Best of Our Valley Issue 2017: Nightlife and Cocktails

By Alyssa Demember

BEST CRAFT COCKTAILS: The Breadfruit & Rum Bar

The Breadfruit & Rum Bar serves up Jamaican cuisine, local, organic produce and fresh seafood delivered daily, making for an experience close to paradise. Rum afi cionados carefully select every bottle, contributing to The Breadfruit’s relentless dedication to truly superb, tropical-inspired cocktails. The latest cocktail menu, closely resembling that of the dinner menu, is arranged in courses, starting with Light & Citrusy, moving on to Full Flavored libations and closing out with Spirited Sipping. thebreadfruit.com.

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BEST BLOODY MARY: The Hash Kitchen Creative Breakfast & Bar

The Hash Kitchen Creative Breakfast & Bar lives up to its name with its distinctive take on a Bloody Mary. The indoor/ outdoor bar area offers the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, connected to a full-service bar, boasting more than 50 unique and exaggerated garnishes for diners to choose from, including pickled hard-boiled eggs and mozzarella sticks. thehashkitchen.com.

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BEST LOCAL DJ: DJ Elite

DJ Elite is the man behind Elite Event Services, a full-service wedding and corporate event company that provides DJ, MC, sound, lighting and event photography services. In business for more than 15 years and DJing full-time since 2009, DJ Elite regularly works with Pepsi, Home Depot, Oakley, OdySea Aquarium, Audi and the NFL, to name a few. He’s also been the guest entertainer for Disney Cruise Line and the host and DJ for the NFL Experience and NFL Shop at the recent Super Bowls. eliteeventserv.com. Also a 2016 winner!

BEST CRAFT BEER BAR: Goldwater Brewing Co.

This family-owned brewery and tap room, located in Old Town, has more than 15 of its own craft beers and specialty one-off beers that brewers come up with on the fly, as well as barrel-aged varieties. Goldwater’s 30-plus years of knowledge, experience and raw passion has enabled them to create some truly fine local brews in an inviting neighborhood bar atmosphere. goldwaterbrewing.com.

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BEST WINE BAR: Rhytm + Wine

Charming indoor seating, a patio with a view, chef-driven contemporary cuisine and a casual ambience fuel Rhythm + Wine in Scottsdale. Choose from a selection of more than 40 wines by the glass (now with great prices on wine to go)—it’s the prime place to gather with a large group of friends for a relaxed night of sipping, chatting and savoring. And be sure not to miss the awesome happy hour specials. rhythmandwine.com.

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BEST NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER: Tavit Daniel

Tavit Daniel is the premiere, sought-after photographer for the hottest nightlife spots in Scottsdale and Tempe, including El Hefe Scottsdale/Tempe, The Mint and Wasted Grain, and has been published in The Wall Street Journal. After graduating from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2010, Tavit launched Tavits Photography LLC, shooting weddings and corporate imagery. tavitsphotography.com.

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AFM FAVE! BEST CRAFT COCKTAILS: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

This highly stylish cocktail parlor packs a punch: its innovative from-scratch cocktail program includes a wide array of house-made ingredients including house-infused spirits and ingredients like grilled pineapple, pure vanilla bean and a variety of in-house sugars, syrups and foams. To top it off, this historic high-rise establishment once housed Arizona’s Prohibition Department. Talk about irony. bitterandtwistedaz.com.

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BEST ARIZONA BREWERY: O.H.S.O. Nano Brewery

O.H.S.O. Nano Brewery in Arcadia, the original location, is a small brewery dedicated to perfection in its craft. Offering more than 36 craft beers, 24 wines by the glass, craft spirits and more, O.H.S.O. feels like a neighborhood bar, somewhere you’d naturally gravitate toward with a group of friends looking to have a good time. Often experimenting with small batches of various suds, O.H.S.O. offers a “brew experience” where guests, alongside brewers, can come in and craft a unique beer. ohsobrewery.com.

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AFM FAVE! BEST MARGARITA: Modern Margarita

This High Street hot spot offers a modern twist on the traditional margarita with drinks like the OG Rustic and The Conquistador—or go really bold with the Hot Mango, which incorporates jalapeño agave. With a 1,200-sq.-ft. patio and fire pit, guests can also grab a cocktail and enjoy eats like gourmet street tacos, burgers and fresh, house-made guacamole. modernmargarita.com.

BEST MALE BARTENDER/ MIXOLOGIST: Ben Laney

Former bar manager at Bevvy and former bartender at Maya Day + Nightclub and The District, Ben Laney spent three years working his way up from busser to mixologist, eventually landing a gig running his own bar program. His bartending style is all about maintaining the highest quality drinks amidst a fast-paced nightlife crowd, while keeping the customers happy above all else. While he loves working under an endless stream of Patron, Laney’s favorite drink to serve up is water to keep patrons hydrated. Now, here’s a bartender who knows how to take care of you. districtbaraz.com; mayaclubaz.combevvyaz.com.

