversary of AZ Rider Motorcycle News.
Mon: Jam night and in-house darts.
Tue: Open-mike night.
Wed: Rock 'n' roll with Jack Daniel's specials.
Thu: Karaoke and Ladies Night.
Fri-Sun: Live music. 1768 W. Bell Rd., 602-942-8778.
Steve's Mexican Food & Lounge: 1711 S. Central Ave., 602-254-3787.
Sugar Daddy's: Here, Old Town Scottsdale meets Bourbon Street and turns blues at the corner with local and national R&B acts. And there's a roomy outdoor patio where you can enjoy Sunday brunch with your live entertainment. Live music 7 days a week.
Sat: Live reggae. 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-970-6556.
Sushi Brokers: 17025 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-515-5000.
Sushi N' Rock: Yes, sushi and rock. A two-sided sushi bar, decorated with chopsticks and red napkins and Japanese dinnerware, is surrounded by rock 'n' roll memorabilia -- autographed portraits of Billy Idol and Mick Jagger, guitars donated by gods like Clapton, wooden statues of Jake and Elwood Blues.
Thu-Sun: Karaoke. 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-ROCK (7625).
TJ's Bar & Grill: TJ's is a small, intimate neighborhood country-rock bar with pool tables and other standard barroom fare. Live music Saturday nights features Billy Wyatt and the Night Wind band, and there's also an open jam session on Sunday afternoons.
Tue, Wed and Fri: Karaoke.
Sat-Sun: Live country music. 1734 E. Main St., Mesa, 480-833-1950.
Tom Ryan's: It's quite possibly the Valley's only venue to feature hay bales, a disco ball and a shuffleboard table in the same room. Blending a whole lot of country and a little bit of rock 'n' roll, live bands draw crowds Fridays and Saturdays. And even when the musicians take a break, these folks are here to dance.
Wed: Bike night or live music. 70 W. Warner Rd., Chandler, 480-792-1699.
Tom's Player's Club: 10232 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-944-0708.
T.T. Roadhouse: 2915 N. 68th St., Scottsdale, 480-947-8723.
Undici Undici Fine Art Coffee House: The owners of the relaxed, artsy Undici, nestled in west Mesa, indulge in all of their laid-back cultural interests at once. They run a coffee bar that offers such goodies as biscotti and Italian soda; host local jazz, blues and folk artists on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and run an art shop that sells homemade jewelry and other knickknacks.
Mon and Wed: Open mike.
Fri-Sat: Live music. 1111 S. Longmore Rd., Mesa, 480-962-4224.
Victorian English Cafe: This quaint clapboard house offers homemade cucumber, egg and watercress sandwiches, coffee, tea and tranquility, which is about as much as you can expect on a noisy street in Gilbert. 309 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-633-6128.
Victory Sports Grill: This biker-friendly place offers more than 21 big-screen TVs and free pool every day during lunch hour. The Victory Sports Grill also offers a variety of live entertainment, including salsa dancing.
Fri: Live music.
Sat: DJ. 7103 E. McDowell Rd., in Papago Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-945-3890.
The Vine Tavern & Eatery: By day, the Vine lives up to expectations with plenty of TVs and a tasty menu of pizzas, burgers and wings. But later at night, this unassuming strip-mall bar attracts a younger crowd with live rock and pop punk on Saturdays, and karaoke on Thursdays.
Wed: Stop the Clock Trivia.
Sun: Breakfast buffet. 2808 E. Indian School Rd., 602-957-9806.
Willow House: The 100-year-old Willow House -- ancient as far as buildings here go -- offers a glimpse of historic Phoenix and provides a meeting place for coffee drinkers, poets and craftspeople to show and discuss their work. The multi-roomed venue is an urban museum for local artists. 149 W. McDowell Rd., 602-252-0272.
Wine Concepts: 4001 E. Bell Rd., 602-923-9463.
