The thing about dive bars is that they usually all have a couple of things in common — games, cheap drinks, a killer jukebox, TVs, and local customers. However, there always seems to be one quirky attribute or thing they do that sets them apart.
The Well Bar is one of those dives where you can probably picture the bartender just by knowing what he says. My favorite thing he ever said was, “If you’re hungry, you’re only 13 minutes away from a hot and delicious pizza. Unless someone else orders one before you. . . then you’re 26 minutes away. We have ‘a’ oven and they’re Costco frozen pizzas.” This is a bar where the bartender is going to remember your name and, aside from the four hours between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., you can frequent the bar as much as you’d like. Another reason this dive is one of the best? The bartender ensured me that even though they are mega divey, “if you told me there was a mess in the bathroom, I’d clean it.”
Sitting just outside the main entertainment district in Old Town, Coach House is a classic Scottsdale dive. The oldest bar in Scottsdale, it’s infamous for the fabulous display of Christmas lights covering almost every square inch of the place. (Disclaimer: the lights are up only around Christmas time — surprising, I know.) Lights or no lights, Coach House has all of the dive characteristics, and even sports a NASCAR pinball machine. Hang inside and feel like you went from being in Scottsdale to a random little bar somewhere in the woods. The outside patio has a bar with a handmade sign that says “Cold Beer” and a long community bar table.
You don’t do a dive bar tour in Scottsdale without a stop at Pattie’s, located in the heart of Old Town. Pattie’s is a locally-owned and family-operated business that has been around since ’92, attracting both locals and tourists alike. With indoor/outdoor spaces and bars (be sure to check out the indoor bar, covered with dollar bills sporting plenty of inappropriate messages), there are a lot of people-watching options and plenty to do. Pattie’s has cheap drinks, a laid-back atmosphere, pool tables, shuffle board, ping-pong, darts and of course a jukebox. If you’re thing is tournaments, they’ve got those too. Go in early to hang with a more mellow older crowd or stop in later and enjoy watching the sea of people ranging from twenty-one to sixty. It’s definitely a sight to see and a good time.
TT Roadhouse is the bar to bring you hardcore biker friend (for real). If you’re into beer, no frills and games, this is also the spot for you. TT Roadhouse is on the outside perimeter of Old Town Scottsdale, in a little building that I almost miss every time. And you wouldn’t think that it’s all that big but they actually have separate rooms with games, a pool table, the bar and more. The bartenders are friendly and funny, and you’ll usually see the Owner/Biker Skoog hanging out, popping back and forth from his other dive bar Shady’s.
Giligin’s is popular with both locals and tourists, making it the perfect place to celebrate a bachelor/bachelorette party, birthday party or the end of the week with a strong drink — not to mention a menu full of cheap munchies. My advice is to get shipwrecked — sit in the swing chairs, take a photo in the Giligin’s cutout, spin the wheel of booze, sing karaoke and definitely hang at Chuey’s Mini Bar.