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 Saturdays, local rock bands. Dance space is at a minimum, but there's plenty of room for other social rites. Sun: Live music. Mon: Reverse happy hour. Wed: Ladies' night. Fri: Arizona Dream Girls. 855 S. Rural, Tempe, 480-517-1818.
Aint 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. Sun: Hip-hop. Mon: Karaoke. Tue: DJ Suzy/Request Night. Wed: Pool tournament/High Energy Night. Thu: Top 40 dance. Fri-Sat: Top 40 dance. 3031 E. Indian School, 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, 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. Mon-Fri: Happy hour starts at 2 p.m. Fri: Karaoke. Sun: During football season, satellite TV brings all the games. 4236 W. Dunlap, 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. Sun: Live music/entertainment. Mon: Martinis & Manicures for $5. Thu: A Class Act, a revue featuring Topaz Crawford. 718 N. Central, 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. Fri: DJs. 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. Tue: Karaoke. 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-Sat: Bill Fuschillo plays piano and sings standards from 7-10 p.m. 425 S. Power, 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. Mon: Blues. Tue: Rock ´n´ roll. Wed-Sun: Top 40 country. 417 S. Winchester Rd., Apache Junction, 480-983-6115.
Aunt Chilada´s Restaurant: Sun: Mariachi. 7777 S. Pointe Pkwy. West, Pointe South Mountain Resort, 602-431-6470.
Avanti: Thu-Sat: Emil Flaim, entertainer, singer, pianist. 2728 E. Thomas, 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. 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. Seven nights a week: Various Caribbean musical artists. 1959 E. Camelback, 602-650-1800.
Baja Tilly´s Cantina: The weekend starts Thursdays at this spacious, energetic Latino-themed dance club. Thu: Karaoke. Fri: Live music. Sat: Ladies´ night, live music. 1123 W. Broadway, Tempe, 480-968-4437.
Ballpark Pub: A low-key sports bar with high-top tables, the Ballpark Pub caters to Minnesota Vikings fans stranded in the desert. Big-screen TVs adorn the bar, and the karaoke on Tuesday and Thursday nights attracts a diverse following. Mon: Football. Tue-Thu: Karaoke. 1855 E. Guadalupe, Tempe, 480-838-9585.
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. Sat: Ladies´ night 8-11 p.m. Sat-Sun: Southwest breakfast, 9 a.m. 4142 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 480-706-5564.
Barwinkles: 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, Tempe, 480-966-5010.
Billet Bar: Thu: Ladies´ night, bike night. 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-1876.
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: SIN Night. Tue: House Party ladies´ wifebeaters and boxers contest. Wed: Ladies´ night with a men´s best assets contest. Thu: Club Paradise bikini-contest night. 8501 N. 27th Ave., 602-995-5982.
Boom Night Club: 1724 E. McDowell, 602-254-0231.
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: A gay and lesbian neighborhood bar, Buddy´s features a funky kiosk-style jukebox that plays MP3 downloads and, since this once was a 7-Eleven, a storefront cooler behind the bar displays the beer. Thu-Sat: Male Revue and drink specials. 1560 E. Osborn, 602-266-0477.
Buffalo Chip Saloon: Founded by the daughter of Super Bowl I hero Max McGee in the late ´60s, the small Buffalo Chip Saloon draws a Green Bay Packers-loving crowd. It also appeals to lovers of country music, who come to see the Pat James Band perform every Thursday through Sunday. Wed: Karaoke. Thu-Sun: Pat James Band. 6811 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-9118.
Buzz the Original Fun Bar: On Friday and Saturday nights, this almost-commercial but still edgy place is all about a big ol´ dance groove. But on Thursdays, an all-ages punk-loving crowd -- definitely not the usual fab danceteria clientele -- fills the space for live hard-core bands. 10345 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-FUNN (3866).
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: Football, Straight A double elimination pool tournament. Sun, Tue, Wed and Thu: Karaoke with Crazy Rick. Fri-Sat: Live bands starting at 9:30 p.m., no cover. 4747 E. Elliot, 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, 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. Thu-Sat: Live DJs. Sun: Dancing, noon-8 p.m. 2140 E. McDowell, 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 7-9 p.m. After-hours high-energy disco music from 1-3 a.m. Sat: Advanced line-dancing lessons and happy hour 7-9 p.m. After-hours high-energy disco music from 1-3 a.m. 727 W. Camelback, 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. Stop in to see local institutions or just to shoot a game of pool and sip bourbon with friends. Wed: Soul music from Fire in the Sky. 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. Wed-Sat: Local rock bands. Other nights, the jukebox fare ranges from George Thorogood to Limp Bizkit. 8005 E. Roosevelt, 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, Fri-Sun: Covers by weekend house band Roscoe Taylor, Tim Forkes & Co. Tue: Covers and originals by Street Life. Wed: Open-mike jam session. 675 W. Indian School, 602-266-7372.
Club Bash: 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. Sun and Wed: Live jazz. Mon: Margarita night. Tue: Live blues downstairs and a DJ upstairs, playing R&B dance music. Thu: DJs play salsa-merengue. Fri: R&B dance music upstairs and karaoke downstairs. Sat: R&B dance music upstairs and live blues or R&B bands downstairs. An enforced dress code on Friday and Saturday nights distinguishes Club Central from other Valley blues clubs. 3110 N. Central, 602-200-8121.
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, 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-Sun: Live music. 1320 E. Broadway, Tempe, 480-968-3238.
Club Level: Local hip-hop radio station Power 92.3 keeps the dance hits coming on Fridays at this watering hole upstairs on Mill Avenue. The people-watching can´t be beat on Friday and Saturday nights, and the high school contingent turns out for occasional all-ages events. Wed: 21 and up, ´80s night. Thu: 21 and up hip-hop and R&B in one room; trance and house music in the other room. Fri: All ages, Power 92.3. Sat: All ages and half off with a college ID. 411 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-967-6655.
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: Sun Devil College Night. Thu: Adrenaline Rock Night. Fri: Amazing Happy Hour, with live reggae music, 21 and over. Retro Old School Ladies´ Night, 21 and over. Sat: Wild on Rio and Club Kiss After Hours. 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. 245 E. Jackson, 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, Mesa, 480-755-7900.
Coffee Plantation (Biltmore): 2468 E. Camelback, Biltmore Fashion Park, 602-553-0203.
Coffee Plantation (Phoenix): 7000 N. 16th St., 602-674-3210.
Coffee Plantation (Gilbert): 1555 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-497-6690.
Coffee Plantation (Ahwatukee): 4740 E. Warner, Ahwatukee, 480-496-0277.
Coffee Plantation (Tempe): 680 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-829-7878.
Coffee Plantation (Scottsdale): 7366 E. Shea, Ste. 101, Scottsdale, 480-596-8122.
Craiger´s Restaurant & Lounge: 5400 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, 623-934-8071.
Crown Room: 7419 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-423-0017. Formerly Downside Risk.
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.
Different Pointe of View: 11111 N. Seventh St., Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs, 602-866-6350.
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.
Downside Risk Restaurant and Bar: 14950 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-609-7025.
Drinkwater´s City Hall Restaurant: 6991 E. Camelback, Scottsdale, 480-941-4700.
Drinx: 7330 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-423-9430.
Duck & Decanter: 3111 N. Central, 602-234-3656.
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. Qu´ rom´ntico! Fri: Live music by Freddy Duran. Sat: Live music, free salsa lessons. 28 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler, 480-722-0303.
Emerald Lounge: The funky, two-room Emerald features eclectic local music along with your cocktail, 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. Mon: Love Lounge. Tue: Soul Tracks. 1514 N. Seventh Ave., 602-256-9705.
Everett´s Steakhouse: 20701 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-515-5891.
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. Tue: Karaoke. Wed: Hans Olson. Thu: Chuck E. Baby. Fri-Sat: House band Sweaty. 940 N. Alma School, 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 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. Mon: Karaoke. Tue, Thu-Sat: Live DJ. 680 S. Mill, 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-Sat: Live music. 1989 W. Elliot, 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. Sun: S.I.N. (Service Industry Night), with Bust-A-Nut Entertainment´s DJs. Mon: Football with The Edge radio station. Fri-Sat: Live music. 2003 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-945-3618.