Winks: Three words sum up Winks: drag, drag and drag. Four nights a week, the bar is home to some of the best female impersonation acts in the Valley, including (his promo, not ours) America's favorite blonde, Barbra Seville, Pussy LeHoot, and Devina. The bar is decorated with class: Zebra-print carpet lines the floors, a chandelier hangs from the ceiling, silver and black curtains frame the stage, and lovely flower arrangements adorn the front window. Also notable is that Winks is home to the Gay World Series softball team.
Tue-Sun: Drag shows.
Sun: Brunch. 5707 N. Seventh St., 602-265-9002.
Yucca Tap Room: Tucked away in a grungy Tempe strip mall, this casual bar evokes a small-town atmosphere with its crowd of working-class regulars. College kids come by for alternative rock, karaoke and open-mike nights, while a more diverse bunch shows up for live bluegrass and country.
Mon: Open mike.
Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun: Live Music.
Thu: Karaoke. 29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, 480-967-4777.
Ziggy's Sports Grill: 414 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-557-8093.
The Bar at the Citadel: Chef Michael DeMaria puts as much class into his bar as his award-winning restaurant. We're talking cushy sofas, overstuffed armchairs, a discreet but well-stocked bar and inspiring views of Scottsdale's spectacular sunsets. These are way-above-average bar bites, exquisite eats like potato-and-prosciutto-wrapped scallops and crab-stuffed cannelloni. Tossing back some Krug Grande Cuvee Brut champagne, serenaded by live music, how could we be anything but thrilled?
Fri-Sat: Terri Anderson. 8700 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Scottsdale, 480-515-2575.
Barcelona (Chandler): It could be the bars, massive and trendy, lined with ice for resting cocktails. It could be the live entertainment, including such favorites as the LMNOP band. Maybe it's the food, a mix of upscale Mediterranean and Southwestern cuisines. Perhaps the dancing is the draw, as guests young to old kick it up on the floor after 10 p.m. Whatever, both Barcelona locations are usually packed with people not bothered by pricey cocktails and even pricier snacks. Be smart and get started at happy hour, when appetizers ring in at half-price seven nights a week. 900 N. 54th St., Chandler, 480-785-9004.
Barcelona (Scottsdale): 15440 Greenway-Hayden Loop, Scottsdale, 480-603-0370.
Barmouche: This looks like a real man´s club, but it's friendly to the ladies, too. Think lots of moody lighting, burgundy leather, and hearty noshes like Scotch beef sandwiches, the Rich Man's Burger (no kidding, it's $15), and classic liver 'n' onions. Here's where to find some clever wines, too, like Pommery POP champagne As Seen on TV. Take advantage of happy hour, with bargain-priced drinks and appetizers for as little as a buck. 3131 E. Camelback Rd., 602-956-6900.
Bistro 24: For luxe libations, nobody bests the Ritz-Carlton. Silk fabrics, comfortable rattan booths and country French accents nestle around the cozy, eat-in marble bar at the restaurant's entry. Bistro 24 is an exquisite environment in which to impress guests, with expert, unobtrusive service.
Fri-Sat: Live jazz. 2401 E. Camelback Rd., 602-468-0700.
Cafe Blue: We could well be in Manhattan with this snazzy, sophisticated lounge. The bar is stunning, all back-lighted white reflected in giant mirrors and funky blue neon. A sushi and fresh seafood bar beckons us from the glass wall separating the lounge from the restaurant (check out the light show as the wall changes colors). Bring your wallet -- drinks and appetizers are expensive, and there's no happy hour. But after a few twisted martinis (Ketel One with cranberry and grapefruit juice), who cares? Closed Sundays. 4175 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-946-6555.
Christopher's Fermier Brasserie: It's hard to look past the list of more than 100 wines by the glass, but worth it to discover outstanding French cuisine. Sommelier Paola Gross offers pairings perfect for nibbling and sipping at the sleek, European-style bar, followed by a decadent dessert and puffs on quality cigars. Stop in early (4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays) for a trio of two-ounce wine tastings at $9.95. Full wine bar menu Thursdays through Saturdays. 2584 E. Camelback Rd., 602-522-2344.
Drift Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Lounge: This is the ultimate Scottsdale tiki lounge, with big Easter Island heads, surfing flicks on the tube, and huge, highly alcoholic Polynesian-styled drinks like the Evil Bastard and the Grotto. Kick back in the beautiful, big-assed bar and lounge area, where you can pretend you're in Maui while you listen to a mix of electronica, rock and hip-hop. Food is served until midnight. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. 4341 N. 75th St. (75th St. and Stetson Dr.), Scottsdale, 480-949-8454.
Durant's: Perhaps the only unselfconscious retro lounge in the Valley, Durant's recalls an era when dry martinis and tuck-and-roll leatherette truly mattered. Surrounded by red-flocked walls and peeking out from dimly lighted banquettes are crowds of theater types, local politicians and businessmen with nieces in tow. Order a Stoli martini, five-to-one, and an icy plate of Florida snow crab claws, and know that you've reached the pinnacle of Old Phoenix cool. 2611 N. Central Ave., 602-264-5967.
Eddie Matney's: The lounge looks just like someone's living room -- someone in Morocco, that is. Bold, bright colors decorate the comfy sofas, armchairs and ottomans flanked by mosaic patterned tables. Savvy professional types gather here for an elegant nosh (half-price at happy hour, with freebies on Tuesdays) of Matney's eclectic appetizers: seafood ravioli, sumac-grilled lamb chops, garlic-cornmeal calamari. If a drink is trendy, it's on the menu (cosmos and lemon-drop martinis are favorites).
Fri-Sat: Live jazz. 2398 E. Camelback Rd., 602-957-3214.
Furio: The owners are so proud of the decor of their lounge that they openly give its designer credit. Judith Testani crafted the fabulous, violet-lighted bar furnished with chunky ottomans and a couch stacked with leopard-skin pillows. But real attention focuses on the handcrafted martinis, a boutique wine list and more than 15 specialty drinks like mojitos, an Italian ice-lemon (lemon gelato, Ketel One Citroen, Triple Sec, sweet and sour, and lemon juice in a sugared-rim martini glass), or a Bellini (champagne, peach purée, vodka and peach schnapps). Recorded music is inspired (Gipsy Kings, Sinatra, jazz, acoustic guitar), and the cuisine is, too (amazing dusted hearts of palm, calamari, osso buco).
Sun: Aria House music.
Mon: Martinis and manicures.
Thu: Flight night. 7210 E. Second St., Scottsdale, 480-945-6600.
Houston's: Don't let the cow skull on the wall fool you: There's nothing hokey or Southwestern about this upscale bar, grafted onto one of Phoenix's most popular eateries. Order a cosmopolitan and any item off the dinner menu and watch as secretaries, guys on the make, and other professional sorts mingle under giant, flying-saucer-shaped chandeliers. Or check out the game on the overhead TV at the bar. Either way, you've escaped the usual scene, and you're in stumbling distance of fine dining after too many martinis. 2425 E. Camelback Rd., 602-957-9700.
Jetz American Grill: Half the space is a bar, the other half is a restaurant, and the whole thing is ultra-classy with rich stone walls and lush cherry wood. Start with a happening happy hour, easing into a quieter dinner crowd. The action sizzles after 10 p.m. on weekends, with a small dance floor rocking to Top 40 and dance mixes. Martinis star, with complex blends like Berry White (Ketel One vodka, Chambourd and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur), Purple Haze (Bacardi O, sweet and sour, orange juice and grenadine), and Lip Service (Smirnoff Raspberry Twist, Chambourd, Cointreau and cranberry juice). Hungry? Sample from a large menu, including peppercorn-crusted NY strip and grilled salmon.
Fri: Live music.
