New Times Archives

Chopper John's

Chopper John’s is primarily known as a biker bar, owing to owner John McCormack’s taste for steel steeds and the open road. It’s also one of central Phoenix’s best small venues, a rip-roaring dive, neighborhood hang, and low-key sports bar. Music fans have known about the place for years, as the former residence was home to a string of blues bars from the ’70s onward, including Louie’s, VJ’s, McGuires, Warsaw Wally’s, and Bogie’s. Once McCormack took over in 2008, the multi-room establishment became a rock haven with framed t-shirts from local bands covering the walls, rowdy shows, cheap drinks, and cheap thrills (there’s never a cover). Punks, tattoo artists, and other rock ‘n’ roll types hangout here even when there isn’t a show and the turnout is big on Sundays when Chopper John’s whips up loaded Bloody Marys topped with impossible amounts of skewered food items (we’re talking full-sized cheeseburgers and and Sonoran hot dogs loaded with fixings). At only $5 a pop, they’re a steal, and tend to go quickly. Rock on.


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