Your complete guide to the 100 best bars in metro Phoenix

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Your complete guide to the 100 best bars in metro Phoenix

Nu Towne Saloon

Nu Towne Saloon
Benjamin Leatherman
Open since 1971, Nu Towne Saloon has earned landmark status as the Valley’s oldest gay bar still in operation. Located in east Phoenix across Van Buren Street from the equally historic Tovrea Castle, it's survived a lot over five decades: recessions, the fickleness of LGBT crowds, and a massive fire in 2010 that completely gutted its interior. After the rebuild, the owners haven't changed much, keeping the narrow, rectangular building kitschy (there’s a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower on the roof) and its interior teeming with a seven-foot plaster rooster statue (insert jokes here, if you must) and antiques and memorabilia straight outta grandma’s attic. The decor extends out to the back patio, which was upgraded during the pandemic with a canvas roof and other amenities to handle Nu Towne’s crowds during its popular weekly beer deal on Sunday (where 16-ounce cups of Budweiser or Bud Lite are $2). Regulars visit for a drink or two at the lengthy indoor bar, a game of pool on either of its two tables, or to drop quarters into the Merlin fortune-telling machine. You don’t need to be psychic to know this is a fun place, though.
5002 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, 85008