Sat: DJ dance music. 10050 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-948-2606.
Kazimierz World Wine Bar: It's hard not to be happy sprawling back on cushy overstuffed armchairs and sofas amid candles and shrouded lights, enjoying a magical display as the sun sets behind an elaborate paper-and-gel stained glass window that comprises the bar's northern wall. This place has got it all, from funky music (jazz and techno, spiced up with big band, Irish and mariachi themes) to fashionable drinks (more than 800 bottles of wine, including two dozen themed flight selections) to fine food (gourmet antipasto, calamari and octopus salad, duck pâté with truffles). Get there early (before 7) for best seating.
Mon and Thu: Live jazz. 7137 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-946-3004.
A League of Our Own: The name of this popular place says it all: A combination sports bar and jazz club, League offers televised games around a scenester-dominated lounge on one side, and local legends making music in the swanky restaurant/lounge on the other. Autographed basketballs in Lucite cases mix it up with large-format paintings by local artists. Two pages of martinis and a dozen different champagnes make this a smart before-dinner stop, especially when paired with one of League's fancy appetizers (we like the confit of artichoke and the beluga caviar).
Wed-Sat: Live jazz. 40 E. Camelback Rd., 602-265-2354.
Merc Bar: Merc is so cool it barely has a sign -- just look for the door tucked across from Houston's and you'll see a tiny plaque. Inside is high style, with brass tables, designer sofas, dark wood accents and virtual bat-cave lighting. Clientele is of the well-heeled sort, with plenty of businessmen and pretty young things sipping French martinis (Finlandia vodka, Chambourd, pineapple juice) while nibbling on $14 plates of smoked salmon. Get there early, the place fills up quickly. 2501 E. Camelback Rd., 602-508-9449.
1912 Lounge: This elegant watering hole at Arizona's oldest golf resort has quite a history. Below a banquet room across the hall, catacombs are all that´s left of what was once a speakeasy. You won't need a password to get into the brightly lighted bar today, but it seems nearly everyone who works there has a ghost story to tell. 1 San Marcos Place, Chandler, 480-857-4428.
Nixon's: This cozy hideaway, tucked alongside the escalators at the Esplanade, is as much like Cheers as any neighborhood bar in town. The difference: bartenders who won't bore you with Cliff Clavin-esque factoids, and a cool after-work crowd who know a good wine list when they see one (and here, they'll see one). They'll also see a huge painted mural featuring Marilyn Monroe, Sandra Day O'Connor, Madonna, and Jackie O -- among others -- a lot of warm wood, old framed magazine covers, and a mess of political memorabilia. Order the red pepper goat cheese dip and a Thomas Kemper draft, and position yourself near a window with a view of passing shoppers. You'll be glad you did. 2501 E. Camelback Rd., 602-852-0900.
Old Town Tortilla Factory: This historic 75-year-old adobe former home centers on one of the finest flagstone patios in the Valley, perfect for lounging under towering 100-year-old pecan trees and sipping from a selection of 80 premium tequilas. Either the main restaurant or a tequilaria next door offer prime drinking and dining options. Food is Southwest-Sonoran with excellent house-made tortillas, seductive salsas and specialties. 6910 E. Main St., Scottsdale, 480-945-4567.
Pattie's First Avenue Lounge: A lively party place with a Mexican cantina, Pattie's features three dance floors, three bars, pool tables and a heated outdoor patio. Party buses -- full of bachelorette parties and other soirees -- always seem to be parked out front. Never a cover and the drinks are cheap (for Scottsdale, anyway). Live music and karaoke during special events.
Fri-Sat: DJ plays all genres of music. 7220 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, 480-990-0103.
