Cash Inn Country
The Cash Inn has long been a nightlife destination for Valley lesbians looking to hang out, hook up, or both. A few years ago, the bar was suffering from a case of homogeneity — the music was almost all country, all the time, and line dancing was the big thing. Cash Inn still plays plenty of country and still offers free line-dancing lessons, but the club's expanded its events menu to include things like live rock shows from local bands like The Pübes, The Sugar Thieves, and all-female collective Chicks with Picks, drag queen pageants, and DJ nights that include Top 40 music and dance tracks. So while retaining its cowgirl vibe, Cash Inn Country's also brought in a whole new group of Valley lesbians, who are just as eager to grind around to Scissor Sisters as they are to two-step.
Crave Cafe & Lounge
Meagan Simmons
Crave Cafe & Lounge may not offer the most authentic Middle Eastern hookah experience, but it does provide the most relaxing and hip atmosphere we've found. The interior looks like a swanky bordello, with deep red walls, black leather couches, and mirrors everywhere. Music videos (ranging from The Killers to PM Dawn to U2) play on big-screen TVs and also are projected onto the wall. The hookahs are served in buckets of ice and hit so subtle and smooth that you're not even aware you're smoking 'til you exhale a big cloud of fragrant smoke. The food is pretty darn good, too, and includes fare like hummus and tzatziki, arranged artistically on a plate. Sunday is the best day to visit, because Crave offers half-price unlimited hookahs, half-price food menu items, and two-for-one well cocktails. (There's also ample parking around Mill Avenue on Sundays.) And if you're craving some fresher air, Crave has front and back patios for your eating and smoking pleasure — there's even a plasma TV out back (but alas, no misting system).
Stray Cat Bar & Grill
Packed with hip-hoppers, coeds, and rockers, The Stray Cat serves a diverse clientele. But no group is better taken care of at the Tempe spot than hardcore smokers. The bar doesn't feature a smoking patio, per se, but it does house a ventilated room complete with tables, couches, TVs, and fans, all dedicated to the Cult of Nicotine and its members' ashy habit. Best of all, smokers can bring their drinks out with them, enjoying those classic twin vices of cigarettes and alcohol. Smoking indoors is practically unheard of in city limits, but at The Stray Cat, this is about as close as you can get — without breaking the law.
Four Peaks Brewing Company
New Times Archives
Ahh, there is nothing like relaxing on a patio while drinking one of your favorite beers and noshing on a plate of cheese puffs on a crisp autumn day — and then your neighbor has to go and ruin it by lighting up a dirty cigarette. We hate when that happens! It won't happen at Four Peaks — the brewery's expansive tree-shaded patio is 100 percent smoke-free before midnight. It's rare to find a patio in the Valley that wasn't built with the smoker in mind, but if you smoke on the Four Peaks patio, you and your cigarettes swiftly will be asked to leave.
Zipps Sports Grill
Any bar can plaster a couple of flat-screens on the wall and call itself a sports bar, but a true sports fan knows that it takes a lot more than a few plasmas from a big-box store to be drafted as a game-day watering hole. Hazelwoods understands this. In addition to the more prominent flatscreens, the bar provides a mini TV at every booth that you can tune to your sport of choice. The bar food is solid, and there's no shortage of game-day specials. And if you get a bit too tipsy rooting for the home team, Hazelwoods has a booze-mobile that will drive you home free of charge within a five-mile radius. Now that's team spirit.
Legends Sports Bar & Restaurant
One of the perks of being within walking distance of the major sports arenas in downtown Phoenix is that you end up drawing a pretty respectable crowd of pre- and post-game sports fans. Though there's no shortage of sports on every big-screen TV at Coach and Willie's, what really makes us sweet on this bar is the above-average menu (bacon crusted mac 'n' cheese and the signature lobster bisque come to mind), which makes it easy to linger over a couple of beers, even in the off-season. Not that there's ever an off-season at Coach and Willie's, because they seem to subscribe to the sports fanatic's HD dream package.
CK's Tavern & Grill
As far as neighborhood sports bars go, CK's Tavern and Grill hits it out of the park. Plenty of TVs for rabid sports fans to catch the game and generous daily specials — both food and drink — make it worth the visit even in the off season. Plus the atmosphere attracts a diverse crowd from families to weekend warriors, with pool tables, buzztime trivia, and even a claw machine to snag a stuffed animal. The chipotle raspberry and mediyaki (medium with teriyaki) wings are always delicious, as is the adovada pizza, a crisp fried tortilla topped with spicy pulled pork and queso.
Catch 22 Sports Grill
Every neighborhood needs a solid sports bar where you can catch the big game, and Catch 22 is on deck to appeal to any and all sports fans. From the Monday Night Football crowd to the UFC fight-night fanatics, we consider Catch 22's many flat-screen TVs and extensive sports packages a home run. The menu goes above and beyond fried bar food, and there's even a section geared toward the little leaguers tagging along. We particularly like their burger homage to players who wore jersey number 22, from the Emmit Smith (chedder, bacon, and chili) to the Roger Clemens (pepper jack and sweet peppers) and every other topping, er, player on the roster.
The Moon Saloon
Peoria can sometimes be a land of chain restaurants, where the closest you'll get to a sports bar is a Hooters. But look carefully at the corner of 83rd Avenue and Bell, because right behind that Hooters (we wish we were joking) is The Moon Saloon. The homey joint, with red vinyl booths and wood-paneled walls, is frequented by plenty of regulars — the place gets packed when the Suns and Cardinals play — and after a couple of games, you'll be calling yourself a regular, too. The TVs are plentiful, the beer flows freely, and the saloon snack Pick-a-Platter lets you mix and match among bar bites, because variety is the spice of life.
Zipps Sports Grill
Courtesy of Zipps
If you root for the home team, you'll fit in nicely at Zipps in Chandler. Here, fans turn out in numbers and are very vocal in their support, from ASU football to big-deal NFL playoff games. There are tons of TVs positioned at all angles, so there's not a bad seat in the house. Though there's plenty on draft or behind the bar to quench your thirst, we recommend the frozen Zipparita, which gives Z'Tejas a run for its tequila-laced money. Anchor your booze with a platter of the honey hot "golden wings" (Go maroon and gold!) or an ice cream-topped cookie skillet. With generous happy hour specials and rotating daily deals on food and drink from 8 to close, it's easy to see why this sports bar fills up fast on game day.

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