The thirsty, after-work crowd may bring to mind busy restaurants and bustling neighborhood bars. But what about those on the graveyard shift, folks who have been up all night, and people who just want a sip of something good in the morning? Where can we early drinkers find a Bloody Mary at 6 a.m.? Here are 11 bars open in the early morning hours — some of which serve breakfast.
Ole Brass Rail Bar & Grill
3738 East Thomas Road
Find a seat at Ole Brass Rail in central Phoenix for breakfast served daily at 6 a.m. (when the bar opens) to 2 p.m., with lunch and dinner menus to follow until midnight. Breakfast features omelet and egg choices galore. Of course, there are also all the morning cocktails or cold beers you can order up. With a slogan like “game on, drink on, sing on, and dine on at the Ole Brass Rail,” you’re sure to have a good time.
Westwood Tap & Grill
1818 West Glendale Avenue
The karaoke and pool-playing takes a break in the early hours at Westwood Tap & Grill — the self-proclaimed dive bar and New American eatery set along the Valley Metro Rail. Happy hour goes from 6 (when the bar opens) to 8 a.m., and can be best followed by lunch after a couple of hours on the stool. Try a bacon-and-egg sandwich if it’s your first meal of the day, or consider a burger or grilled cheese paired with onion rings or a basket of fries.
Playa II Bar & Grill3217 East Shea Boulevard
This place draws a fun crowd and is encapsulated by its slogan: "The liver is evil ... and it must be punished." The Playa II has been around since 1984. It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and most importantly, drinks. The place offers daily eats like a surf-and-turf burrito, pozole, chili, Cuban sandwiches, and a $1 whiskey, scotch, and bourbon special. Doors open at 6 a.m. every day.
4140 East McDowell Road
Opened in 1972, Wanderin has always gone by that name, according to the manager, Joyce, who’s been here for 14 years. The Wanderin offers pool tables, dart machines, card tables, an internet jukebox, karaoke, and an L-shaped bar for just sitting and drinking. Food ranges from the vending machine at the entrance to pizza, pickles, and popcorn. There’s also a cool Kraken Black Spiced Rum 3D octopus on display behind the bar.
3045 North 16th Street
Previously the Pick Lick House, Dodge City Saloon, Dutch Inn, Bourbon Street Blues, Poca Poca, and a sandwich shop, Rips Bar has been under that name for nearly 20 years. According to Davey Tanberg, owner since 2009, the unique architecture of Rips is credited to a Native American protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. Rips offers pool, arcade games, pinball, darts, and of course, drinks as early as 6 a.m. These are the former drinking grounds of Waylon Jennings and Charlie Pride, and there are photos of them with former bar owners.
Hambone Sports Bar
903 East Main Street, Mesa
The Hambone Sports Bar is definitely unique. A note for new visitors: You can smoke inside this pool hall and neighborhood bar, as there aren’t technically windows, just screens. It always has been Hambone and dates back to 1958, but we only know that because one patron remembers his dad coming here at that time. That classic sign was grandfathered in, which guides patrons to a place with six pool tables, internet jukebox, darts, arcade games, karaoke on Saturday nights, and an adult claw machine.
7011 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale
Formerly a bunker house, farmhouse, and dress shop, the Coach House has been around since 1959 and always under that name. Originally, the Coach House was run by Bob and Mary Brower, and now Jim and MJ Brower. Regulars and Old Town visitors find a large outdoor patio, video games, darts, TVs, internet jukebox, and a “Kraft” beer section, which consists of PBR, Hamm’s, and Busch Light. Nothing like watching Old Town Scottsdale wake up with a beer at 6 a.m.
3219 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
“To get a job here, somebody’s gotta quit or die,” says Linda, bartender of the tight-knit family at Roadrunner Lounge, which has been around for more than 30 years. Previously Bucky’s and Castaways, the Roadrunner was run by mother and daughter Cassie and Willie, though Willie recently died. Roadrunner Lounge features an internet jukebox (play Johnny Horton, and you’ll instantly make friends), pool, arcade games, and a dog-friendly smoking patio.
Cruisin' 7th Drag Show Venue & Lounge
3702 North Seventh Street
You’ve seen the classic sign while cruising down lower Seventh Street. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., the remodeled Cruisin’ 7th Cocktail Lounge is a well-known gay bar and drag venue that starts the party early. By night, it's all The Lady and The Tramps or TGIF drag shows, but by morning, it's all about starting the day or recovering from the night before. Happy hour starts every day promptly at 6 a.m., offering $2.75 well drinks, domestic bottles, and pints, as well as $3 Bloody Marys till noon.
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Yucca Tap Room
29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe
Yucca Tap Room has been a stalwart live music venue in Tempe area since the 1970s. It doubles as a good place to drink. You can hit the Yucca for a Baileys as early as 6 a.m. We recommended the breakfast at Bao Chow too, including the Slutty Burrito and the I Hate Myself and Want To Die breakfast platter. This spot happens to be the official Arsenal football club pub in metro Phoenix, so you can anticipate a rowdy group of soccer fans in the early hours.
Westside Cocktail Lounge
5114 West Camelback Road, Glendale
When you find a neighborhood bar in the west Valley that's only closed for four hours a day, you certainly take note. The Westside Cocktail Lounge is a cash-only neighborhood hangout known for sports on the TV and cold beers behind the bar. To occupy yourself in the early hours, this Glendale dive bar offers pool tables, music, quick drinks, and if you stick around long enough, karaoke.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 15, 2018. It was updated on August 7, 2019.