DJs Make Their Debut at Merc Bar

The stylish and suave Merc Bar has always seemed to be a cut above all the other gin joints and laidback lounges that abound in Phoenix. How come? There's a clandestine, speakeasy feel to the place, as it's secreted behind an unmarked door deep in the heart of the Esplanade. The Merc also has a killer pedigree, as it spun off the renowned NYC bar, as well as a substantial rep as a stomping ground for some of the hottest chickadees and top-shelf trim you'll see this side of a Ford Models shoot.

Oh yeah, and the bartenders pour a pretty mean martini to boot (try the Sophia Loren).

And now the best is only getting better, as the dimly-lit drink pad will now be bringing in DJs on Sunday evenings to help add to ambience.

It's a somewhat foreign concept for the Merc, which has never really hosted any regular gigs by platter jocks in its 17 years of existence. Joe DiPadova, who will serve as one of the residents along with AZ 88's JonnY Rogers, plans on creating a "relaxed, loungy vibe" with blends of funk and global soul.

But that doesn't the night's gonna be a snoozer by any means. The inaugural edition this past weekend -- entitled "Red, White, & Blues" -- featured a jazzy accompaniment by saxophonist Shea Marshall, who bleated out wailing notes to go along with the turntable beats (he even rocked out whilst standing on the bar at one point). The records will roll from 7 to 11 p.m. and there's no cover.

For a glimpse at what else happened this past Sunday, take a peek at our slideshow from the night.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.