Booze News: Where to Drink This Weekend in Greater Phoenix

Score a free 8-bit koozie.
Score a free 8-bit koozie. Courtesy of Thunderbird Lounge
It’s going to be a wild weekend. Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019 is happening downtown, Saturday is National Wine Day, and Memorial Day — is first, important, but second — gives everyone an extra day to recover. All that, plus the weather has been unusually pleasant. So with these stars aligned, here’s where to head out for a glass of something special this weekend.

Any Wine Bar

Multiple Locations

Today is National Wine Day, and while that means nothing to oenophiles, it does mean some Valley restaurants and wine bars have some specials running. For instance, Parma Italian Roots is offering half-off select bottles of wine all day, while there’s a killer selection waiting at Farish House and Merkin Vineyards. What’s more, we have a whole breakdown of the 10 best wine bars in the Valley.

click to enlarge LAUREN CUSIMANO
Lauren Cusimano

The Dirty Drummer

2303 North 44th Street

This recently reopened bar got a major makeover while shuttered, and now that the grand opening party has come and gone, it’s time to get down to regular business. The house beer is Miller Light, but there are also 10 new beer taps, cocktails, and a terrific house margarita. And yes, the menu still offers the same burgers and fries. Plus, there’s a new stage, dance floor, jukebox, pool table, and one heck of a vibe.

click to enlarge This circus of a cocktail menu was announced on May 21. - COURTESY OF BITTER & TWISTED COCKTAIL PARLOUR
This circus of a cocktail menu was announced on May 21.
Courtesy of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

1 West Jefferson Street

Downtown Phoenix is popping with cocktail bars, and that fact is in part thanks to Bitter & Twisted. This week, the parlor released its sixth annual Book o' Cocktails. It’s 18 pages listing more than 60 craft cocktails, some with a circus theme, some with a retro feel, and some with no alcohol at all. Some fun ones include the Irish Passport, Bourbon Butter Cloud, and the Peachy Keen.

Gracie’s Tax Bar

711 North Seventh Avenue

Gracie’s is always pretty busy on non-school nights, but there’s an extra incentive to visit this weekend. Aside from some inevitable cosplay patrons, the bar is hosting the Gracie's Get Down — a free dance party celebrating the glamorous and filthy 1970s with DJs Blvck Cat, Paul Bearer, and Aaron Useless. Enjoy working off your cocktail calories between sips the patio.

Any Rooftop Bar

Multiple Locations

Again, the weather has been unusually nice this month. And on a clear night like it’s expected to be tonight, there’s no better place to enjoy the skyline than Phoenix’s many rooftop bars. There are more than a few clubs, pool decks, lounges, and high-up taverns where you can find some form of an overlook in the Valley. Here are 11 of our favorites.

click to enlarge A staircase descends into the basement lounge known as The Onyx. - BRI COSSAVELLA
A staircase descends into the basement lounge known as The Onyx.
Bri Cossavella

Any Speakeasy

Multiple Locations

Speakeasies were a necessary staple of the Prohibition era, but thank goodness it’s 2019 and that’s no longer the case. However, there’s definitely some fun behind scoring the password and searching for an obscured entrance. And your prize for finding the joint? A handcrafted cocktail, low lighting, and probably a tufted armchair. With that, here are 11 speakeasy lounges in the Phoenix area.

Thunderbird Lounge

710 West Montecito Avenue

This new neighborhood bar will make many nostalgic for the Midwestern taverns of yesteryear. There are seemingly endless cans of Montucky Cold Snacks, as well as Old Style beer, RC Cola, Jay’s Potato Chips, and O-Ke-Doke popcorn.The ATM dispenses singles and fives for the jukebox, cigarette machine, and wood-fired pizzas made on the patio by Dino’s Napoletana. What's more, if you stop by in your costume to play some free arcade games, you get a free 8-bit koozie. 
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.