Although craft cocktailing and mixology have made it trendy to spend way too much money on one drink, there will always be a place in our bar roster for a good old fashioned dive bar. Great jukeboxes, cheap drinks and the opportunity to shark some n00bs at pool keep us coming back to some of the seedier spots in town. The ambiance may not be for everyone, but if you can hang at any of these ten spots around the Phoenix-metro area, you're sure to have a fun, unique and usually rowdy time.
Palo Verde Lounge Regardless of how you intend any given night to pan out, if it ends at the PV, chances are that it'll be a little weird. Whether that means watching a transvestite rap or listening to some random dude tell you how he's going back to prison in four days, only time will tell. Just settle in, put some Oingo Boingo on the jukebox, down a few pickle shots and enjoy the ride. And, hey -- if you come on a night where the crowd is less than entertaining, you can surely spend a few hours playing the Simpsons pinball game in the back.
T.T. Roadhouse Pub Part cowboy biker bar, part SoSco hipster hangout, T.T. Roadhouse is a cozy little spot for any kind of folk looking to drink on the cheap. While the Roadhouse originally catered to motorcycle-type bikes, cyclists have also recently found solace in T.T.'s classic digs -- probably because $4 gets you a shot of whiskey and your choice of a PBR or Hamm's all day, every day. Now that's a drinkin' deal that can bring together any type of rider.
Bikini Lounge When our dive bar targets are set on Bikini Lounge, it means that we're ready to dance. With 602'sdays giving us our EDM fix and Boris and Shane Kennedy on the weekends playing everything from Selena to The Smiths, Bikini Lounge has earned its place as one of our favorite places to cut a rug. Unlike most dance spots in town, Bikini doesn't charge cover and doesn't have a dress code so we're free to be our (broke) selves on the dance floor. The creepy tiki décor and overall dinginess just add to the fun.
Yucca Tap Room Since the '70s, Yucca Tap Room has been a go-to spot for rock 'n' rollers of any type to catch a show and a drink. However, Rodney Hu, the bar and venue's most recent owner, made even more to love about Yucca with the recent expansion into the "Tap Room." The new bar area features many local and national craft breweries in bottle and on tap, along with a fine selection of whiskeys. The new area also made room for the inclusion of a kitchen, which serves unique bar fare such as bacon waffles and an eggs benedict burger.
Monkey Pants Monkey Pants is a pretty unremarkable sports bar across the street from Yucca Tap Room off of Southern and Mill avenues. However, at 1 a.m. Monkey Pants shows its divey colors in a deal called the $1 shirtless shot at 1 a.m. That's right, folks. Male or female, if you take your shirt off at 1 a.m. you get a shot for a dollar. Is it really worth it? Probably not, but people will do anything to save a buck.
Rogue Bar One of the most interesting things about South Scottsdale's Rogue Bar is how long it's been there. In its many incarnations, Rogue has existed in that location for the better part of a century, and with all of that history, bartenders swear that the spirits of old regulars still hang around after close. Ghost stories aside, Rogue Bar has some awesome shows, pulling local and national acts to an intimate setting. The big black vinyl upholstered booths are the perfect spot to hang out, watch a show and drink a tallboy of PBR.
Shady's Shady's is kind of an anomaly by dive bar standards. Case in point: when you order a gin gimlet, rather than going the easy way out and offering up gin with premixed Rose's sweet lime, the kindly bar lady juices fresh limes over gin and ice and adds simple syrup. Shady's $3 well standards are a cut above the rest, resulting in a craft experience for dive prices. Plus, their jukebox seems like it was cut straight from an indie movie -- hip, fun and totally one-of-a-kind.
Rips Ales and Cocktails Rockabilly folk have found a home in Rips Ales and Cocktails. You'll see more pomps and coifs at Rips than any other dive bar in town, hands down. But don't let the style intimidate you, Rips is still a dive bar with cheap-o prices and some fun goth dance nights. Get moody and head in on a Tuesday night for Rips' karaoke, where anything from Nine Inch Nails to Woody Guthrie are common picks among the varied crowd. If you need to work up some courage, test out a few of the $1 mystery shots.
Dirtwater Springs Now here's a dive bar for all those out-of-towners who want an Old West experience out of the Valley. Dirtwater Springs in Apache Junction is the ideal mix of hokey Western bar with a divey saloon attitude. While the bar serves up cheap brews, the kitchen offers chicken fried steak and other greasy, gut-bustin' down home favorites to sop up all of the alcohol. On Fridays Dirtwater also offers a pretty awesome fish fry.
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The Rock What dive bar list is complete without a gay bar in the mix? Everybody knows that when you really want to let loose and dance, gay bars are the way to go. The Seventh Avenue dive offers an array of events and dance nights from bears to burlesque to drag shows to cabaret. The $3 wells, all day, every day, are a great way to convince anyone to go to The Rock.