From lawyers and college students to artists and professors, metro Phoenix is home to all walks of life. There are 1.5 million people in this city, and the difficult task for singles is trying to sift through all of them to find “the one.” But where the hell are they hiding? Here are a few hints.
Cobra Arcade Bar
801 North Second Street, #100
What better way to break the ice than a game of Battletoads? Wall to wall, this bar is filled with retro video games like Galaga, Rampage, and Mortal Combat. It’s a perfect excuse to challenge someone to a little competition. The usual crowd is a wide range of 20-somethings from professional skateboarders to professors. You're bound to meet at least one interesting person.
Gracie’s Tax Bar
711 North Seventh Avenue
From the spacious patio to the nerdy board games, everything about the new downtown spot is a single person's paradise. The cozy vibe of the patio makes it easy to chat up fellow bar patrons. And if all else fails, the jukebox is filled with owner Grace Perry’s favorite songs.
Casey Moore's Oyster House
850 South Ash Avenue, Tempe
Part Irish bar and part oyster bar, Casey’s is the regular hangout for Arizona State University students and Tempe cool kids. The laid-back vibe and communal seating make it a perfect spot to grab a beer and strike up a convo with a band-T-shirt-clad stranger. Casey's offers good music, local beer, and a huge outdoor patio that tends to be packed five nights out of the week.
4400 North Central Avenue
Why Lux is such a vortex for lonely singles? The answer's one part coffee, one part alcohol, and two parts communal seating. Like a bar, this Central Phoenix coffee shop obligates people to sit with strangers. But unlike your average drinking hole, it's more socially acceptable to sit by yourself for extended periods of time without looking like a weirdo.
Culinary Dropout at The Yard
149 South Farmer Avenue, Tempe
Think of the Yard as a playground for adults. With plenty of outdoor activities like ping-pong and cornhole, as well as bar and restaurant options, you and your potential date can extend — or trim — the evening as you see fit. And if for any reason you don't make a connection on the patio or at the bar, there's always the seemingly separate but secretly unified his-and-hers bathroom.
130 North Central Avenue
A basement might seem like the last place in the world love might be hiding. But the cool vibe of this dark bar attracts a mix of young professionals, college students, and creatives. During the weekends, it's usually standing room only. Meaning it's more than likely you'll rub elbows with an eligible bachelor or bachelorette.
The Vig Arcadia
4041 North 40th Street
Venture to The Vig in Arcadia to hang with bros,
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Pattie’s First Ave Lounge
7220 East First Avenue, Scottsdale
If you don’t like the club scene, there's a good chance that your significant other wouldn’t either. Pattie’s has two major things going for it: It’s one of the few chill spots in Old Town Scottsdale; and it has the lowest frat population. That makes for a good mix of people down for a good time in an environment where you can actually hear what they are saying.
308 North Second Avenue
They say that couples bond as much over likes as they do dislikes. What better way to find out than by attending a concert? Crescent Ballroom has a reputation as a great downtown music venue and a hot spot for meeting singles. With close proximity to off-duty business people and an entertainment lineup that draws a healthy crowd of creative locals, Crescent's prime urban location makes it a mecca for mixed interests and mingling.
225 West University Drive #101, Tempe
For the coffee enthusiast, beer drinker, ASU student, or satellite office user, Cartel in Tempe serves up quality beverages and quality hipsters, making it ideal for both people-watching and number-exchanging. That is, if you have a thing for the bearded, the tattooed, and/or the skinny-jean-attired.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in April 2014. Katie Johnson and Lindsay Roberts contributed to this article.