Local Wire

Hollywood Alley: An Oral History of "Arizona's Only Ultra-Chic Pissant Hip Dive Bar"

Rock 'n' roll, to paraphrase punk icon Poison Ivy, is for misfits. A refuge for outsiders, oddballs, or anyone else even a little bit strange. The description is apt for the recently closed Hollywood Alley and much of its patronage. Over its 25-year lifespan, the Mesa rock joint and restaurant, which closed August 2, offered shelter to a colorful and fiercely devoted tribe of regulars, neighborhood folk, and musicians who came to drink and dine. And they did so in a darkly lit milieu that was a mix of show-club swank and rock-club verve, with offbeat characters to spare.

Laden with a low-brow aura and thrift-store décor (old LPs, secondhand furnishings, scores of vinyl band stickers, and countless kitschy movie posters), its name and slogan -- "Arizona's only ultra-chic pissant hip dive bar" -- were fitting.

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