In honor of Country Thunder, taking place April 5-8 in Florence, Arizona, we’ve rounded up 5 bars where you can tip it on back all night long.
With a ceiling full of cowboy hats, a spacious dance floor and a stage for live music, Handlebar J is a family-owned saloon that’s been up and running since 1975 (established in 1966). Once a regular performance venue for then little-known Waylon Jennings, the establishment became known for its good food and country music. Over the years many celebrities have passed through the historic restaurant and today it still serves as the go-to spot for an Arizona country night.
Backed by Dierks Bentley, this raucous country bar caters to even those who may not be too keen on a honkey-tonk-type of evening. With locations in Old Town Scottsdale, Tempe and now downtown Gilbert, the bar serves food by day and a wild party by night. Think top country hits, a dance floor for two-stepping and cocktail servers stomping around on bar tops.
This downtown Chandler gem was once the Arrow Pharmacy, built in 1918 and operating until 2005. After a remodeling project that joined it with the adjacent Reliable Hardware building, the new space became home to Bourbon Jacks. The restaurant and bar features live country music most nights with dancing, not to mention more than 200 bourbons and whiskeys.
Pull on your boots and head to this Mesa joint where you’ll be two-stepping all night long. With a big dance floor and frequent country bands performing, there’s no shortage of a boot-scootin good time. Perfect your skills on Wednesday and Saturdays for free dance lessons along with seriously cheap drinks on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays — like $0.50 cheap. Yeehaw!
While this may not be a country bar per se, the entertainment venue is conveniently located in Tempe Marketplace and hosts Casual Country Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to midnight, with lessons being offered from 7 to 8 p.m. Take a break to try your hand at an arcade game, order up a premium cocktail or dive into some good eats.
For tickets and more info on Country Thunder, visit: countrythunder.com/az