Alibi V.18 No.14 • April 2-8, 2009 

BOB: The High Life

Best Bar Staff

Anodyne Pool Hall and Cocktails
409 Central NW • 244-1820

Best Rock Bar: Launchpad
Best Rock Bar: Launchpad
Eric Williams

A diverse array of drinkers stops by for a cold one every night at the Anodyne. No matter what social clique you belong to or what your beverage of choice is, the staff at the Anodyne makes sure you get it fast. It only takes a few visits before the bartenders know what you want before you even ask for it.

2) O’Niell’s Pub, 3) Burt’s Tiki Lounge

Best Dive Bar

Burt's Tiki Lounge
313 Gold SW • 247-BURT •

Technically speaking, a dive bar indicates an establishment of ill repute. Furthermore, while we're being technical, Burt's Tiki Lounge is a tiki bar. In any case, however rough around the edges it may be, we think Burt's is one of the city's finest places to wet one's whistle, and so do you. Plus, the bartenders make an excellent Mai Tai.

2)Atomic Cantina, 3) Anodyne Pool Hall and Cocktails

Best Gay Bar

Tie: Albuquerque Social Club, Sidewinders
Albuquerque Social Club: 4021 Central NE • 255-0887
Sidewinders: 8900 Central SE • 275-1616 •

For first place this year, Alibi readers selected two great, gay flavors of great, gay bars; ASC is a private club with a primo stage for lip-synching drag royalty, while Sidewinders lets it all hang out with legroom for boot-scootin' leather daddies. Choose your adventure, Albuqueerque.

2) Exhale Bar & Grill, 3) Ralli's 4th Street Pub

Best Lesbian Bar

Exhale Bar & Grill
6132 Fourth Street NW • 342-0049 •

Exhale has live entertainment, a smokin' dance floor, naughty drinks and jalapeño poppers. Outside of a planet with pink clouds and rivers of chocolate, populated solely by lovely lesbian ladies, what more could a girl ask for?

2) Ralli's 4th Street Pub, 3) Albuquerque Social Club

Best Rock Bar

618 Central SW • 764-8887 •

In Albuquerque there are a handful of rocking places to rock, but when it comes to really rocking out to some sweet rocking rock, be it shredding, noodling, head banging or self-conscious toe-tapping, the Launchpad is where the magic happens. And Burqueños seem to think so every single year. Long live Launchpad!

2) Atomic Cantina, 3) Burt's Tiki Lounge

Best Wine Bar

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
3009 Central NE • 254-9462 •

Classy and comfortable, Zinc's freshly remodeled Cellar Bar is as balanced and bargain-priced as the wines that are poured there.

2) St. Clair Winery & Bistro, 3) Slate Street Café

Best Sports Bar

Coaches Sports Grill
1414 Central SE • 242-7111 •

It has the requisite enormous-screen TVs, but what puts Coaches ahead of the pack in the sports bar category are its food and drink specials. After all, without an order of fiery hot wings, enough ranch dressing to drown the Miami Dolphins and a cold beer, no game is worth watching. Whether it’s Monday Night Football, the World Series or the World Cup, you can catch the athletic event du jour at Coaches.

2) Uptown Sports Bar and Grill, 3) Fox and Hound Pub & Grill

Best Bar for Dancing

Sauce and Raw
405 Central NW • 242-5839 •

You can hear the beat thumping from a mile away. Even on a crowded, noisy night Downtown, Sauce and Raw’s bass still jangles your pelvis. Inside, a packed dance floor stays in constant motion while outside, clubgoers stand in line, waiting for their chance to shake it. Sauce and Raw has all the strobe lights and high-intensity jams required to keep you popping and locking until night’s end.

2) Burt's Tiki Lounge, 3) Graham Central Station

Best Happy Hour

Tie: Seasons Rotisserie & Grill, Zinc Cellar Bar
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill: 2031 Mountain NW • 766-5100 •
Zinc Cellar Bar: 3009 Central NE • 254-9462 •

Apparently, you can't make up your mind where to drink after work. And why should you? In Burque, there are two top spots to drink in the afternoon: Seasons and Zinc. It's the Rooftop Patio and Bar at Seasons that does it for you, isn't it? Top-shelf Margaritas, appetizers and a priceless view of Old Town. Does it for us, too. Meanwhile in Nob Hill, a nice Zinfandel by the glass at Zinc is civilized now and again, but there's just something about hanging out in the dimly lit Cellar Bar, knocking back a French 75 and listening to Le Chat Lunatique play live that feels ... conspiratorial. We like conspiratorial.

2) Garduño's, 3) Gecko’s Bar & Tapas

Best Karaoke

Ed's Pub at Leisure Bowl
7400 Lomas NE • 268-4371

It’s Tuesday night and you’ve got the urge to eat popcorn, drink Miller Lite and sing a Bonnie Tyler song, possibly between games of ten-pin. There’s only one place you go to satiate this rather specific and marginally confusing urge: Ed’s Pub at Leisure Bowl. Decked out with wood paneling and blue pleather seats, Ed’s is a paean to drinking, singing and bowling, and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

2) Retro's Bar (specifically "The Greg"), 3) Coaches Sports Grill

Best Bar Decor/Theme/Atmosphere

Burt's Tiki Lounge
313 Gold SW • 247-BURT •

The fish tank. We've been going to this place for years, and we just noticed the fish tank. It's beautiful, a serene blue in the eye of a swirling Friday night. But that's just the start of what makes Burt's gnarly. There are so many tiki-themed classics on the walls, stuff that got nail-gunned to other stuff. A veneer of band stickers coats everything else. Plus, no matter how many nights you spend in there, you'll usually spot something new, so it's always fresh.

2) Anodyne Pool Hall and Cocktails, 3) Imbibe

Best Bar in Which to Lay Low

Anodyne Pool Hall and Cocktails
409 Central NW • 244-1820

This upstairs home-away-from-home noir bar is full of dark corners and pockets of mood lighting, perfect for remaining unseen. Slip in, drape your trench coat over the back of a barstool and ask the friendly, low-key bar staff for your usual.

2) Copper Lounge, 3) Tie: Gecko's Bar & Tapas, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

Best Bar in Which to Be Seen

3101 Central NE • 255-4200 •

Partying is easy, but feeling like a somebody when you’re doing it is tough. Imbibe combines a celebratory atmosphere with an L.A. club vibe. It’s a place where you won’t be embarrassed to tell your parents you went to, and you might even see them there. After a few drinks at the bar, climb up to the rooftop patio for a view of Nob Hill that’s difficult to beat. When you leave, don’t be surprised if there’s a little extra swagger in your step.

2) Anodyne Pool Hall and Cocktails, 3) Burt's Tiki Lounge

Best Weekly or Monthly Bar Event

Geeks Who Drink at O'Niell's Pub

Look at the people you surround yourself with. Can your friends shoot an Irish Car Bomb, then turn around and tell you what has the thickest fur in the animal kingdom? If the answer is yes, you're clearly at O'Niell's hanging with the Geeks Who Drink. (And it's sea otters.)

2) The Universal (Thursday nights at Burt's Tiki Lounge), 3) Tie: Fire Womyn (multiple dates and locations), KGB (Thursdays at Albuquerque Press Club)