Phoenix Nightlife Openings and Closings of 2017

The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix.
The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix. Benjamin Leatherman

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click to enlarge Livewire in Scottsdale didn't last. - COURTESY OF EVENING ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Livewire in Scottsdale didn't last.
Courtesy of Evening Entertainment Group

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 and nightspot company that owned the venue, pulled the plug on Livewire in July after two-and-a-half years of staging concerts. The 1,100-capacity venue, which opened in late 2014, featured plenty of awesome touches (including an enormous eagle made from guitars and amps atop its stage) and great performances by Lil Wayne, Steve Aoki, and actor Jeff Bridges’ band The Abiders.

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, and a stylish one at that.

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.

click to enlarge Majerle's Old Town fouled out over the summer. - NEW TIMES ARCHIVES
Majerle's Old Town fouled out over the summer.
New Times archives
Majerle’s Old Town in Scottsdale
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 to the chain’s website stated that "Majerle's is packing up and moving out of the club scene," but didn’t cite the specific cause behind the location’s closure. Riot Hospitality Group is reportedly planning to open a new concept spot at the property sometime next year.

click to enlarge Phoenix strip club Centerfolds Cabaret. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Phoenix strip club Centerfolds Cabaret.
Benjamin Leatherman
Centerfolds Cabaret
Deadly drama caused the downfall of this long-running North Phoenix strip club. In January, local off-duty firefighter Luke Jones died after being allegedly assaulted by Centerfolds doorman Brandon Draper. Phoenix Police arrested both Draper and club manager Timothy Piegari, who was accused of allegedly disconnecting the club’s security cameras during the incident.

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.)

click to enlarge The now-defunct Plush Gentlemen's Club in Central Phoenix. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The now-defunct Plush Gentlemen's Club in Central Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman
Plush Gentlemen's Club
Centerfolds wasn’t the only strip joint to close after a fatality. In June, Valley resident James Oliver Turner was shot to death during after-hours event at Plush Gentlemen's Club near 17th Street and McDowell Road.

According to Phoenix Police, a heated argument between male patrons turned into a fight, causing multiple people to be ejected from the club. One of the 86’d persons returned and opened fire inside the Plush, including hitting Turner. He later died at a local hospital.

Plush Gentlemen's Club reportedly never reopened after the incident.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.