Jacob Tyler Dunn

Palo Verde Lounge

A perplexing question is: What’s the crowd like at Palo Verde Lounge? All kinds park themselves at this dark, cash-only Tempe bar. Construction workers in hi-vis gear at a prolonged happy hour. Weekly regulars from the neighborhood. New drinkers from nearby ASU. Like the clientele, the atmosphere can be hard to predict. Some nights you might walk into a quiet bar of laid-back folks nursing beers, shooting pool, and watching TV, with “Neon Moon” playing serenely over the speakers. Other nights you’ll find a packed bike rack outside and a DJ presiding over a full dancefloor inside. Still other nights you’ll have to squeeze past a metal band unloading gear in the parking lot in order to enter. The man who oversees it all, Chuck Marthaler, is a former patron turned bartender turned owner, and he retains a keen sense of what drinkers are looking for in their local bar: cheap drinks, poured strong, by a bartender who’s quick to commit a regular’s order to memory.


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