Photos from Hollywood Alley's Final Night (1988-2013)
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
After 25 years of slinging drinks, trashy fun, and rock 'n' fucking roll, the party is finally over at Hollywood Alley in Mesa. All the beer and booze has been exhausted, the last song has echoed through its cavernous sticker-covered interior, and the last pizza has been served.
We dropped by the rock dive on Friday evening to get one more fleeting glimpse of the place, pay our respects, and maybe get in one last round. And while it was a completely opposite scene from the spirited three-night blowout the prior weekend, it still had its moments.
The bar was down to just canned beer and a small supply of liquor by the time we arrived, which was quickly being enjoyed by the two dozen or so people that were there for the Alley's final hours.
There were a few regulars and a few local musicians on hand, as a few more memories were on tap and people swapped stories and joked around while gathered in one of the place's many booths or at the bar. Some people who were partaking of canned brews left their empties huddled together on a few different tables as small memorials of sorts.
The staff told me that they'd keep thing going as long as the booze lasted, which, based on how people were pounding drinks, meant that it probably wasn't going to be a long night. At the same time, it seemed sort of jarring when a bartender hollered out "Last call!" at around 11:15 p.m. And less than 30 minutes later, they started herding out whoever was left and locked the front door.
And in a rascally act of rock 'n' roll-style defiance worthy of the Alley, some patrons then decided to barricade the door with the collection of benches, trash cans, and butt buckets located out front.
We shared the above photo of the scene with former longtime Hollywood Alley bartender and booker Robert "Fun Bobby" Birmingham, who worked at the bar for 17 years before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2006, and he thought the prank was both amusing and fitting.
"I just wish that I and 200 friends were forever trapped in there having a never-ending party and that there was no getting out of there," Birmingham says. "Seriously, it brings an Alley-style sense of closure."
See Also: - Mesa's Legendary Hollywood Alley to Close on July 31 - Seven of Our Favorite Shows From Hollywood Alley History - I Lived Next to Hollywood Alley and Never Gave It a Chance - Hollywood Alley Anniversary Party Will Go On Without Hollywood Alley - Hollywood Alley to Stay Open Through Friday Night
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.