Archive for May, 2007

Bikini Lounge

Tiki God

My Phoenix sources tell me that the story of the Bikini Lounge (1502 Grand Ave, Phoenix) is a simple one: opened in 1947 as a swanky tiki bar, then nothing was touched about the decor over the next 60 years. Well, that last part is not quite true — as Phoenix’s art scene has grown up around the bar, it’s received some attention from those artists, like the pieces by Michael Little that now cover the men’s bathroom (I didn’t peek in the ladies).

I only visit the Bikini Lounge once a year, so I’m no expert, but my visits do give the perspective of a time lapse video. Over the last few years, like with many dive bars, the clientele has gone from seedy to seedy plus hipsters. But there’s still plenty of folks who just come for the pool table and the cheap draft beer to compliment the art students and occasional DJ.

The News Room closes

In their 2006 Best Of, The Phoenix New Times named the Newsroom Lounge their “Best Neighborhood Bar, Downtown Phoenix” and noted “You’d better get down there soon before Mayor Phil Gordon and company decide to raze it in favor of some ugly urban renewal project.” Well, yeah:

Another colorful slice of downtown Phoenix history will slip off the landscape early Sunday when the News Room Bar closes its doors for good.

Owner Pete Palandri has reached an agreement to sell the 26-year-old bar at 505 N. First St. to make way for a $150 million dormitory for students attending Arizona State University’s downtown campus. [AZ Republic]

Fuzzy’s Pizza

Chicago memorabilia at Fuzzy's Pizza

How could I not love Fuzzy’s Pizza? I mean, it’s named after me, it’s covered with Chicago memorabilia, and they serve all my favorite Chicago-style foods, all in a strip-mall non-ambiance. I see that they have Vienna Beef hotdogs — which really are quite excellent dogs — but we had a deep dish pizza. The pizza was more in a Lou Malnati’s-thick-crust mode than a Giordano’s-stuffed-pizza type. (Don’t worry if that means nothing to you — they’re just fine distinctions in the long-standing debate over what exactly a Chicago-style pizza is.) Fortunately, that’s the way I lean in the deep-dish debate, and the pizza had a good crust, which is really important to me.

Fuzzy’s Pizza
8960 W Bell Rd
Peoria, AZ 85382

Marvin’s Garden Cafe

Marvin's Scramble

Marvin’s Garden Cafe (101 E. McDowell, Phoenix) is diner food of the first order. Some of pluses include:

  • obvious re-purposing of a different restaurant
  • great bacon
  • choice of biscuits and gravy as your bread option
  • pre-buttered toast
  • an epynmonous breakfast special — the Marvin Scramble (shown above)
  • located right across the street from my hotel

The few minuses:

Phoenix Improv Festival

The Phoenix Improv Festival starts tonight and runs through Sunday, May 13. Ensembles are coming to Phoenix from around the country to perform — Bare and Bassprov from Chicago, Coldtowne from Austin/New Orleans, Cupcake from Seattle, Underbelly from LA and many more. And there’s plenty of great local talent, too, like the Phoenix Neutrino Project — an incredible film/theater hybrid — and Sunday is an all-day “Arizona Showcase” with 10 groups performing from 3-8 pm.

All of the shows are at the Viad Center (1850 N Central Ave, Phoenix) and tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance (except Sunday, which is $10 for the whole day — $2 off with a Mother’s Day card).

I’m the Mayor of Disclosureville: I’m in Bare and I’ll be sitting in with the Phoenix Neutrino Project.

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