Tempe's newest swanky dance club places a premium on a Scottsdale-slick ambiance, sexy red lighting, cherry-infused libations and bikini babes. Yep, you heard it right, bikini gals who slide and grind on a pole inside of a cage. Drool. The space dedicates 3,000 square feet to loungy areas where patrons can ogle beautiful women and 7,000 square feet for booty-shaking, meeting, and mingling. Power hour every evening features $1 Bud Light bottles and black cherry vodka specialties. During each last Thursday of the month, sip on complimentary champagne and learn how to pole dance for free. A tip for newbie visitors: Don't let the faux queue outside the club fool you. One of the club's gimmicks is to make the place look like it's overly hoppin' so that you'll come inside. We can't really blame them, because it's obvious that the Pit is the place to be.

BEST PLACE TO MINGLE WITH WNBA PLAYERS

Majerle's

Majerle's Sports Grill
This sports bar, established by former Phoenix Sun Dan Majerle, has a prime spot across the street from U.S. Airways Center, making it the perfect postgame drinking hole for basketball fans and players alike. And while a handful of NBA players have made appearances there, it's the WNBA ballers — particularly our Phoenix Mercury — who make a regular habit of hanging out and mingling after games. Mercury guard Diana Taurasi holds fundraisers for community charities there, with fellow Mercury players like Cappie Pondexter, Penny Taylor, and Tangela Smith.

Sometimes she brings out players from other teams in the league, like her good friends Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm. Fans come out to shake hands and take pictures with the players, who're very accessible and not at all secretive about their favorite watering spot. In fact, after the Mercury's last game of the regular season in 2007 (a victory over the visiting Sacramento Monarchs), Taurasi did an on-court interview following the game and announced to the whole arena, "Now we celebrate with some drinks at Majerle's!"

BEST PLACE FOR A SCOTCH AND A BASEBALL GAME

The Club Lounge

We've always liked the cozy, dark richness of the Club Lounge at Phoenix's grandest hotel. But it's only now, with the state's smoking ban in full effect, that cigars are strictly verboten and we find ourselves loving the place. With its big TVs turned to the big game and a clientele that includes the kind of guys who might be playing in tomorrow's doubleheader, it's that rarest of combinations: A sports bar that isn't loud, with a great scotch list that never feels snooty.
Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat come in many forms at this West Valley drinking spot. Throngs of sports nuts gather around the 25 different televisions to witness all manner of games and events, from die-hard football fanatics checking out every single NFL contest going down on any given Sunday to motorheads cheering on their NASCAR heroes as they round the track at Daytona. Other sporting events, from motocross to snowboarding, also get plenty of play on the boob tubes here. In the meantime, pool sharks get their fill on the joint's five billiards tables (with free pool daily from 2 to 4 p.m.), while poker pros can try their luck on Wednesdays with no-limit Texas hold 'em all night. Ping-pong and beer pong are another big draw with free paddle action going down on Sunday nights and all day on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wanna get some action? Head for Marc's, bub.
Half Moon Sports Grill
Despite the butt-cleavage theme, Half Moon Sports Grill is swankish enough to draw plenty of chicks, which, of course, makes for the best kind of sports bar there is: one where you might actually hook up during halftime. The grub, too, is not an afterthought. Half Moon boasts some of the best chicken wings in the Valley, for instance. In fact, you could even take a gal on a date to Half Moon, and she probably won't mind too much if you're checking the score every time she's not lookin'. Now that's a good sports bar.
Jilly's American Grill
We dig sports bars with options, and Jilly's is our fave gathering spot for sports freaks, business professionals, and young bucks wanting to shake it all out. The casual establishment boasts plush booths, a spacious dance floor that fills up on weekend nights, and righteous American food offerings, such as Bayou Shrimp appetizers, Lone Star Meatloaf and the Coyote Burger, topped with melted pepper jack, avocado, tortilla strips, and chipotle mayo. Enjoy $3.50 Sierra Nevada drafts whenever the Suns are on the tube or display your inner frou-frou with an irresistible martini menu, which includes the peach cosmo and a contemporary dessert banana split highball. The kitchen is open late and there's never, ever a cover.
Philly's Sports Bar & Grill
Tedd Roundy
Although the Cards defected to the west side last year, we're still about filling our bellies with pub grub and suds at any number of Tempe watering holes with a sports bar aesthetic. Philly's gives us the perfect excuse, even on non-game days, to satisfy our greedy guts. The sports bar/restaurant carries all of the satellite sports packages, including Direct TV's NFL Sunday Ticket, all which can be enjoyed on the bar's 19 televisions. They serve a mean Philly cheesesteak (8- or 12-inchers) with your choice of grilled onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, or cherry poppers, and the Wednesday night $9.50 special from 4 p.m. to close gets you a bomb-ass 12-ounce New York-style steak, baked potato, rolls, and dinner salad. If you happen to stumble outdoors to the spacious patio on select days, you can be witness to scantily clad women splishing and splashing and, uh, getting wet in blow-up kiddy pools.
Duke's Sports Bar & Grill
Lauren Cusimano
You ever feel like there's so much sports action during the weekend that you'd need six or seven televisions just to keep tabs on everything? Us, too. But instead of maxing out our MasterCard buying half a dozen boob tubes, we head to this south Scottsdale sports mecca to peep all the highlights in comfort. It's hard to miss anything — with more than 30 different big screens and plasmas tuned to all the of the latest sporting contests lining the walls at Duke's, whether it's the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, or NASCAR, you'll be A-okay, as there's hardly a bad seat in the house (they even have a telly in the bathrooms). There's also plenty of delicious gametime grub to be had, including such comfort food as juicy burgers, sandwiches, wings and salad. And if you're bored during halftime, shoot some stick on any of the joint's eight pool tables, try your hand at three different shuffleboard machines, or pump some quarters into arcade games like Golden Tee or PGA Tour Golf Challenge. Like the sporting life? Then you'll definitely love Duke's.
The Phoenician, Scottsdale
Some great views are, shall we say, partial. The city at night can resemble jewels in Tiffany's window from any old dump that's high up, but what about breathtaking vistas by day? Lovely mountains may beckon at the horizon, but if you look down and see salvage yards, retail chains, traffic jams, fraternity boys, and other evidence of human suffering, your social conscience is not getting the respite it needs. On The Phoenician's terrace, you're standing somewhere pretty, looking out over somewhere pretty toward pretty stuff. As the hillside falls away, your gaze is cushioned by gardens, fairways, poolside sybarites, and lush, well-kept homes nearby. Maybe our species will get its act together, you muse. And if, as you contemplate your beverage, you sparkle a bit brighter in this elegant setting and draw the attentions of another poseur or poseuse who doesn't really belong there, either, that's just gravy.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater
God bless Great Arizona Puppet Theater. God bless them, we say! Not every arts group respects the intelligence and imagination of our children, perpetuating a low-tech, time-honored performance tradition, yadda yadda yadda, while also embracing the goofy child inside the crude, boozy adult audience. (Okay, not very far inside.) Every now and then, GAPT hosts a Puppet Slam for adults, and high jinks ensue. The last one we went to had a pirate theme. Pirates are really cool because they're violent and rebellious and talk funny and look weird but don't belong to a protected racial or sexual group that we're aware of — although they do tend to be missing limbs and eyes, so we're careful not to laugh at them for that, in particular. And somehow these puppet people have gotten permish to have a cash bar at intermission. And the drinks were pirate-themed, too! They really get us.

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