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.
At Painted Mountain: 8210 E. McKellips Rd., Mesa, 480-932-0158.
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.
Balboa Cafe: 404 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-967-5887.
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.
Bar 74: 7443 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-3313.
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.
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.
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.
The Brightstar: 8155 W. Thunderbird Rd., Peoria.
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.
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).
Cabanas: Aptly named, Cabanas' walls are adorned with surfboards and sea-foam-green murals of palm trees. There's not much room for dancing, although there is a stage for exhibitionists. For some quiet time, check out the dock patio, which boasts a Sun Tracker speedboat with tables and chairs on board. 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.
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 Blaze: 2740 W. North Lane, 602-943-4646.
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.
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.
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.
Dos Gringos Trailer Park: 1001 E. Eighth St., Tempe, 480-968-7879.
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: Formerly Crowbar, the Downtown Club is now an upscale Latino hot spot. There are two bars, a big-screen TV, a VIP section with leather couches and a balcony overlooking the spacious dance floor, an impressive sound system, and lighting that would have made '60s psychedelic bands jealous. The DJs primarily spin Latin pop, and the dance floor often sees action until 4 a.m. 702 N. Central Ave., 602-258-8343.
Drinkwater's City Hall Restaurant: 6991 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-4700.
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.
E-Lounge: (Formerly Element.) 4343 N. Seventh Ave., 602-279-0388.
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.
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.
Frank & Lupe's Old Mexico: 4121 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 480-990-9844.
Frasher's Steakhouse & Lounge: 2212 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-429-9544.
Fuel Motorsport Café: 2827 E. Bell Rd., 602-788-0500.
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.
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.
Mon-Sat: Live music. 2610 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa, 480-820-7117.
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.
Jack's Place: 613 E. Western Ave., Avondale, 623-932-0190.
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.
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.
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: From the looks of it, the folks at Last Exit love classic rock. Along with posters of Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and the Doors, a painted Jim Morrison looms on the wall behind the stage, crooning in front of a huge American flag. And local bands that frequently perform on the weekends -- Ghetto Cowgirl, Gloritone, and Exit 3 -- further show the club's appreciation of traditional rock. The rest of the week, patrons can pick music from a jukebox loaded with everything from Jimmy Buffett to Ice Cube. 1425 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, 480-557-5565.
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: Laid-back and roomy, the Loft provides a cool wind-down retreat for those hot nights on Mill. The main floor houses the bar and a spacious room, painted blue and red, with dozens of matching couches and chairs. Japanese paper lanterns hang from the rafters, and upstairs, there's a big loft overlooking the main room. The seating options may be wide open, but other limitations apply: The Loft only has beer on tap, and the music of choice is hip-hop. 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.
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: 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.
Thu and Sat: DJ nights, featuring DJs spinning different musical genres. 24 N. Second St., 602-253-0118.
Malone's Roadhouse: 15601 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-482-3125.
Mardi Gras Bar & Grill: 8040 E. McDowell Rd., Scottsdale, 480-970-5707.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: Myst is all about finding your niche -- just check out the maze of VIP sections in the club. A few steps down from the main dance floor and red-lighted bar is a more private lounge area with red walls and erotic paintings. Around the corner is yet another lounge, decked out in white. And on the third floor is the exclusive VIP area, hidden from view by white curtains. There's also a pool room with black leather couches and a rock jukebox, as well as a huge patio with glowing red tables. 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: 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.
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.
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.
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: Phoenix's premier gay Latin dance club has no pretensions. There's a giant Texaco gas pump inside the door, porcelain busts of rippled men on the walls, photographs of muscular male couples across from the pool table, and a decent dance space, complete with a cage for booty-shakin' boys who crave the high-energy dance music. The only things lacking are stalls on the rest-room doors and a kitchen. But when the buffet is on the dance floor, who needs a kitchen? 3045 N. 16th St., 602-263-8424.
Parkside Eatery & Lounge: 5739 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-934-9552.
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.
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.
The Rockin' Horse: 7043 E. McDowell Rd., Scottsdale, 480-874-1112.
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.
Roosters Country: 3731 E. Main St., 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 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.
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 Ave., Tempe, 480-921-1775.
Salty Señorita: Designed by Judith Testani (Elements, Furio, Oceana, Tarbell's), 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).
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.
Shadey O's: 10893 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-948-1980.
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.
Sonoran Coffee Company: 1100 N. Alma School Rd., #1, Chandler, 480-899-5801.
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.
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.
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 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).
The Swamp: 10201 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-922-0019.
Territorial Bar and Grill: 37645 N. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-575-7071.
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.
Upper Deck Sports Grill: 4224 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale, 480-941-9333.
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.
Warsaw's: 15220 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, 602-992-7476.
Wet Willy's Baja Cantina: 16041 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr., Peoria, 623-486-9500.
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.
Ziggy's Sports Grill: 414 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-557-8093.
Zoom Room: 502 S. College Ave., Tempe, 480-921-9666.
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.
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.
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.
Craiger's Restaurant & Lounge: 5400 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, 623-934-8071.
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.
Jamaican Blue Lounge: It's an oasis of anti-Snottsdale smack-dab in the heart of darkness. The name makes it sound like a spot where you can roll a big spliff, kick back, and listen to Jimmy Cliff until your brain turns to jerk chicken. But actually, this is a hip beer and wine joint with a pool table, jukebox, and cushioned nooks where you can cozy up to that hottie who's reading The Virgin Suicides and is tired of getting hit on by the old farts over at the shiny-shirt clubs. 4017 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-2160.
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 paté with truffles). Get there early (before 7) for best seating.
Mon and Thu: Live jazz. 7137 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-946-3004.
M3 Bar & Lounge: M3 is a lounge with a neighborhood feel. Most patrons sit at the bar to chat, but there are plenty of circular chairs and oversize black leather couches, perfect for couples who want to get cozy. There's plenty of comfy seating on the patio, too, which is festively lighted by mini-torches and a red rope light. M3's sound system bumps everything from alternative rock to hip-hop and reggae, but the only place to dance is around the pool table. 2623 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-423-7087.
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.
Moda Lounge: A luxury lounge in a strip mall? Who'da thunk it? But here it is, sitting right next to On the Rocks, with nary a sign in sight. The only identifier is the soft blue light, spilling out from behind window curtains. Moda is blue on the inside, too, filled with retro plush velvet couches and chairs. Couples of all ages grind it out to souped-up salsa music on the large dance floor, or chill on cushy couches in private alcoves, cordoned off by blue and gold drapes. 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-429-0990.
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.
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.
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.
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.;
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.
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