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.
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.

Hollywood Alley
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.
SunUp Brewing Company
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.

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