Let’s Get Classy, Scottsdale!
Shade, located at the W Hotel, is really a few of Scottsdale’s hottest entertainment experiences all wrapped into one. For starters, there is the main lounge area, accentuated by plush chesterfields and a seductive sumptuous ambiance. A stroll outside will lead one to their Las Vegas worthy pool deck that’s complete with multiple cocktail bars, gorgeous attendants, spectacular views of the valley, and, on the weekends, a DJ getting the luxurious “WET Saturdays” pool-party vibes rolling. Then, of course, the venue has hosted some of Arizona’s most legendary special events, from Drake’s (yes, that Drake…) Bootsy Bellows to Larry Fitzgerald afterparties to Jamie Foxx extravaganzas, and everything in-between.
Check out the video below for an exciting highlight reel of Shade’s parties.
Similar to its neighbors, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Center for the Performing Arts, AZ 88 shows off carefully selected masterpieces throughout the building. Two fixtures that typically arouse quite a bit of buzz are the seasonally rotating artworks displayed above the bar and an annual Christmas tree made up of unusual ingredients – such as safety pins, which actually looked positively stunning! A haven for the fashionable and trendy, instagramable backgrounds are a way of life here, whether it be a flick in their glowing neon pink restroom or an aesthetic shot chilling in minimalistic off-white furnishings.
Can’t forget about the view, AZ 88’s patio overlooks Scottsdale’s Civic Center Park, a well-manicured landscape dappled with lush green lawns and public art fixtures.
A hidden gem perched above Old Town Scottsdale, Second Story Liquor Bar has collected some 300 of the world’s finest whiskeys and serves them amidst an intellectually stimulating atmosphere. Dim lighting produced by glitzy chandeliers graces the surfaces of sophisticated decor, which causes a shimmer of copper tones, giving way to one of the valley’s classiest evening haunts. For whom it may concern, they serve the most cherished charcuterie boards around, utilize a menu that blends regional ingredients with old-world techniques, and yes, whiskey flights are a thing, be sure to indulge your curiosities!
An adventurous trip into the desert awaits. Onyx Bar is, indeed, located a decent journey from the lights of Old Town Scottsdale, however, that’s where its strengths lie. As nighthawks soar through the air just overhead, soak in breathtaking sunset views while enjoying the company of loved ones on this mountainside adobe-inspired terrace.
It makes a lot of sense that this chef d’oeuvre of a dining experience was recognized by Trip Advisor as a Top Three Fine Dining Restaurant in the Nation. Keep in mind, there is a dress code and wearing a jacket is preferred, for good reason, you wouldn’t want to underdress for historic Old Town Scottsdale’s most illustrious venue. Their romantically lit patio, first-rate service, an elegant ambiance, and five-star cuisine – made from nothing but the finest in premium fresh, local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients – are just a few of Cafe Monarch’s noteworthy features. Fun fact, servers here are trained through the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers program, so don’t be afraid to ask about any given evening’s fortuitous wine pairings.
Only a tad bit northeast of downtown Scottsdale, perched 15 stories high, at the top of Talking Stick Resort, is Orange Sky. Not only is this luxurious oasis in the heavens the perfect setting to impress exceptional company, but it is also ripe with dramatic vistas of consistently riveting orange sunsets; don’t just take our word for it, Trip Advisor has named the lookout point Arizona’s “Best Restaurant View at Dusk.” While sipping on your Martini, rooftop infinity poolside, take a moment to smell the roses, or in this case, appreciate the grandeur of mountain tops dancing along the edges of a once baron desert horizon that’s now teeming with life, lights, and lofty expectations.
Riot House is certainly the most lively destination on our list, evenings typically give way to bottle service, drop-dead gorgeous girls, and crowds grooving to the sounds of Arizona’s hottest DJs. Heavily poured cocktails are the preferred method, and who’s kidding, in the infamous words of Marshawn Lynch, “you know why I’m here;” although the place does serve an array of delicious Cuban-inspired dishes. Think sophisticated South Beach mainstay meets uptempo Ibiza type feel, a concept that is sexy and classy but still brings the high energy entertainment – just the sort of fresh, vibrant lounge that Scottsdale had no idea it NEEDED.
Tucked away along East Main Street, Beverly on Main offers plush, speakeasy vibes paired with what might be the greatest cocktail menu in the valley. Careful not to mistake the venue’s glitzy underground design for high-class pretentiousness, in all actuality, this dimly lit tavern exudes a subtle spunky charm that’s remarkably comforting to any common admirer of ardent spirits. If you’re looking for an upscale place to host a company get-together, special occasion, or intimate gathering, hidden behind one of their bookshelves is a “secret room” perfect for glamorous private parties.
For all you Instagram connoisseurs of cuteness, The Canal Club serves upscale Cuban-inspired cuisine in a vintage styled environment that’s chalked full of delectably photo-friendly backgrounds. Infused with the vibrant colors and comforts of 1930s Havana, and accentuated by an occasional splash of bright pink, this is very well the kind of aesthetically flawless joint you wouldn’t mind getting caught enjoying a refreshing handcrafted beverage in.
No reputable list of Scottsdale bars is complete without Coach House being mentioned, so although it may not be the most upscale, actually it’s not upscale at all, this joint more than makes up for glamour in beloved hometown charm. Having first opened in 1959, the dependable neighborhood watering hole has managed to stay in the same family’s hands for decades; their efforts earning them critical acclaim as The Best Place To Keep It Real In Scottsdale during a 2011 Phoenix Times regional award contest. If you’re in town during the holidays, you have to stop in for a visit. The entire building, inside and out, gets incomprehensively drenched in Christmas lights and, overnight, becomes a must-see attraction that you can walk into and order beers from – what a way to spread good ole Christmas cheer!