Downtown Nightlife Hotspots

By local contributor
Samantha Egan

Ready for a night on the town? Scottsdale’s got you covered with exciting nightlife options that run the gamut from Western saloons and upscale cocktail lounges to high-energy dance clubs. Check out these local favorites.

Rusty Spur Saloon

Stop by Rusty Spur Saloon and two-step the night away with the local cowboys to live country music. The saloon started out as the Farmers Bank of Scottsdale in 1921. Though the bank shuttered during the Great Depression, the old bank vault is still there and today it holds the liquor instead of the money. Celebrities like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston have walked through the Spur’s swinging doors.

Shade Lounge at W Scottsdale

If you want a chic night out, head to Shade at the W Scottsdale, an indoor poolside lounge that’s unlike any other in downtown Scottsdale. You are guaranteed to mingle with some of the most eligible and interesting bachelors and bachelorettes in Scottsdale. Be sure to dress to impress so you can turn heads as you strut up the fabulous grand staircase to make your entrance.

Kazimierz world wine bar

Like all good speakeasies, Kaz is a little hard to find (hint: the entrance is around back). But once you do, you won’t be disappointed. Live entertainment, classic and craft cocktails, global small plates and a ginormous wine list boasting more than 2,000 offerings make Kaz a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike.

ZuZu

Kick off your night on the town at this retro enclave at the Hotel Valley Ho. ZuZu’s happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays) features stellar apps like the Cheese Selection, Green Chili Pork and Fried New England Clams. Complement these tasty small plates with one of ZuZu’s signature cocktails. We love The Bramble (Bombay Gin, fresh lemon juice and blackberry) and the Blackberry Mule (Reyka Vodka, ginger beer, fresh lime juice and blackberry.)

Second Story Liquor Bar

Old School meets New School at downtown’s Second Story Liquor Bar. Bartender John Christie takes a classic approach that delves into the history behind the cocktail. Want to try an Old Fashioned the way it was made in the 1800s or a Corpse Reviver made with the exact recipe used during the pre-Prohibition era? Christie’s your man. And if you’re looking for a more modern approach, JT Tillman serves up delights like Miso Happy, a refreshing gin-based cocktail that uses red miso paste instead of traditional salt, and The Only Word, which features Buzz Button flower dust on the rim of the glass. You’ll love it, but you might have to wait a few minutes until your tongue isn’t numb to tell anyone about it.


Downtown Entertainment District

For the highest concentration of nightclubs in one area, head to downtown’s Entertainment District. Located on the southeast corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads near the W Hotel Scottsdale, this compact district offers plenty of options for dining, drinking and dancing, including The Mint Ultra Lounge, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails.