Valley Venues: The Sail Inn

Unfortunately the Tempe location of the Sail Inn is now closed, the venue is now called Cactus Jack’s and is in Ahwatukee.

Here is our rundown on what the Sail Inn used to offer (just for memories sake):

About the Sail Inn

The Sail Inn was one of the first dive bars I frequented when I moved back to Tempe. It’s close to Mill, yes, but it feels like a hidden gem — tucked in a corner of Tempe I would have never otherwise found or noticed if the venue didn’t exist.

With two stages, an outdoor and an indoor stage, this music venue is all about showcasing both local acts and smaller national acts for an intimate show-going experience. Not to mention the sound is great on both stages.


You’ll find tons of parking, whether it be alongside the road (Farmer), in Sail Inn’s small parking lot (if you’re lucky to snag a spot) or in the parking lot just down the street (on the corner of Farmer and 5th). I mean, I’m sure you wouldn’t have to resort to parking in that lot, but the point is, you should be able to find parking — somewhere.

The best part? Parking is always free.


Pay at the door, and always remember to bring cash. You can pay with a card, but you’ll have to use the ATM inside — and you know what that means: the $2.50-$3.50 service fee.

Normally, shows are about $10 at the door — sometimes more, sometimes less. So, I advise bringing $20, just in case.

However, if it’s a national act, you can definitely pay for tickets online. Just head to the band’s website and find tickets that way. Or Google it. Normally Sail Inn’s website isn’t very helpful.


There’s a full bar available inside and a partial bar outside, near the stage. Inside, bottled and tap beer are both available; outdoor, just bottled. You should be able to find a pretty decent selection of cervezas — and for a reasonable price. Same goes for cocktails.

Sail Inn does serve bar food, though I haven’t tried it yet. Occasionally, you’ll find boxes of pizza with slices up for grabs for a few bucks each during select, local shows. So, have cash on hand for when the munching hour strikes.

The best is its happy hour, when you can take advantage of its $3 pitchers. Oh, and play some pool, too. Sail Inn has just one table tucked away in a lounge-type room.

Art & Local Support

One thing to note about the Sail Inn is its support of the arts. No other venue has dedicated nights combining live music and an art show (at least, none that I’ve seen). It’s fantastic watching a seemingly unknown artist create something incredible as your favorite local bands are performing on the outdoor stage.

Also, I’ve noticed that the Sail Inn has been the venue of choice for local nonprofits. I’ve noticed plenty of benefit shows/concerts held at the Sail Inn. For just a few bucks, not only are you catching some great bands, but you’re also helping out a local org. Can it get any better?


OK, Sail Inn’s downfall is its restrooms. They aren’t disgusting, but they aren’t always the cleanest rooms either. But, hey, once you’re drinking, does it really matter? In and out, and it’s back to the music.


The Sail Inn has two outdoor areas, and you can smoke where you please. There’s plenty of room and space heaters scattered about during the chilly winter months. The outdoor areas also have plenty of tables and chairs.

Have any more tips you’d like to share?
Feel free to leave a comment, and we’ll add it to the post!

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