As it stands, the fate of Phoenix’s tiki culture rests most steadily in the hands of Arcadia’s Under Tow — but every week, the bar is only open from Wednesday through Saturday. This leaves tiki-goers subsisting, for the rest of the week, off a smattering of menus across the Valley that offer one — maybe two — tiki drinks on their lists.
Every Sunday, At Honor Amongst Thieves, the Central Phoenix speakeasy-style bar that opened in July alongside restaurant Stock & Stable, bartenders Riley Jones and Ryan Parker are throwing tiki-themed evenings from open until close (6 p.m. until 12 a.m.). Similar tiki nights exist in the Valley — but none shaking up toward the center of the city. The most regular, the Ostrich’s Tiki Tuesdays, takes place in Chandler, and another, monthly Tiki Thursdays at Market Street Kitchen, goes down in North Scottsdale.
“Nothing is really open on Sundays,” Honor Amongst Thieves bartender Riley Jones says, “let alone something that’s worth going out for.”
“So we were talking about, ‘How do we get more people out drinking on Sunday night?’ Because everybody day drinks. Especially during the football season.”
Tiki-themed nights were an easy sell to management and staff, given the tiki movement's swift uptick in demand across not only the Valley, but the nation as well.
Every week, after a trip to Lee Lee International Supermarket, Jones and Parker will roll out a mostly nameless four-drink menu — one blended drink, one served up, one over crushed ice, and one multi-drinker Scorpion bowl. This is in addition to their regular menu, which already includes a mai tai (as well as a bright red mai tai served in a light bulb sitting on ice in a bowl that is illuminated by another light bulb — they called it The Red Light District), a classic Painkiller, a Hotel Nacional Special, and a blue piña colada and a banana daiquiri, both blended.
On one stop in, they were making a drink off their weekly tiki night menu — carbonated to order through a special shaking gadget called the Perlini — that included vanilla liqueur, herbal Benedictine liqueur, Hamilton pot still rum, rhum agricole, and guava juice, served up — tart, fizzy, and strong.
Another showed off their Lee Lee finds — adding canned roasted coconut juice to pineapple rum, St. Elizabeth Dram, velvet falernum, honey, and lime and orange juices, served over crushed ice.
The blended drink they were running, which Jones dubbed the Blended Rico Guave, drinks like a boozy smoothie, with whole banana, and guava, lime, and passion fruit juices mixed together with a lot of rum and demerara sugar.
And go ahead — order the Red Light District, that off-menu lightbulb drink. It may be the most fun-to-drink cocktail in Phoenix.
Honor Amongst Thieves will also be hosting Classic Mondays, where they’ll emphasize classic midcentury and Prohibition-era cocktails; Top Gun Tuesdays, where '80s cocktails — think Long Island Iced Teas, Harvey Wallbangers, delicious blended Fernet-Branca spiked Grasshoppers, and piña coladas — will get their groove back; Ladies Night on Wednesdays and Thursdays; and will host DJ Mr. Phoenix Fridays and Saturdays.
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