Four Peaks Grill and Tap: Satellite venue for Four Peaks Brewing Company, 15730 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale.
GameWorks: 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, #669, Tempe, 480-839-4263.
Gentle Strength Cooperative: 234 W. University, Tempe, 480-968-4831.
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, 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, 602-840-7838.
Gold Bar Espresso: 3141 S. McClintock, Tempe, 480-839-3082.
Gonzo´s: 302 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, 480-545-5000.
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, 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. Thu-Sun: Live music. East Pinnacle Peak and Star Route, 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: Ronnie Dye Band. Wed, Thu, Sun: Dance lessons, 7 p.m., and live music. Wed-Sun: Live music with the Herndon Bros. 7116 E. Becker, 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: Ladies´ night. DJs play hip-hop, merengue and old-school. Fri-Sat: Live music ranges from hip-hop and Latin nights to performances by high-profile Valley rock bands. 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: ´70s, ´80s and ´90s retro-dance night. 155 W. Camelback, 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. Tue: Karaoke. Wed: Play trivia for cash prizes. Thu-Sat: 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.
Harrah´s Ak-Chin Casino: 15406 N. Maricopa Rd., Maricopa, 1-520-568-4154.
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. Sun: Open mic night. Mon: Page The Village Idiot. 2610 W. Baseline, 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, 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, 602-257-8929.
Incognito: 2424 E. Thomas, 602-955-9805.
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, 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 8:30-10:30 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. Thu: Phil Hendricks (not around in summer). 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, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Wed: Gloria & Debbie, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Thu-Sun: Doc Chaney and Gary Church Just Friends Jazz Band (Thu-Sat, 7:30-11:30 p.m., Sun 5-9 p.m.). 7908 E. Chaparral, 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-Thu: Dart tourney. Wed: Band open night. 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. 909 E. Elliot, Tempe, 480-730-9009.
Johnny Gee´s Sports Bar & Grill: Tue-Wed: Karaoke. Thu: Pool tournaments start at 10 p.m. Fri: Dart tournaments start at 9 p.m. 7200 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, 480-961-3080.
Jolta Java: 14418 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-607-7771.
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, 602-225-0307.
Kerr Cultural Center: 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-596-2660.
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. Thu: Karaoke and $1 beer special. Sun: Karaoke, noon-6 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. Tue: Adult karaoke. Wed & Sat: Live music. Thu-Fri: DJ, dance music. Sun: ´80s Night with DJs. 12601 N. Paradise Village Pkwy. West, 602-765-0059.
Leland´s: 37433 N. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-4094.
Livingston´s Soul Food Restaurant: South Scottsdale locals flock to this soul food restaurant for specialties like catfish and for cultural enrichment six nights a week. A separate, softly lighted lounge area plays host to R&B bands, open-mike nights and Wednesday poetry readings (a popular draw; reserve a spot by Sunday). Mon: Guest Bartender Night. Tue: Reggae Night with Kindred. Wed: Poetry Night. Thu-Sun: R&B/Jazz. 7111 E. Thomas, Scottsdale, 480-429-6161.
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: Fri-Sat: Rock ´n´ roll. Pool tournaments, drink specials. 15015 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-482-3130.
Longbranch: 10600 W. Buckeye, 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. Sun-Thu: Karaoke. Fri-Sat: Live music, featuring classic rock cover bands. 7346 E. McDowell, Scottsdale, 480-947-3304.
Long Wong´s: Once the linchpin of Tempe´s desert-rock scene, the cozy Long Wong´s still hosts a revolving cast of local bands (Gloritone, Busted Hearts) to complement blue-collar beers -- Schlitz in the can! -- and phenomenal wings. 701 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-966-3147.
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.
Lucci´s 4 Pasta & More: 4747 N. 20th St., 602-954-2394.
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, 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. Mon-Fri: Happy hour 4-7 p.m. 4001 N. Central, 602-264-6141.
