How to get there:
This can be tricky to those who a) don’t have a lot of experience driving through downtown Phoenix and b) hate one-way streets. If you can’t take the light rail and get off on 1st Ave and Van Buren, and you can’t find metered parking on Monroe, Central or Adams, then you can likely find parking west of Monroe & 1st Ave (also metered) and in the parking garages off 1st St. between Monroe and Adams. If you still can’t find anything, then just go park under Cityscape off Washington for $10-$12 for the night. That’s my go-to, at least.
I’ll be honest, I got lost the first time I tried to find it. When you plug walking directions into your Google Maps, it’ll take you to an alley way, and from there? Well, good luck to you, sir. You see, the owner of Valley Bar purposely decided not to promote the venue and put signs up that clearly guide you to the venue. He wanted word of mouth to catapult it into the hip, underground, hipster bar it would eventually become. Why? More loyal clientele. At least, this is all according to the employee of the smoke shop located just around the corner that I awkwardly stood in front of while waiting for my friend to show up. But I digress.
Anyway, commit this map to memory:
Once they’ve checked your I.D….
Valley Bar is made up of two rooms after you descend the stairs: the Rose Room lounge and the Music Hall (appropriately named, I might add).
The Music Hall‘s sound is nothing spectacular, but with the room being as narrow as it is (it’s called a ‘hall’ for a reason), you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot where you couldn’t hear every note, every word. In the back, you’ll find a handful of tables to stand or sit at. Or, you can lean up against the right side of the room’s wall and set your drink down on the ledge. On the left side of the room, you’ll find the bar, but remember if you get a drink from the lounge, grab a plastic cup on your way in (located right next to the doors after you enter from the Rose Room).
What types of bands can you expect here? Local bands are typically all over the events calendar, as well as smaller, lesser-known bands, playing punk, electronic, jazz and everything in-between — with the occasional band with a stronger social following like Joywave come through.
The Rose Room feels swanky, but that’s just due to the dim lighting and the constant flow of the most attractive hipsters in the Valley who inhabit the place. But once you’re in it, it’s super relaxed. Grab a drink at the bar (all appropriately priced, including the cocktails), grab a table and chat. Or, head toward the back (on your way to the Music Hall) and grab a board game or play in the game room. The place has, according to its website: two billiards tables, shuffleboard, two skee-ball games, Adams Family pinball, darts , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mortal Combat. Cool.
I have literally never seen anyone eat food here, but they do have a full menu ranging from $8 kale salads to a $16 charcuterie board and $9 flatbreads (they have one with brussel sprouts, eggs and bacon and oh my God).
And that’s about it. Did we miss anything? Have any tips to share about this place? Love the place? Hate it? Let us know in the comments below.