This is the Valley's most oddly inspirational rest-room break.
But why break up at Freedom? Maybe because its very name suggests to people it's a great place for declaring independence, whether it's from Tempe's predictable music scene or from the predictable mate they came to hear it with. Maybe it's the club's proximity to ASU and the Holiday Inn that makes for a volatile mix of patrons. The indoor fireworks seem especially incendiary on the club's hottest night, Kind Fridays, which winds from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., leaving plenty of time for those who haven't quite found the time to call it quits in public.
Just a tip: When using the rest rooms, remember to lock the door (they'll fog up). Otherwise, the entire bar will get a free peep show. And that's something you don't want to be seen.
Readers' Choice: SIX
Readers' Choice for Best Bar Food: Bar Nun
Unfortunately, most bars around here serve it cold, in a frosty glass, with no head. But we stumbled upon the Friendly Irish Pub quite by accident -- and much to our delight. Not only are the people quite friendly at the Friendly, but they know how to pour and serve the nectar of the white and pasty, for a shocking $2 a pint.
No, we're not kidding. Sit down at the long oak bar, light up a cigarette (one of the few smoker-friendly establishments in Mesa) and imbibe the dark liquid, or order anything from the staggeringly complete selection of libations. The pub has more cowboy hats than any Irish bar in the universe, but the happy hour is hopping, the beer is perfect, the food is good, and the pool sharks are ready to take your money after you drink too much.
Readers' Choice for Best Bar for Conversation: Copper Canyon Brewing & Ale House
Readers' Choice for Best Happy Hour: Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar