Sometimes merely a glass or two of wine just isn’t enough post-work to help alleviate the stress of one’s day. Why not pair a relaxing massage with it, too? Or, how about a manicure or a facial? Why not all three? At The Spa at Gainey Village, you can.
The Spa at Gainey Village’s Feel Good, Look Good Happy Hour will take place every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is open to both members and guests. The deal? Enjoy three small, 15-20 minute services and your pick of its selection of red and white wines and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as fruit, veggie, cracker and cheese platters.
“The idea was to provide a chance for members and guests to experience different aspects of our full-service spa without having to commit to a full 60- or 90-minute spa experience,” says Kirk Gregor, spa director at the Spa at Gainey Village.
“We provide a resort quality experience for our guests, and this gives them a chance to check out our facilities,” Gregor adds. “This ‘Spa Tasting’ also allows them to connect with our highly skilled therapists who provide mini treatments and advice concerning wellness goals.”
Treatments are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Every week, the three services change ― services including party lashes, mini manicures, a brow wax, mini facials, mini back massages, mini neck massages and more ― so it’s never the same deal twice.
“We have had an excellent response from both our members and guests,” Gregor says. “We have even catered to several groups (office, friends, pre-bachelorette, etc).
“It has proven to be a fun way to start a night out for friends and a casual, inexpensive way to try new services as the menu changes on a weekly basis,” he adds. For instance, for non-members, a regular, one-hour treatment prices at $110.
When it comes to date night or an evening out with the girls, I love to find new locations that offer a unique atmosphere. I am even willing to sacrifice menu options if I feel like I have discovered a diamond in the rough. For a recent night out with my sister, I decided to check out Floyd’s Kitchen on N. Tatum Blvd. Is Floyd’s a diamond in the rough? No, but it could be a very nice pearl.
Floyd’s Kitchen is the kind of place you drive by everyday on your way to work and say, “We should really check that place out.” Deciding to do just that, we walked into Floyd’s around 8 p.m. on a Monday night. I was pleased to see an acoustic set underway and a few groups of people seemingly enjoying their time; the live music was quirky but sounded great. Apparently, every Monday night consists of happy hour prices all night and live entertainment.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and inviting. I immediately felt like I was out of Phoenix and in a small-town, hip hangout. As for the décor, it was a confusing mix of Hollywood movie star pictures and digital art. However, for some reason it works!
The menu offered a good variety of choices from comfort foods, such as meatloaf, to more sophisticated choices, such as Mahi-Mahi — all at reasonable prices. Floyd’s also provides a small but efficient wine list and a creative martini menu.
Our dinner included:
Appetizer — With a decent amount of options for appetizers, we chose the Maple Bacon Wrapped Shrimp ($12). It consisted of very large shrimp atop a roasted red pepper sauce. The shrimp was fabulous, and the portions were large. The red pepper sauce was a bit bland, but did not take away from the excellent taste of the shrimp.
Entrée — We decided to sample two entrée options. The first was the Chicken Picatta ($11). The dish was comprised of lightly breaded, all-white chicken, topped with picatta sauce and served over mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. I would not recommend this dish. The picatta was missing the caper punch expected in a good picatta recipe. The vegetables had zero seasoning, and the mashed potatoes had an odd aftertaste. Overall, the dish was very disappointing.
Thankfully, we also ordered the Rigatoni and Meatballs ($12). I chose this dish because of the mozzarella-stuffed meatballs described on the menu. Served with marinara sauce and garlic foccocia bread, the rigatoni dish was a great choice. The meatballs were amazing; I would order this again.
Dessert — Oddly enough, I don’t believe that Floyd’s Kitchen serves dessert. We were not offered dessert, and the dinner menu nor the company website did not provide any details. Before I could ask, our check was brought to our table.
I would recommend Floyd’s on a Monday night for an interesting place to enjoy happy-hour prices, live entertainment and food. Don’t expect gourmet quality or unique pairings, but do expect a distinctive atmosphere that could easily become a neighborhood hangout.
Floyd’s Kitchen Rating:
Food: 3 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
If You Go: Floyd’s Kitchen
12601 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix
All hail the beer God: Praying Monk. Happy hour at this new, Scottsdale hot spot is a beer connoisseur’s dream.
Enter hipster heaven, L.A. style: Reclaimed-wood-covered walls, leather-upholstered booths and sultry candlelight. As far as first impressions go, Praying Monk makes a very rustic-chic statement. The casual ambiance transports you from the usual Old Town Scottsdale atmosphere to a popular lounge you’d stumble into strolling down Hollywood Blvd.
An oversized bar serves as the focal point of the open-space concept restaurant, ideal for hosting large groups of beer [and wine!] lovers alike. The staff is outgoing, engaging and quick to recommend one of the many tasty boutique beers in stock (17 on tap, 39 by the bottle).
Our experience was delightful. The bartender suggested a delicious Belgium beer, Grimbergen Dubbel ($6) with just a hint of grape aftertaste. The chaser was a Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin ($6) — an excellent brew for those who’ve acquired a taste for stout. Did we mention the adorable, distinct goblets assigned to each specialty?
During happy hour, all appetizers are half price. It’s doubtful you’ll find a more exotic array of small dishes close by. Plates to definitely sample next time you’re in the neighborhood include the Bavarian pretzel with grain mustard and sweet pickles ($3.50) and the crispy pig ear with rocoto chili, lime and sea salt ($5) — not for the faint of heart.
Complementing the ambience, beer and wine is, a music repertoire alternating indie contemporary and classic hits. ← Could you clarify this sentence for me? Overall, Praying Monk is an eclectic alternative from the traditional Scottsdale scene. Grab an exceptional after-work drink, or enjoy a relaxing meal with some friends. If you haven’t already checked out this spot, make it a point to do so.
Happy Hour at Praying Monk: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
1/2 off appetizers
$3 New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsner
$3 Praying Monk Pale Ale
$5 Lucky Star pinot and chardonnay
$4 well drinks
Praying Monk Restaurant & Bar
7217 E. 1st St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Crescent Ballroom extends its hours to accommodate the downtown lunch-hour crowd
Don’t let the size of this venue fool you. It’s a triple-threat host to seven nights of live music and a full-service bar, as well as two well-known chefs in its kitchen. And — it’s no longer limiting itself as a Downtown Phoenix happy hour hot spot and music joint. Crescent Ballroom is extending its hours and its demographic — opening up for lunch.
Opened in October 2011, owner Charlie Levy transformed the F.L. Hart Garage into the live music venue it is today, hosting a wide range of local and national musicians and artists. But it isn’t just the music that customers are walking, biking and light railing to experience; the food has become quite the headliner, too.
Levy joined forces with Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco, and Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco, to create Cocina 10 with its locally-sourced menu comprised of what they call “Mexican-accented road food,” featuring common finger foods with a border-inspired twist.
“Even if they don’t come for a show or they’re taking a chance on a band, I always hope they enjoy the experience and the food,” Levy says. “I want them to enjoy their meal and think it’s exceptional and at a fair price, and that they enjoy the atmosphere.”
And they have, and they do.
“We kept getting feedback from customers who kept asking why the hours were so limited and why we were only open at night,” Levy says.
In April, Crescent Ballroom opened its doors during the lunch hour, starting at 11 a.m., appealing especially to the business crowd on their lunch break, Levy adds. Cocina 10 will continue to have the same menu operated by Bianco and Robson.
Crescent Ballroom is open daily with a diverse range of live music in the lounge — always free. For more information about Crescent, to view its menu or its events calendar, visit crescentphx.com.
308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003
After 10 years in the restaurant business, Iguana Macks is getting a facelift. Under new ownership, the Chandler roadhouse plans to keep its rustic yet casual appeal while enhancing the menu, décor and entertainment.
Iguana Macks is an American neighborhood bar and grill located next to Dos Gringos in Chandler. The restaurant opened its doors in 2002 by local entrepreneur Michael Lopercio. Over the years, Iguana Macks established itself as a local independent “mom-and-pop” restaurant and prides itself on the personal relationships with its customers. In January 2012, Iguana Mack’s was purchased by a new team of restaurant and bar experts.
“Our goal is to continue the long term neighborhood roadhouse feel, while at the same time, bringing in a breath of fresh air,” said Randy Feldman, one of the owners. “In three short months, we have remodeled the interior, designed a new menu bringing back some of the original Iguana Mack’s favorites, creating some special events for our guests and built a team of individuals that are excited and motivated to be a part of something amazing.”
Iguana Macks has enhanced visual aspects of the restaurants including new wood flooring, custom designed light fixtures, and indoor and outdoor seating that make the restaurant more welcoming to its patrons. Servers and staff are letting its guests know that “Mack’s Back” by sporting it on their newly designed t-shirt uniforms. Business professionals, local residents and visitors can truly enjoy Iguana Mack’s signature roadhouse entrees and sides knowing that they are all made from scratch every day.
When you walk into the eatery, diners have the option to eat in the 150-seat dining room that looks and feels like home. An Arizona themed banquet room is offered to larger parties looking for a private dining experience. The indoor and outdoor bar is also a great place to enjoy an appetizing meal along with daily drink specials. With more than 18 flat-screen TVs, a pool table, and juke box, Iguana Macks offers the perfect atmosphere to watch sporting events, play your favorite tunes and catch up with friends and coworkers. Guest also can relax and listen to live entertainment by local musicians every week and happy hour specials weekdays from 2pm to 7pm. For dog lovers, enjoy the company of your companion on Iguana Mack’s dog-friendly patio.
For more information, menus, happy hour specials, hours and location, visit www.iguanamacks.com or call 480.899.6735. Iguana Macks is located at 1371 N Alma School Road in Chandler. Follow Iguana Macks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IguanaMacks.
Enjoy Valley happy hours with culture and style. There are places to go in the Valley that have edgy appeal, cozy atmosphere and cheap prices. Our six valley locations will intrigue your taste buds, lift your spirits and cultivate your thirst for culture.
Nakama Sushi Restaurant
Nakama Sushi Restaurant opened in October 2010 in the Goodyear dining scene. Located at Dysart Road and McDowell Road, the new non-chain restaurant offers a lounge area, full bar and the red-and-black décor invite people to relax as the service is exceptionally welcoming. Happy hour is every day between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and all day Sunday. On Wednesdays, get 10 percent off the entire food bill, and on Thursdays, ladies get half-priced martinis and margaritas.
Rula Bula, a Tempe Irish pub located on Mill Avenue and Third Street — whose name translates to uproar and commotion — is at the heart of the social life. The historic, Victorian-style building was a place to buy saddlery and harnesses in 1888. Walk into wooden antique flooring, dim lighting and designs that reflect Ireland more than 100 years ago. Happy hour specials are Monday through Saturday 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to close (2 a.m.).
“The food is great,” says Lauren Hillhouse, an ASU student. “Lots of people in my classes go.”
Upcoming events take place daily, including Industry night, where CEOs and other professionals get two-for-one drinks from 9 p.m. to close every Sunday; and there’s ASU night, where students get drink specials 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays.
Want to enjoy a meal downtown and not worry about parking? FEZ is conveniently located on Central Avenue in Phoenix just two blocks south of Clarendon. FEZ, with seating for 150, offers a full menu, lounge, bar, and outdoor patio with great views of downtown Phoenix and plenty of free parking. The unique, contemporary, urban atmosphere features American cuisine infused with Mediterranean spices and ingredients. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight daily. Want to call yourself a FEZ foodie? Join them the second and fourth Sunday of every month.
Game Time Sports
Looking for a sports bar that can indulge your taste buds and not hurt your wallet? Travel to Game Time Sports on the northeast corner of McDowell and Dysart in Avondale. Nothing is over $10 and you can get a beer, taco and watch sports. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.
“Anywhere I can take my kids and enjoy great food is a plus,” says Shree Washington, guest of Game Time. “I love the atmosphere.”
Come dressed to impress or in jeans and a t-shirt. This neighborhood favorite, with food fresh to order, offers casual dining, daily chef specials and pleasant service that is family friendly. This hotspot can be a great place to unwind after a long day.
Four Peaks Brewery
Housed in a warehouse rich in history, Four Peaks Brewery, having been home to an ice plant and creamery, has updated their brewing equipment as of March 2009. The restoration leaves the brewery finished with red brick, glass clerestory and wooden ceilings. Guests can enjoy two locations — Tempe on Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard or in Scottsdale southeast corner of Hayden and Frank Lloyd Wright. Nearly 20,000 barrels of beer are produced each year at Four Peaks. Tours are available.
Liz Doon Varna Irish Pub and Restaurant
The newest addition to the Arrowhead Fountain Center, Lis Doon Varna Irish Pub and Restaurant, located just down the way from the sports complex in Peoria, offers a piece of Ireland with its meals. All the furniture is unique to or shipped from Ireland.
“The bar in the restaurant is 200 years old,” says Kristen Lomuscio, a waiter at the pub. “Disney designers designed the rebar (hay) on the roof.”
The pub is famous for matchmaking and music festivals. Lisdoonvarna, a city in Ireland, hosts an annual Matchmakers Festival and draws singles from all over the world and this is integrated into the pub. Wine Down Wednesdays presents a complimentary bottle of wine with a party of four or more. The bread pudding is a signature dish.
“My friend and I would go somewhere else to have a meal then go to the pub for the bread pudding,” says Denise Vines, a guest of the pub. “The food here is hearty, and I enjoy it.”
No matter what side of town you are on, you can enjoy a meal with a deal at these happy hour hot spots.