BS West "IV Thursdays"

I'm gay, but I don't like most gay bars. Generally, lesbians go to lesbian bars to hook up with their future stalkers, or they go to gay boy bars to either feel out of place or hit on straight chicks who're there with their gay friends (oops).

But BS West is different. This cozy gay bar in old town Scottsdale is more of a hang out spot than a hookup place, and on Thursdays, they host "IV Thursdays," a weekly filled with goth, industrial, and alternative music videos. We went last week and had a blast.

We had some trouble finding the bar, since it's tucked away in a shopping plaza off Fifth Avenue. If you haven't been to BS West before, we recommend parking somewhere near Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way and following the pairs of guys holding hands. 

Once inside BS West, we grabbed some ice cold beers from the bar and hunkered down on the back patio for a bit. There's a plasma TV screen on the patio, and we watched a variety of videos while waiting for friends to arrive. Unlike many gay bars, which only play Euro pop and electro-dance music (the whole Ibiza vibe), the BS West video jockey was playing things like Material Issue, PJ Harvey, The Prodigy (we watched the "Firestarter" video twice), and Morrissey.

A handful of friends from local industrial dance collective *Sadisco arrived around 11 p.m., and we moved inside to refill our drinks and make some video requests. With the exception of one other lesbian couple, most of the people inside BS West were clean-cut gay males in their 20s and 30s. Only one person was dancing, but he was dancing all night, with high energy. Everybody else was just talking and watching the numerous video screens in the bar.

The video deejay takes requests at BS West on Thursdays. There's a laptop patrons can use to browse the deejay's video library, and we were happy to see videos from artists like Revolting Cocks, The Cramps, and Klaus Nomi (we put in requests for all three, and the deejay played all three within an hour).

Despite the great sound system and spacious dance floor (complete with big, glittery disco ball), the vibe at BS West "IV Thursdays" last week was more of a laid-back social vibe, with people lazing about on bar stools, sipping their drinks, and chatting about the latest events (personal drama and Prop 203 were the hot topics).

The videos on screen also provided conversation fodder, usually along the lines of "What the hell is this?" (Klaus Nomi) or "I haven't seen this video in forever" (KMFDM). 

There was also much discussion of the "jinx spot" at the bar, which is located on the northernmost side of the bar, four seats from the wall. It seemed like no matter who sat in that seat, they knocked over their drink at some point. We watched four drinks go down this way before it was decided that the bar stool was cursed and we should move elsewhere.

By the time we left at 12:30 a.m., BS West had a larger Thursday crowd than the nearby Acme Bar & Grill. And judging by the cat calls we received as we were walking by, there was plenty of alcohol flowing there, too. 

IV Thursdays take place every week at BS West, 7125 E. Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale. Call 480-945-9028 or visit for more information.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea