Lists

Ten Favorite Dive Bars in Greater Phoenix

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4. Champion's
While the proprietors of this landmark Gilbert establishment refer to their joint as a sports bar, it still is possessed by an undeniable dive aura. No matter how much team memorabilia is hoisted on the walls, the spirit of its former identity as the old Copper Coin still lingers. There are remnants and reminders throughout the place, including the antique register, an old t-shirt tacked above the shelves of liquor, and the hundreds of pennies located underneath a cracked coating of Lucite on top of the bar. You can still score condoms out a shoddy dispenser in the untidy men's room, waste away the day playing darts and drinking cheap beer during the lengthy happy hour (which runs from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.), or chatter with the colorful bartenders.

3. Swizzle Inn
Take a dive into this nautical-themed North Phoenix watering hole, which is awash in the glow of hundreds of Christmas lights, taxidermied fish, aquatic regalia (including an quasi-outdoor atrium adorned with model ships), and fading paintings of tropical beaches. Swizzle Inn is also awash in cheap booze and drink specials (which are dubbed "the catch of the day"), as the bar staff tends to keep the pour strong and patrons happy. Stop by on the right night and feast on free eats cooked up by owners Bob and Beth Johnson, ranging from a cauldron of bean soup and batch of fresh cornbread to thick slices of tender beef brisket. It will surely hit the spot and help soak up excess alcohol before your trip home.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.