Gracie’s Tax Bar doesn’t look like much from the outside, but then again, no good bars do.
Unassuming and facing Seventh Ave, a major busy road, you could walk past it a thousand times and never think to dip in as cars fly by. A simple old school cursive neon sign marks one of the windows, but outside of that you would never know on the other side of the window was one of the best bars in Phoenix.
Cheap drinks, low lights, good food and music… and a javelina.
Gracie’s is the brain child of Phoenix native Grace Perry, a local musician and valley resident who opened Gracie’s after being the beverage manager of both Crescent Ballroom and Valley Bar.
The walls are pressboard, the lights are RED and low, and the place being shaped more long than deep you get a South West 70s trailer set up type vibe but in all the best ways. The decor was designed by the same design team (Patch and Clark Design) that are responsible for Valley Bar’s dope interior. Now while to the true dive bar goer this could feel manufactured the place still has the character of a place that exists with in it’s design not for it. Stickers adorn most surfaces, the bathroom is graffiti-ed to hell, etc…
Behind the bar there were two on point bartenders who also worked a greasy spoon type flat iron grill and made me a hella good chopped cheese sandwich that was incredible for bar food.
I nursed domestic bottles and took well shots until I explored the huge back patio that made me want to plan a future hang out. And the coolest part of the back patio is probably the two pass through windows that join the inside and out.
Board games and table top games hang out on a shelf for anyone to play. There is a cool jukebox stacked with CDs and an old school stand up shooter called Revolution X.
For my purposes it was the best bar I have been in in Phoenix to get chill laid back drinks in a cool atmosphere that wasn’t stuffy or pretentious in the way that cool-kitsch can sometimes get. When the bartenders roll their jeans and wear bike caps- odds are your gonna eat some shit…not the case at Gracie’s.
I won’t call it a dive or an old man bar, that is too easy a pull. Gracie’s, in being a tribute to good bars, is a great bar in itself.