Majerle´s Sports Grill: Owned by former Suns guard Dan Majerle, 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. Wed-Sat: DJ nights, featuring DJs spinning different musical genres. 24 N. Second St., 602-253-9004.
Malone´s Roadhouse: 15601 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-482-3125.
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. Wed: Acoustic music with North. Thu: The Chadwicks play Top 40 and alternative hits. Fri: North plays classic rock, Top 40 and alternative hits. Sat: Rock Lobster kicks out ´80s jams. Sun: Metalhead cranks out heavy-metal faves. 7925 E. Stetson, 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, 602-954-0455.
McDuffy´s: McDuffy´s is an off-campus Irish pub and sports bar for Tempe locals and ASU students with a punk-rock influence. 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. Tue: Free billiards 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. 4312 N. Brown, 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 upstairs on Friday and Saturday nights. Live music and penny drafts on Thursdays. 715 S. McClintock, Tempe, 480-966-1911.
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, 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. Owner J. David Sloan and his band Western Bred perform Wednesday through Saturday night. Downstairs has pool tables and video games. Wed: Open bull rides upstairs, 8:30 p.m. Thu: Free country dance lessons, 7:30-9 p.m. 3660 Grand Ave., 602-246-0686.
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, 602-254-0333.
Nasty Habits: A small, divey lesbian 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. Fri: Karaoke, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sat: Free billiards, midnight-1 a.m. 3108 E. McDowell, 602-267-707.
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. 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: Live music with Sugar Band. 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 and is in the process of transforming the club into a swank blues lounge, with its Big Mac´s Blues Zone room featuring live music. Thu-Fri: Hip-hop. Sat: Blues night, featuring live bands. 5008 W. Northern, 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. Nightly: Karaoke. Mon: Pool tournaments. Thu: Open mike. Fri: Name That Tune. Sat: Live bands. 3329 E. Bell, 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. Tue: Evolve DJ Sinbad and M2. Wed: Rebirth, house music from national and international bands. 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 through Sundays and karaoke Mondays and Thursdays. 2120 W. Guadalupe, 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, 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. 3788 E. Thomas, 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: Live hip-hop, featuring freestyle battles. Thu: Latin House Party. 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. Tue: Reality shows. 501 S. Mill, Tempe, 480-967-3060.
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, 602-254-7843.
The Paper Heart Gallery and Studio: 750 Grand Ave., 602-262-2026.
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, 602-522-0669.
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, Scottsdale, 480-585-1599.
Priceless Inn: 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, Tempe, 480-897-1466.
Reata Pass Steakhouse: 27500 N. Alma School Pkwy., Scottsdale, 480-585-7277.
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, 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. Thu-Sun: Live music. 605 S. Mill, 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. 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.
Roosters Country: 3731 E. Main, Mesa, 480-641-2125.
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, 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, Scottsdale, 480-425-7787.
The Saddlerack: 2020 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, 480-722-9722.
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, Tempe, 480-921-1775.
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, 480-513-7211.
Shannon´s Grill: Shannon´s is something of a rarity -- an unpretentious neighborhood sports bar and grill with an outdoor patio for extra drinking space and view of South Mountain. Sports fans can catch games on any of 30 televisions while they eat prime rib, and would-be singing superstars tackle karaoke on the weekends. Wed, Fri, Sat: Karaoke. 1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 480-283-8750.
Sky Lounge: Part of Sports City Grill, the popular two-level eatery hosts various themed nights such as Friday Latin nights, which feature Afro-Cuban band Cascabel downstairs and salsa dancing upstairs until 3 a.m. 132 E. Washington, 602-229-1110.
Spice: 7228 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-7423. Formerly Moloko.
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: Punk night, featuring live bands. Sat: Rock night, featuring live bands. Sun: Industry night, for adult entertainers. 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: Pool tournaments. Tue: Open-mike night. Wed: Blues night, featuring bands. Thu: Karaoke. Fri-Sun: Live music. 1768 W. Bell, 602-942-8778.
Steve´s Mexican Food & Lounge: 1711 S. Central, 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. Sun: Hans Olson/Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 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. Fridays bring rock karaoke. 15111 N. Hayden, 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. 1734 E. Main, 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 Thursdays through Saturdays. And even when the musicians take a break, these folks are here to dance. 70 W. Warner, Chandler, 480-792-1699.
