Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 6:21 a.m.
Where: Alexi's Grill (3550 N. Central Ave., #120; 602-279-0982). It's a five-minute walk north of the station, and it's the only thing serving booze in the vicinity.
Drink: Crown Royal with a splash of ginger ale ($6.50). Kudos to the barkeep, who understands what "just a splash" means.
Scene: Alexi's sure smelled good. Too bad I wasn't there to eat. The bar, which is separated from the restaurant, isn't bad but perhaps is slightly over-lit. Two TVs showed sports and a covered patio accommodated the smokers. The barkeep was an old-school sort with white button-down shirt and black vest. In the bar, Alexi's seemed like the kind of place where traveling businessfolk hunker down for a steak and a cocktail or four after saying goodnight to spouse and the kiddies. I hear the food's good, but I'm probably not going to make a night out of hanging at the bar. -- Jay Bennett