A look back at legendary Phoenix country bar Mr. Lucky’s | Phoenix New Times
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Mr. Lucky’s: A look at Phoenix’s legendary country bar over the years

More than two dozen photos of the famed Grand Avenue honky-tonk and its patrons, musicians and iconic sign from over the years.
Mr. Lucky's in 2009 after the bar and venue became a Latin dance club. The property has since been home to a restaurant and furniture.
Mr. Lucky's in 2009 after the bar and venue became a Latin dance club. The property has since been home to a restaurant and furniture. Tadson Bussey/CC BY-ND 2.0/Flickr
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When Arizona country music fans of yesteryear were looking to do some hootin’ and hollerin’ in the Valley, they headed for Mr. Lucky’s. The double-decker Phoenix nightclub and honky-tonk at Grand and 36th avenues was a go-to spot for country tunes and rowdy fun for almost four decades.

First opened in October 1966 by Valley entrepreneur and restaurateur Bob Sikora, Mr. Lucky’s offered country artists in its main room and rock and pop bands in the basement. Outside, its towering 50-foot-tall iconic sign — depicting a jester-like harlequin drenched with neon and twinkling bulbs — beckoned the public.

Mr. Lucky’s was visited by legendary touring artists on the regular starting from the late '60s onward. Willie and Waylon. Cash and Campbell. Wanda Jackson recorded a 1969 live album at Mr. Lucky’s and African-American country singer Charley Pride was also a fixture at the club. Meanwhile, the honky-tonk’s longtime house band, The Rogues, featured a rotating lineup of some of the best country musicians in the Valley, including singers like Virg Warner and J. David Sloan.

In the '80s, Mr. Lucky’s rode the wave of the country music boom. By the ‘90s, Sloan had purchased the place, added an outdoor rodeo arena and made Mr. Lucky’s the gold standard for Arizona country bars. However, the good times didn’t last, and Sloan closed the joint in 2004. In the 19 years since, Mr. Lucky’s has hosted several businesses — including a Latin club, furniture store and restaurant) but has never equaled the success of its original run.

Phoenix New Times has assembled a collection of photos and images, both vintage and otherwise, of Mr. Lucky’s from over the years to provide a glimpse of the rowdy and homespun fun of the Valley’s most legendary honky-tonk.
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A local newspaper advertisement for Mr. Lucky's from the 1960s.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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Country music legend Wanda Jackson recorded her 1969 live album "Wanda Jackson in Person" at Mr. Lucky's. The record sleeve featured a picture of Jackson in front of Mr. Lucky's sign.
Tom Carlson
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Charley Pride (second from left) with promoter and radio deejay Ray Odom (left), Ronnie Milsap (center), Mr. Lucky's original owner Bob Sikora (second from right) and the nightclub's manager Don "Bunky" Legate in the 1970s.
Bob Sikora
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Artwork featured on matchbooks for Mr. Lucky's in the 1960s.
Douglas C. Towne
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A KNIX radio contest night at Mr. Lucky's in 1977.
Jim West
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The sign outside of Mr. Lucky's on the night in 1980 when outlaw country legend Waylon Jennings recorded his ABC television special at the nightclub.
Marianne Gilbert
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A raincheck given out to Mr. Lucky's patrons who couldn't get into the taping of Waylon Jennings' 1980 ABC special at the club.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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Former Arizona resident Marianne Gilbert poses in front of the Mr. Lucky’s marquee on the night in 1980 when Waylon Jennings recorded his ABC television special at the nightclub.
Marianne Gilbert
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Randy Owen of Alabama (center) with former KNIX program director Larry Daniels (left) backstage at Mr. Lucky's in the early 1980s.
W. Steven Martin
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J. David Sloan (center) and The Rogues perform with Irisn entertainer Charlie McGettigan (right) during a St. Patrick's Day event in the mid-'80s. Then-KNIX on-air personality W. Steven Martin is seated onstage.
W. Steven Martin
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An early '90s photo of Mr. Lucky's iconic sign, which was created by famed Arizona designer Glen Guyette.
Douglas C. Towne
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An ornate rodeo belt buckle from 1996 commemorating Mr. Lucky's 30th anniversary.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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A scene from a busy night at Phoenix country bar and venue Mr. Lucky's, which originally operated from 1966 to 2004.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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An undated photo of Arizona country musician J. David Sloan, a former owner of Mr. Lucky's, performing at the bar and venue.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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An undated photo of local country music fans on the dance floor at Mr. Lucky's.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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Patrons of Mr. Lucky's dance while Arizona country musician J. David Sloan performs at the bar.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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A local bullrider attempts to hang on while competing in Mr. Lucky's outdoor rodeo arena.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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Arizona country musician and Mr. Lucky's owner J. David Sloan speaking with two patrons of the bar.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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Mr. Lucky's was one of the Valley's most popular destinations for country music during its initial run from 1966 to 2004.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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Patrons of Mr. Lucky's during the bar's final years as a country music venue.
Jaylon Shane Kretchmar
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The Mr. Lucky's sign in 2004 around the time J. David Sloan sold the bar and venue.
Douglas C. Towne
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A current photo of the Mr. Lucky's property, which currently is being used by a local trucking business.
Benjamin Leatherman
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The current state of Mr. Lucky's sign, which received a fresh coat of paint in 2023.
Benjamin Leatherman
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