Shotgun Betty's Is a Major Blast, But Is It Racist? Naw.

Dwight Yoakam's version of "Little Sister" was blasting out of the loudspeakers, along with other country and classic rock hits spun up by a cowboy hat-wearing DJ.

Meanwhile, patrons sucked down Budweiser and other bottled brews whilst eating peanuts and gawking at a pair of tight-bodied waitresses in Daisy Dukes cutoffs and barely-there tee shirts wrap themselves around stripper poles in time to the music.

Such was the scene during the opening weekend of Shotgun Betty's Rock 'n' Roll Saloon in Scottsdale this past weekend. The club, which replaces bygone bar DrinX, was filled to the rafters with peeps on both Friday and Saturday.

It's a somewhat smaller place than neighboring establishments Mulligan's or Revolver Lounge, but packs plenty of thrills into its tiny space. Owned by Todd Borowsky, the same cat who also runs Skin Cabaret, Shotgun Betty's boasts the down-home vibe of your favorite shit-kicking redneck honkytonk bar (complete with peanut shells on the floor), albeit with a heaping helping of Scottsdale panache.

Besides all the booful bartenders doing the bump 'n' grind, the place also boasts a vintage Harley Davidson chopper in the center of the bar and posters of Johnny Cash. One bit of Shotgun Betty's southern-fried décor also generated a bit of controversy prior to its opening, namely a Confederate flag hanging from the ceiling.

There were rumblings on the Innerwebs in recent weeks over the fact that the club would feature the flag of Dixie, as well as the fact it the image of a noose in an advertisement in 944 Magazine promoting its job fair/hiring clinic. (I'd also heard rumors that there would also be an actual hangman's rope inside the bar itself.)

So is the place racist? Nah. After hanging out at Shotgun Betty's on both Friday and Saturday, I can report that yes, the Rebel Jack is indeed fluttering from the ceiling, but it's hanging amongst the Arizona state flag, a Jolly Roger, and Old Glory itself. However, there is nary any nooses to be found in the place.

While it's true that the Southern Cross has caused its share of controversy within the past decade, its placement at Shotgun Betty's seems relatively benign. A couple dozen African-Americans attended the opening weekend, and none of them were taking any umbrage at the flag.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.