The Crescent Ballroom, part live music venue, bar and gourmet kitchen, is one of downtown Phoenix's latest nightlife destinations. — Photo courtesy of Crescent Ballroom
New venues–and new life–have made downtown Phoenix the nightlife destination it deserves to be. Enjoy great music, food, drinks and unbeatable ambiance at these four downtown Phoenix spots.
Crescent Ballroom. A new kid on the block, the Crescent Ballroom is a combination bar, kitchen and live music venue situated just off storied Van Buren in downtown Phoenix. The mid-size venue accommodates crowds of about 300 to 550 in a warm, unassuming building featuring hardwood floors, exposed red brick and vaulted ceilings. The building, built in 1917, was once a warehouse, but today injects a much-needed shot of cool hipster energy to the downtown scene. Don’t have tickets to the big show? No problem. Hang out in the Crescent Lounge, which features free live shows nightly. The kitchen, operated by Chris Bianco of famed Pizzeria Bianco and Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco Café, features a fun menu of fresh, Southwestern-inflected dishes. Open daily 4pm to 2am.
Bar Smith. The star of the show at this downtown dance club and bar is the view. Climb up to the roof of Bar Smith and you’ll be rewarded with a fresh air and unbeatable views overlooking Cityscape, the US Airways Arena and the glittering skyline of downtown Phoenix. Small, intimate and sometimes quite loud, Bar Smith hosts many of the city’s top DJs, who pump the house music onto the dance floor nightly. Drink specials are usually featured before 11pm.
Cocktails don't get much better in downtown Phoenix than the hand-crafted drinks you'll find at SideBar. — Photo courtesy of SideBar
Alice Cooperstown. A downtown Phoenix staple, Alice Cooperstown is a sports bar and grill owned by rock legend Alice Cooper, a native Phoenician. The specialty here is barbecue, although the diverse menu offers a bit of everything. Nosh on an Asian salad or vegetarian wrap, or sink your teeth into a mouth-watering burger or sandwich. Live music is featured out on the patio, or catch the big game on one of the many plasma TVs.
SideBar. Located off busy McDowell Road just west of the downtown skyline, SideBar has slowly gained a following with the downtown elite. This chic cocktail lounge features a glowing bar, hardwood floors and swanky antique furniture. There are 45 beers and 40 wines behind the bar, and SideBar even makes its own Sweet and Sour and simple syrup especially for its menu of hand-crafted cocktails. Hungry? There is no kitchen, but you’re welcome to order some food from the Pei Wei downstairs and eat it at the bar.