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But it isn't just the cheap drinks and pampering that draw in the lesbian crowd: With such a small, circular scene, Amsterdam is one of the few places in Phoenix where longtime lesbian clubbers aren't guaranteed to run into an ex or some form of drama. And for lesbians who just want to have a good time and aren't necessarily looking to hook up, Amsterdam is the perfect environment for laid-back conversation and boozing without the brawling and bruising.
The Silver Pony also boasts live music on Friday and Saturday nights, something too many neighborhood bars have thrown out in the past few years in favor of DJs. The house band, the Bullseye Band, is pure roadhouse-style country, perfect to knock back a few unpretentious pitchers of Bud to (what, you think real blue-collar dudes still drink Pabst? Leave that for the just-turned-21 set over at the Rogue).
The place gets pretty packed on weekends, and is pretty much just a neighborhood crowd. Perfect if you live nearby, or if you're looking for a place to slip into the shadows away from the Tempe-Phoenix-Scottsdale crowd.
The patrons tend toward the OG punk rock, roller derby crowd, but if you leave pretension at the door, you're pretty much guaranteed to have fun. And really, that's neighborhood bar rule number one: good times, great music and people you can actually talk to.
It's true that Wes doesn't take any guff, so you'd better be nice to the staff and the regulars. There's no snapping your fingers or waving bills at the Bikini Lounge. We dare you to try. We saw someone do that once rumor has it they're still waiting for a drink. Wes has made every drink you've never heard of, twice. And if you're not sure what you want, she'll create one for you that will scratch the itch you didn't know you had. She's quick with the quip, ready with the laugh, and serves up drinks faster than you can say "tiki bar." If you're a downtown boozer, there's no one better than Wes.
After getting his start in the clubs of Boston, DiPadova relocated to the PHX in 2002 and started making appearances at Pete "Supermix" Salaz and Senbad's legendary house night Batucada, as well as at nightspots like Sky Lounge and Scottsdale's Next, before striking out on his own with StraightNoChaser at Tempe's The Loft in 2005.
DiPadova relocated the night to chic gay lounge Homme in 2006 and rechristened it "StraightNoChaser Presents: one," where the 31-year-old slung out different flavors and subgenres of house (including deep house and Loft Classics to more global variations like Afrobeat and Italio) and brought in guest DJs to share turntable duties, including the legendary JoJo Flores.