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. 1111 S. Longmore, 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 Bar & Grill: Victory´s faÇade in Papago Plaza is deceptively small -- but walk in and be impressed by its sheer enormousness. Sports memorabilia and posters adorn the walls, but all eyes are on the big-screen TV and smaller sets scattered throughout, especially during football season. Fri: West Coast swing. Sat: Salsa. 7103 E. McDowell, 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, 602-957-9806.
Warsaw Wally´s: Wally´s considers itself the home of the blues and wants you to know it: in red and blue paint on the wall, on tee shirts and pins behind the bar, and on a wooden plaque in the game room. The Rocket 88´s was this dive bar´s house band for years, but has moved on, allowing other locals to entertain the faithful. Sun, Tue, Thu: Blues jam with Thomas Oliver and Del Mar. Fri-Sat: Live blues. 2547 E. Indian School, 602-955-0881.
What´s Your Beef: 8608 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-483-1900. Formerly Marco Polo Supper Club.
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, 602-252-0272.
Wine Concepts: 4001 E. Bell, 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. Thu-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. 29 W. Southern, Tempe, 480-967-4777.
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 the magical sounds of live artist David Grossman, how could we be anything but thrilled? 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, 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, 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? 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. Return late (10 p.m. to midnight Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) for croque monsieur, or little tastes of pöt´, smoked salmon, tuna tartare, white bean hummus and roasted tomato served on toast. 2584 E. Camelback, 602-522-2344.
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). Wed-Sat: Live jazz. 2398 E. Camelback, 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 pur´e, 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. 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, 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. 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. 7137 E. Stetson, 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). Tue-Sat: Live bands. 40 E. Camelback, 602-265-2354.
Madison´s M Bar: The ultimate in upscale East Valley nightclubs, this hip haven is where you´ll always find the see-and-be-seen crowd. Breathtaking bargoers gather -- especially on Friday nights -- at the huge, centrally located bar and to ogle the moderne lines and angles of the club´s interior. Out on the spacious outdoor patio, curvaceous lovelies toast the no-cover-charge rule and the live jazz and blues during the week. Check out Whiteout Wednesdays, featuring white chocolate martinis from 7 p.m. ´til closing. Fri and Sat: DJ plays R&B and Modern Rock; Wed and Thu: Live music. 7108 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-970-7665.
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.
O Restaurant and Lounge: Calling itself a place to power-lounge, this is a massive club-restaurant flush with well-dressed executives sipping Sexy Coffee (coffee-infused vodka, brandy and coffee cream) and nibbling on Cordon Bleu cuisine like Chilean sea bass, lobster spring rolls and Cantonese chop salad. Swanky decor alone is good enough to eat, with sultry padded walls, velvet curtains, cellophane flame torches and glass-backed waterfalls. Come here for upscale mingling rather than dancing, with music restrained to acid jazz and mellow mixes. Thu: Club Lingerie (fashion night); Sun: Bliss (hip-hop night). 4720 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-946-4466.
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. 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 m´nage á 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 r´moulade 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 and Sat: Live blues and jazz bands. 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, 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. Check out the Sunday afternoon wine-tasting classes and the walls filled with oil paintings of quaint French village scenes. 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: Sunset Deep House. 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.
Z´Tejas Grill (Chandler): Wall-to-wall marble and mirror lend a fashionable air to this romantic date spot. Both the bar and the well-regarded restaurant shut down by 10 during the week, so come early for an always-hopping happy hour featuring half-price appetizers. Live jazz acts perform nightly to an audience of after-work corporate types, thirsty thirtysomethings and jeans-clad boomers. 7221 W. Ray Rd., Chandler, 480-893-7550.
Z´Tejas Grill (Tempe): 20 W. Sixth St., Tempe, 480-377-1170.
Z´Tejas Grill (Phoenix): 10625 N. Tatum Blvd., 480-948-9010.
Z´Tejas Grill (Scottsdale): 7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, 480-946-4171.
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