BEST COUNTRY MUSIC BAR AND BEST DANCE FLOOR: Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row is more than a little bit country. Having expanded to three locations in Arizona (the latest just opened in Gilbert in March) with plans for a nationwide rollout, Whiskey Row is the premiere spot for cowboys and cowgirls across the Valley, serving up American gastropub fare and illustrious beverages. The real kicker is Whiskey Row’s dance scene, where patrons can two-step and line dance to country music and live performances in an ever-vibrant environment. dierkswhiskeyrow.com. Also a 2016 winner!

BEST BAR TO FEED YOUR INNER CHILD, BEST DANCE MUSIC SCENE, BEST DAY DRINKING SPOT, BEST HAPPY HOUR, BEST MIMOSA, BEST NIGHTCLUB, BEST PARTY BAR AND BEST PLACE TO SPEND A 21ST BIRTHDAY: Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails

Winner of eight categories, Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails has a lot to brag about. This retro, music-centric cocktail bar and kitchen offers eats late into the night and a stellar drink menu—we’re talking 14 over-the-
top adult milkshakes including the Salty Caramel (whiskey, sea-salted caramel) and the Drunken Monkey (banana vodka, Frangelico, banana, chocolate drizzle). Incorporating a feel-good vintage vibe, HiFi has black and white TV’s, wood-framed speakers and a digital graffi ti wall that gradually changes images with the shifting moods throughout the night. Take a seat at the square island bar, elevated lounge-style seating area or the outdoor high-tops. hifi scottsdale.com.

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BEST MARGARITA: Sandbar Mexican Grill

Sandbar Mexican Grill takes the energy of a sports bar and pairs it with relaxing, sand-between-your-
toes beach feels. Kick back in a beachside lounge chair and indulge in fresh, Southwestern/Mexican cuisine like ancho chile-rubbed mahi tacos while sipping on the best margaritas in the Valley. Did we mention the 30 fl at-screen TV’s? Yeah, life’s a beach. sandbaraz.com.

Sandbar Mexican Grill

AFM FAVE! BEST HAPPY HOUR: Jade Bar, Sanctuary on Camelback

Fun, fresh and delicious—that’s the name of the game at Sanctuary on Camelback’s jade bar. The ingredient list spotlights farm-fresh local fruits, herbs, vegetables and juices, alongside premium spirits, to create innovative sips that you’ll want to savor. Stop by Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m., for The Pour happy hour. Specials include $8 cocktails (hello, cantaloupe martini), among other don’t-miss deals. sanctuaryoncamelback.com.

BEST ROOFTOP BAR: LUSTRE Rooftop Bar at Hotel Palomar

Offering sweeping views of the Phoenix skyline, LUSTRE Rooftop Bar is set atop the third-floor deck of the Kimpton Hotel Palomar with cabanas, a pool and a menu of locally sourced ingredients and skillfully crafted beverages. Summer pool parties with local music make this sleek, modern space a hot spot for lounging around or partying it up. lustrerooftopbar.com. Also a 2016 winner!

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BEST FEMALE BARTENDER/ MIXOLOGIST: Ciara Anzar

Bartender Ciara Anzar of The District is always moving a mile a minute. A party atmosphere every night, catch her at the lively and ultra-hot District Burger Bar & Nightclub mixing up her favorite drink, Liquid Marijuana, consisting of Malibu rum, Blue Curaçao, Midori, a splash of pineapple juice and Sprite for some sparkle. districtbaraz.com.

FAST FAVORITES:

BEST BLUES/JAZZ BAR: The Rhythm Room, rhythmroom.com.

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BEST DIVE BAR: Pattie’s 1st Ave Lounge, facebook.com/Patties-1st-Ave-Lounge.

BEST LATE-NIGHT MUNCHIES: Cheba Hut, chebahut.com.

BEST LOUNGE: Casablanca Lounge, thecasablancalounge.com.

BEST PLACE TO BUY BOOZE: Total Wine & More, totalwine.com.

BEST PLACE TO DISCOVER NEW MUSIC: Crescent Ballroom, crescentphx.com.

BEST PUB: The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen, centralkitchenaz.com.

BEST TRIVIA NIGHT: The Bevvy, bevvyaz.com.

BEST SALOON: Dirty Dogg Saloon, dirtydoggsaloon.com.

STRONGEST DRINK: Hefe’s Blackout Margarita at El Hefe, facebook.com/elhefescottsdale.

BEST COMEDY CLUB (TIE): Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, az.houseofcomedy.net; Tempe Improv, tempeimprov.comAlso a 2016 winner! 

BEST COUGAR BAR: The Mint, themintaz.com. Also a 2016 winner! 

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BEST GAY BAR (TIE): Charlie’s, charliesphoenix.com; BS West, bswest.com. Also a 2016 winner! 

BEST HIPSTER BAR: Casey Moore’s, caseymoores.com. Also a 2016 winner! 

BEST KARAOKE NIGHT: Geisha A Go Go, geishaagogo.com. Also a 2016 winner! 

Buy your copy of Arizona Foothills Magazine Best of Our Valley 2017 Collectors Edition issue here.

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