Western Style Nightlife In Scottsdale

scottsdale western nightlife and bars on the scottsdale living

Saddle Up for Scottsdale's Western Nightlife

From cowboy hats and boots to live country music and line dancing, these bars and restaurants offer a unique and exciting experience for anyone looking to experience the Wild West in the heart of Scottsdale. Our guide features a range of venues, from classic honky-tonks and saloons to upscale Western-inspired bars and restaurants. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, our guide is your go-to resource for a night out on the town with a western twist. So put on your boots, grab your hat, and come along with us as we explore the best western-themed bars, restaurants, and fun happenings in Scottsdale!

Feature Article

dierks bentley's whiskey row feature article on the scottsdale living
dierks bentley's whiskey row feature article on the scottsdale living

12 Popular Country Bars & Saloons Around Scottsdale

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Western Nightlife Vibes In Scottsdale

“The West’s Most Western Town.” There’s some debate on when exactly that phrase was first coined and by who. Paul Messinger, a Scottsdale Historian, claims the city’s first mayor Malcolm White adopted the phrase for the newly incorporated town’s motto when he took office in 1951. However, a report from the Arizona Republic says that city documents reveal that the Chamber of Commerce used the phrase a full four years earlier in 1947.

Regardless of where the phrase came from, there’s no denying that Scottsdale overflows with Western history. And that history influences so much in and around the city. From Old Town with its cowboy motifs and historical building facades to the aptly named event space in north Scottsdale, West World, the idea of a Western Town permeates through nearly every mile. Every year, Scottsdale goes the extra mile to host its Western Week, featuring events like the Hash Knife Pony Express Arrival held at the Western Spirit museum and culminating in the 71st annual celebration of all things Western, the city-wide Parada Del Sol and Trail’s End Festival.

Scottsdale Western Week on The Scottsdale Living
See The Western Week Guide

It’s no surprise, then, to find that the “West” has been incorporated into parts of the nightlife in and around Scottsdale. It’s such a staple to this area that Experience Scottsdale, the city’s official tourism site, says checking out one of the many options of country bars is something that should be on everyone’s visit bucket list. Whether you’re looking for a cozy place to have a drink, somewhere to dance the night away, or an adventerous evening riding real bulls, there’s a place to find just the right kind of western nightlife you’re looking for.

Three of the most popular places to experience Western Vibes when exploring the area’s nighttime activities are situated nicely in Old Town. So close are these bars that one could make a night of it and turn it into a country pub crawl. Start on the north side near Fashion Square, head south into the very heart of the district for a full hit of that Western history, and end near the canal. Or perhaps start at the canal for a nice walk before the evening and then take on the pub crawl in the opposite direction. Whichever order you hit them, the three spots on this Old Town bar hop are Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, the Rusty Spur Saloon, and Coach House Entertainment.

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row is a traditional American gastropub. Enjoy an atmosphere that feels like an old fashioned saloon that’s been brought into the 21st century. Wood lines the walls and floor, and the seating provides an intimate setting to enjoy your drinks or food. The whole space wraps around a 360 degree bar set in the middle of the room. A balcony area hangs above the bar, equipped with everything needed to support live entertainment, providing a complete, unobstructed view from any angle within the bar.

Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row patio Scottsdale from the Scottsdale Living
Photo via Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

Onward, to the Rusty Spur, a saloon that has been in business literally for as long as Scottsdale has been a town. Established the same year of incorporation, the Rusty Spur takes visitors back to that era with its unique decor, complete with original bank vault which is now used as a refrigerated unit. Guests are encouraged to bask in the history by taking pictures on their legendary bar stool and be part of the bar’s modern history by signing a dollar bill for the wall. Every year, they take down all the bills and donate them to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Rusty Spur Saloon is a registered historical landmark, and, like many of the nightlife places on this list, you can experience live music from artists both local and beyond.

We finish our tour of Old Town Western bars with the oldest dive bar in the city, Coach House. The family owned and operated bar opened its doors in 1959, less than a decade after the Rusty Spur. It’s a smaller, hole-in-the-wall style place, perfect for soaking in old-fashioned western vibes while enjoying good drinks and, with any luck, good conversation. It’s been described as having a Cheers like quality, with the owners – still the same family that founded the place – knowing all the regulars by name. Despite the term “dive” bar, they keep the place clean and safe for all their patrons. With hours of operation into 2 am, many while away the night discussing anything from Spring training, to the history of the tavern, to anything in between.

Outside of Old Town, another historical spot worth checking out is Handlebar J in North Scottsdale. Formerly known as Wild Bill’s, HBJ made a name for itself for its great food and live music. In fact, the family that owns it, the Herndon’s, have their own country band that regularly take to the stage to delight their guests. Several artists have played HBJ, and the SIRIUS “Outlaw channel” started with a live broadcast from the restaurant. Don’t be afraid to take to the dance floor, but if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t fret. Dance lessons are offered every Tuesday at a very reasonable price. Row upon row of cowboy hats hang from the ceiling for a truly lived in atmosphere. While you’re there, try to spot the inch deep bullet hole lodged in the dance floor post, put there by original owner Wild Bill Byrd if you believe the story from Mac the singing bartender back before it was Handlebar J.

Two last destinations round off the most popular western style night spots in or around the Scottsdale area. For these, you’ll need to travel a fair distance north until you reach Cave Creek. The first of these final spots is the Buffalo Chip Saloon. Yet again, live music and dancing take place here weekly, but the real attraction for this restaurant takes place behind the building. Every Wednesday and Friday nights, you can both watch or participate in real life bull riding and mutton busting for the kids. Right across the street lies Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, hailed as the original Wild West saloon in the area. Opened in 1935, Johnny Walker started the Corral Bar as it was called back then to service the people working on Bartlett Dam. Warner Bros. filmed scenes for Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins in the bar, and every year they host all kinds of events from Cave Creek Rodeo Days, to Oktoberfest, to their own Harold’s Anniversary Party.

Whichever spot you choose to enjoy your night of western styled fun, or whether you decide to try them all, there’s no shortage of ways to scratch the itch of delving deep into everything Western Scottsdale has to offer.

 Feature provided by The Scottsdale Living – Thomas France. 

Thomas is a Lifestyle Reporter and Content Creator for The Scottsdale Living.

Thomas France from the Scottsdale Living

Looking for a daytime activity to complement your Western nightlife experience?

Dive into our feature article on Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West.

Kick off your evening right!

Explore our Scottsdale's Best Happy Hours guide for top deals and perfect spots to start the night.

All Bars & Nightclubs Around Scottsdale:

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Keep your night safe and fun!

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