- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Bars and Pubs
Downtown Phoenix recently got its wish: a convenient, modern pub in which to grab a beer after work. Turf Restaurant & Pub (705 N. 1st St., 602/296-5043, 10 a.m.–2 a.m. daily) has big booths, high-top tables, and a large patio ideal for relaxing after a long day or catching up with friends on the weekend. The dark interior and concrete floors give the bar a bit of style, and its decent selection of beers and live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are a rarity for downtown. There’s a full menu with classic pub fare, which makes it an especially appealing option for late-night snacks.
Going to the Roosevelt Tavern (816 N. 3rd St., 602/254-2561, 5 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Thurs., 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 5 p.m.–midnight Sun.) is a lot like going to your buddy’s place—if your friend converted a historic home into a tavern complete with a look-in cooler, full range of local and regional beers on draft, varied wine selection, and large array of bottled beer.
For those looking to mingle with strangers, the bar or the conversation friendly table in the back is perfect. A more intimate setting is found in the front rooms, complete with candlelight and sofa. Snack choices include hearty sandwiches, a salad, and a full cheese plate. For drinks, try the hoppy Roosevelt House beer, the smooth Scrimshaw Pilsner, or any of the featured wines. Hungry? Give the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo a try.
Killing time before a game at Chase Field? Grab a pint or a classic gin and tonic at The Rose & Crown (628 E. Adams St., 602/256-0223, 4 p.m.–2 a.m. Mon., 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Tues.–Sun.) in Heritage Square. The converted historic home has a full bar, imports galore from the British Isles, and an excellent patio and lawn for enjoying the weather when it’s nice outside. The pool table, darts, and pop art paintings of Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill add some fun British style to the turn-of-the-20th-century bungalow.
Lounges and Wine Bars
Like a good speakeasy, Sidebar (1514 N. 7th Ave., 602/254-1646, 4 p.m.–2 a.m. Mon.–Fri., 5:30 p.m.–2 a.m. Sat.–Sun.) can be tough to find. Enter through the side door on 7th Avenue and climb the stairs to the swank, loft-like space, where you’ll find a stylish mix of exposed-brick walls, funky lights, and flatscreen TVs playing black-and-white films. The laid-back vibe appeals to many residents, and it’s not uncommon to see a meeting of up-and-coming politicos next to a couple on a date or a group of friends celebrating a birthday. The large lineup of specialty cocktails, dozens of beers, and 40-plus wines should appeal to most.
The sleek and contemporary Hanney’s (40 N. 1st St., 602/252-2285, 11 a.m.–1:30 a.m. Mon.–Fri., 5 p.m.–1:30 a.m. Sat.–Sun.) recently emerged from the shell of an old Phoenix department store. When it opened in 1947 as an upscale men’s store, the building was praised for bringing the clean lines of Modernism to downtown Phoenix. A three-year renovation has preserved much of the building’s original character and given it a glossy update with chocolate-brown leather banquettes, taupe walls, and small votive candles that flicker on the white marble tables. The classic cocktails are an excellent complement, and its “abandoned” elevator shaft and maze-like bathrooms are fun additions.
Hotel bars can be hit or miss. Fortunately, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar (320 N. 3rd St., 602/817-5400, 11 a.m. to midnight daily) at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown brings a bit of style—and a topnotch bar menu—to the table. The District specializes in American wines, beers, and cocktails, which are meant to complement the hearty, Western-inspired menu. Enjoy one of the microbrews on tap, like the local Four Peaks amber, and order the AZ Sweet Shrimp Po’ Boy Sliders with andouille sausage and celery root. The prices here aren’t cheap, but the live music on the weekends makes this chic lounge with low-slung furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows a fun place to settle in.
Wine and cheese. What more do you need? Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar (1326 N. Central Ave., 602/307-0022, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–midnight Fri., 4 p.m.–midnight Sat., 4 p.m.–9 p.m. Sun.) serves a changing lineup of some 40 artisan cheeses from around the world—creamy camembert, nutty manchego, robust gorgonzola—which are thoughtfully paired with an extensive wine list that recently earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Throw caution to the wind and order one of the international wine flights, like “fruit-forward whites” or “zinfandels.” Cheuvront’s is a popular spot for a post-work drink and or late-evening nightcap, thanks in part to its urban, loft-like decor and convenient access to the light rail.
Phoenix’s hip downtowners have made The Lost Leaf (915 N. 5th St., 602/258-0014, www.thelostleaf.org, 5 p.m.–2 a.m. daily) a regular hangout, thanks in part to its low-key vibe and regularly rotating series of local artwork. The small, converted bungalow maintains much of the house’s original character, including its hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and former kitchen, which now serves as a bar with more than 100 types of beer and 20 wines. Most nights, The Lost Leaf features live music by regional or underground acts, like the Haymarket Squares, as well as the occasional improv act or poetry reading. And its intimate setting always makes for a good spot for conversation.
Experience the Valley’s local music scene at The Ruby Room (717 S. Central Ave., 602/258-6900, www.myspace.com/therubyroomlounge, 3 p.m.–2 a.m. daily). Its easy-to-miss exterior in South Phoenix’s rundown warehouse district may not seem like much, but step inside and the scarlet walls and vintage nudes give the club the delightfully unwholesome atmosphere of a rockabilly bordello, luring Betty Page wannabes and tattoo-sleeved scenesters. The music can be loud, and the quarters cramped—and if you have a problem with it, tough.
Gay and Lesbian
Amsterdam (718 N. Central Ave., 602/258-6122, www.amsterdambar.com, 4 p.m.–2 a.m. daily) is the heart of the Valley’s gay nightlife scene, but with so few dance clubs in Phoenix, everyone is welcome here. Clubbers will find a large dance floor fueled by thumping pop and house music, as well as expensive martinis. The over-the-top interior can be a bit much, but the large patio is a comfortable place to hang out, especially on a warm night.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition