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With its low wood ceilings and shuttered windows, the bar at Olde Sedona (separate from the dining room but you can order off the menu) feels like a basement, especially with the black curtains MC Diesel hangs around the dance floor. By 10:15 p.m. more than 100 people have gathered at the bar.
Olde Sedona has entertainment seven nights a week, eight beers on tap, and bartender Ashley Harris says the margaritas are a big hit. So is MC Diesel. “He draws a younger crowd,” she says, keeping one eye on customers anxious for their drinks. “With the music he plays and the atmosphere, it makes people feel like they’re in a big city rather than a small town.”
But Olde Sedona isn’t like the pick-up joints in Phoenix, at least not tonight. Most people are with significant others or groups of friends. By 10:45 p.m., the dance floor is full. The lights, music, fog, and margaritas go until the bar closes at 2 a.m. with dancers from age 21 to 51, rocking their bodies to Eminem and Lo Williams sits at a table with a group of out-of-town women she just met, sharing beers and food. Lo, a 20-something Sedona resident with white-blonde hair and a pierced lip, says she comes to the bar about twice a week.
“The food rocks and the bartenders are friendly and professional,” she says. “It’s laid-back and you don’t ever feel uncomfortable.”
Olde Sedona Bar and Grill – 1405 W. Hwy 89A in West Sedona 928-282-5670; www.oldesedona.com. Entertainment seven nights a week – no cover charge.
Saturday, 11:05 p.m. – Ken’s Creekside Restaurant
So loud music at the bars has your ears ringing, but you’d still like to spend a while with your date before calling it a night? Luckily, Ken’s Creekside Restaurant hosts late-night happy hour Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. All drinks, appetizers, and desserts are half-price, served to the sounds of acoustic music to end your evening on a mellow note.
Ken’s has a fully stocked, six-seat bar with a diverse wine list. Executive Chef Chris Dobrowolski (a contributing writer to Sedona Monthly) says signature drinks include the Flirtini, a sweet martini, and the Cadillac Margarita with guava juice. Ken’s serves four beers on tap, port wine, and top-shelf cognacs and tequilas. You can sit at the bar, relax on the L-shaped leather couch in the lounge, or enjoy your drink al fresca on the front patio or rear deck. Paintings by Marilyn Erickson (Ken’s wife) decorate the walls of the restaurant and lounge while a large saltwater fish tank sits in the entryway. It would appear Ken’s late-night happy hour is still under the local radar; only a handful of people were sitting at the bar when we arrived – check it out before Sedona residents realize they have somewhere to discuss that late-night movie with friends before heading home.
Ken’s Creekside Restaurant – 251 Hwy 179 at Creekside Plaza 928-282-1705: www.kenscreekside.com. Late-night happy hour every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
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