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Charles Barth

Thunderbird Lounge

Located in the westernmost suite of the historic Wagon Wheel Building in Phoenix’s Melrose District, Thunderbird Lounge was an immediate hit upon debuting in the spring of 2019. The bar’s owners — former Crescent Ballroom bar manager Brett Boyles, Jake Wiedmann of Hot Guy Band, and Jeremiah Gratza, director of operations for the promotion company Stateside Presents and manager of the President Gator record label — invite drinkers with a 1980s atmosphere: vintage furniture (each piece comes with its own backstory), a cig machine, and free arcade games. Expect drinks, sure, but also Midwestern staples like Old Style, RC Cola, Jay’s Potato Chips, and O-Ke-Doke popcorn. The busy backyard-style patio has picnic tables and patio furniture, lawn games, and DJed music. On quiet nights, drinkers can hit the curated jukebox, where there’ll always be a Marty Robbins album — a nod to the Valley’s former Thunderbird Lounge, still sitting empty in Old Towne Glendale.

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