Postino: It's a converted historic post office, including glass garage doors to bring in the outside during good weather. That's almost as cool as the lovely boutique wines available (check out a tasty Folie a Deux, a rarely seen white varietal called ménage ˆ trois). The wine selection changes every other month, but great snacks are always on tap: Try the signature bruschetta, a huge wooden board groaning with four (out of nine) selections per order atop garlic-and-olive-oil-brushed Italian flat bread. The best seats in the house are many, at the bar, on a cozy couch, or on the pretty patio, grooving to excellent CD compilations. 3939 E. Campbell Ave., 602-852-3939.
Redfish: The chain restaurant's Voodoo Lounge is dressed up with authentic New Orleans artifacts and antiques and a hundred-foot mural of bayou sites, but it's the wrought-iron balconies and oil lamps that take us back to New Orleans every time. That and the Creole and Cajun appetizers (we like the shrimp rémoulade best) and the specialty cocktails (try to stop at just one Cajun Martini, we dare you). Signature beers like Dixie Crimson Voodoo Ale and Blackened Voodoo Lager and live music on the weekends bring us back to this faux French Quarter again and again.
Fri-Sun: Dance music. 7401 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-998-6995.
Sapporo: Yes, the bar really is changing colors under your cocktail glass (neon lights, you know). But there are no kids lounging here; this spot is often favored by middle-aged professionals who eagerly crowd in to scan the scene while chatting on cell phones. Weather permitting, the back of the bar opens to a lovely patio with fountains bubbling out of rock walls. Service is smooth -- martinis come in silver shakers for self-pouring, with some creative choices like the Asian'tini garnished with octopus. Terrific sushi, too. 14344 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-607-1114.
SIX Restaurant and Lounge: Selected as one of the top bars in the U.S. by InStyle and Esquire magazines, SIX, with its neon ambiance and gym-augmented clientele, may make you feel like you just sneaked into a Hollywood première. The unisex rest room can be a peep show if you forget to lock the door. Catch jazz jam sessions on Mondays and sets by world-class DJs on Sundays. 7316 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-663-6620.
Sportsman's: This may well be the only bar in town with a cheese cooler just inside the door. A cool combination neighborhood bar/wine club, Sportsman's is as close to a Provençal bistro as you'll get in the Valley. On one side, 2,000 fine wines are available for take-away sale; on the other, a cozy bar wraps itself around some mighty friendly wine aficionados who serve as your bartenders. Fancy sandwiches and cheese platters are available for palate-clearing, and a coffee bar with pastries from Willo Baking Company will help sober you up if you just can't say no to another Castello Banfi Centine.
Tue-Thu: Wine tastings, 5-6:30 p.m. 3205 E. Camelback Rd., 602-955-7730.
Suede: Plush padded walls, sleek cherry wood, two lavish bars glam-lit with teardrop lights and neon ice strips -- no wonder this high-class lounge attracts so many beautiful, moneyed people. The sound is equally sophisticated, with DJ picks of jazz, disco and R&B. Everyone sports martinis in their manicured hands, with specialties like red-chocolate, the Bombay Sapphire Gin model, and Ketel One on tap, even. Plan on dinner, since Suede sends out truly tasty Euro-Asian fare like lobster pot stickers and spicy chicken spring rolls.
Sun: Hip-hop 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Tue: House music, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.;
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Wed: DJ old school and funk music, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
Thu: DJ, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.;
Fri: DJ, house music and R&B, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. 7333 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-970-6969.
Zen 32: The fact that this trendy place serves sushi until midnight every day is enough cause to celebrate, but the late-night fish feasts are even more fun thanks to an upbeat, hip young crowd. The bar is separated from the restaurant by a glass wall, so guests can get loud, and they do. Japanese animation videos add extra pizzazz and commotion. Drinks are especially ambitious, featuring a dozen premium sakes, a groovy sake-rita (Momokawa sake, raspberry sake, Triple Sec, Chambourd, Sweet-n-Sour) and a sake-tini (Midori melon liqueur, Skyy vodka, cold sake). Free sushi at happy hour makes Zen 32 literally priceless. 3160 E. Camelback Rd., 602-954-8700.