BEST SPORTS BAR, CENTRAL PHOENIX 2007 | Half Moon Sports Grill | Bars & Clubs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Phoenix is definitely coming into its own, but after 2 a.m. we're usually faced with the cold, hard fact that we're still not quite a "real" big city. After last call, pretty much everything's locked up, and "after hours" means Denny's or someone's house.

But at least every Friday night, you can count on Faux Show and resident DJ Jared Alan to keep you up long after you have to close your tab. It's a nice break from the standard night — Alan prides himself on staying away from the banal, overplayed songs a lot of other DJs use as standbys. He's also started to build a name for himself as a promoter, bringing bands like Menomena, Bunny Rabbit, and LCD Soundsystem to the Valley when they would have otherwise passed us up. That, combined with the fact that you can stay at the bar until 4 a.m. if you want, makes Faux Show our favorite spot to start the weekend and end the night.

It's 8 a.m. on a Saturday. You're coming off a night of multiple nightclubs, sweaty dancing, drinks galore, and after-parties lasting 'til well after sunrise. You feel like hell and you look it, too. The belly of booze is gone, the hangover is starting to kick in and, man, you are starving! Not to mention, you're feeling pretty hard-up because you didn't get lucky. So where can you go? The thought of hitting a family breakfast place makes you feel like the uninvited creepy uncle, so you need something on the seedier side. Lucky for you, Hollywood Alley will embrace your half-drunk horny ass starting at 6 on Saturday mornings. The place is dark enough to hide the dermatological damage from the previous night's events, the booths are high-backed and private, and the ripped-poster/chain-link fence décor is the perfect setting. Try the Bloody Special, which will feed your ravenous appetite with two eggs and a Bloody Mary for only six bucks. After a little grub and some hair of the dog, you'll be feeling suave and sexy — just enough motivation to hit up a booth of some other rejects and try out a morning pick-up line.
Molly Smith
We don't know about you, dude, but we could use a drink. It's not just that we've come to the end — finally — of the 2007 Best of Phoenix . It's that our city is exhausted. We've all heard (and used) the clichés, but seriously, this place is a war zone. We know, we know. Someday we'll all look back and say, "Wow, we finally have a city! Look at those high-end condos, that luxury market downtown, the zippy public transportation."

We just wish that day was now, like we wish it wasn't so fucking hot here all the time. When we want to cry in our beer, we head straight to Sonora Brewhouse, which, in our humble opinion, is just the kind of place this town needs more of — and hold the cookie cutter. We love the house-made brew-ha-has, like the Stinger Pale Ale, and the Trooper Indian Pale, but our favorite is the Light Rail Cream Ale. It's the perfect toast to the future of Phoenix. Cheers, and see you next year. Or at the bar.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of