The past 12 months saw downtown Phoenix’s music and nightlife scenes get a boost, thanks to the opening of high-profile concert venue The Van Buren and hip watering hole Gracie’s Tax Bar.
Meanwhile, Scottsdale’s nightlife district took a couple of hits after a few notable spots (including Livewire and Cake Nightclub) closed down. It wasn’t all bad news, however, as a new nightclub,
Elsewhere, two Phoenix strip clubs were shut down following deadly incidents and Dan Majerle’s namesake sports bar fouled out of Scottsdale.
Here’s a look back at the Valley’s music and nightlife opening and closings of 2017.
The Van Buren
And it’s hosted a ton of great shows ever since.
Built inside the 20,000-square-foot former home of Phoenix Motor Company and co-owned by Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents and Live Nation, the venue has become a go-to spot for live music during the latter months of 2017.
Plus, it's just a cool place to be. The Van Buren’s massive stage features a proscenium arch rimmed in gold leafing and surrounded by an epic desert mural depicting a simultaneous sunset and moonrise by Gary Patch of Tucson-based company Patch & Clark Design, who helped create the venue’s look.
The mezzanine level’s catwalks are adorned with wrought-iron railings and provide the chance to scope out what’s going on in the lobby, as well as great views of the stage. And since opening, that’s included such acts as Thundercat, Chicano Batman, Sylvan Esso, Death Cab For Cutie, Indigo Girls, PVRIS, and Portugal. The Man.
Gracie's Tax Bar
After spending seven years as the lead singer for metal band Landmine Marathon, Grace Perry left the band in 2012 to pursue other endeavors. And one of them wound up being Gracie's Tax Bar, which opened in July.
Envisioned as a laid-back watering hole and
There’s also a floor-to-ceiling waterfall, a color-changing LED wall behind the bar, a seasonal drink menu, and a private entrance in the back for VIPs.
Livewire in Scottsdale
Opening an upscale concert venue like Livewire in the heart of Scottsdale’s nightclub-heavy entertainment district was a bit of a gamble. And, ultimately, it was one that didn’t pay off.
Evening Entertainment Group, the local restaurant
It apparently wasn’t enough to sustain Livewire, which will be replaced by a “high-energy Mexican food restaurant" called Casa Amigos and a state-of-the-art bowling alley called Sky Lanes.
Cake Nightclub in Scottsdale
Cake Nightclub was a bit of a rarity in Scottsdale’s nightlife district. While other spots function as restaurants by day and dance spots by night, Cake was purely a nightclub
The 350-person capacity spot boasted a French chateau vibe mixed with Scottsdale verve with its leatherette booths and crystal chandeliers, as well as a libertine atmosphere aimed at the young and beautiful crowd.
Cake, which opened in early 2014, was frequently packed, right up until its sudden shuttering in mid-October. According to Scottsdale-based company Riot Hospitality Group, which ran the spot, Cake’s lease expired, which forced its closure.
Just across Saddlebag Trail was Majerle’s Old Town, which closed down over the summer. The Scottsdale location of the Valley sports bar chain owned by Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle originally opened in 2011 and served up food, libations, and a mix of DJs and dancing at night.
A photo posted
Because of the arrests, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control quickly yanked the joint’s license to sell alcohol, which resulted in its closure. (Centerfolds’ then-owners later agreed to permanently surrender the license.)
According to Phoenix Police, a heated argument between male patrons turned into a fight
Plush Gentlemen's Club reportedly never reopened after the incident.