Sedona After Dark: 7 Days of Nightlife

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“We just need to get the word out and let people know about all the great nightlife Sedona offers,” Rosemary adds. “We have regular fans who come out every week to see us. They see the dance floor, hear their favorite song, and dance.”

Restaurant manager Chris Daniel, who came to Sedona from the island of St. Lucia, says it’s a quiet crowd on Monday nights, generally consisting of older couples, tourists, and people who unwind after work with a cocktail and jazz. “Compared to St. Lucia there’s not much going on,” Chris says. “But the entertainment we do have in Sedona is really good.”

Relics Restaurant and Nightclub3235 W. Hwy 89A in West Sedona 928-282-1593. Jazz a la Mode every Monday from 6 to 9 p.m.; karaoke on Thursday night and live music Fridays and Saturdays – call for entertainment schedule.

Tuesday, 8 p.m. – Oak Creek Brewing Co.

By Sedona standards, the 12-year-old Oak Creek Brewing Co. is about as far off the beaten path as it gets, but that doesn’t stop locals in flannel jackets, hiking boots, and ball caps from paying $50 per year to have their personal beer mug stowed behind glass cases up on the wall. (Bartenders remove and fill the mugs at a discounted price when their owners walk through the door.) That’s not to say the bar is crowded – there are a dozen of us milling about on a Tuesday night, six holding instruments. Performing as the Cellar Door Jam, they include the Alex Ogburn Band and some guys just looking to play music. The bar generally has live entertainment five nights a week and for the members of Cellar Door Jam, it might as well have been Saturday night the way they power through songs by the Clash, Billy Idol, and the Rolling Stones. Singer Ogburn, a Dave Grohl doppelganger with a thin black goatee and black beanie, moved here from Birmingham, Ala., last fall. It’s quiet now, but he says Sedona’s nightlife is on the verge of waking up.

“The scene is ripe here,” he says. “Something new is about to happen – a lot of musicians in town feel it. It’s very exciting.” Oak Creek Brewing Co. sells five microbrews, seasonal beers, and wine. The beers are brewed on site – four silver fermentation vessels line one wall; if you sit close enough, you can hear the hops and barley making their own music. If you’re hungry there’s a popcorn machine and mounds of salted peanuts but no food service. People can bring in food or have pizza delivered, says bartender Shana Tietjen, who has worked at the brewery for more than four years. “There’s a sense of family here,” she says as she pulls a pint of Oak Creek Nut Brown Ale, its foamy head spilling over the edge of the glass. “Once you get your foot in the door, you become part of a family.”

On Tuesday, four of the pub’s kin sit in the brewery’s courtyard with its big peace sign created out of colored lights, huddled close to the fire pit, smoking cigarettes. Brett Dillon and Lauren Williams moved to Sedona from south Florida in late 2006. Brett says Sedona’s nightlife is “what you make of it” while Lauren says it’s a healthier atmosphere than the clubs in Palm Beach. “You make friends easily,” she says. “We’ve been here before when all the chairs [around the fire pit] are taken but someone always scoots over to let you be close to the fire.”

Inside, under red Christmas lights and a giant bottle opener on the ceiling, surrounded by framed concert posters from the ’60s and ’70s and tall cocktail tables, bass player Lindsay rocks out as if he was on stage at US Airways Center, oblivious to a crowd that had dwindled even further by 9:30 p.m. Wearing camouflage pants, cowboy boots and sunglasses, his curly white hair takes on a life of its own as he stands his bass guitar on an amplifier and plays it vertically. “I started playing in a narrow little hall in San Francisco,” he explains later. “That’s how I play.”

Oak Creek Brewing Co. – 2050 Yavapai Dr. behind the Bashas’ Shopping Center in West Sedona 928-204-1300; Entertainment five nights per week – no cover charge.

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