Valley Bar to bring live music, hot dogs and parlor games to Central Avenue

Construction has started on Valley Bar, a new music venue which will be located in the basement of 130 North Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. (Nikiana Medansky/DD)
Construction has started on Valley Bar, a new music venue that will be located in the basement of 130 N. Central Ave. and feature a lounge, game room and Short Leash-prepared menu. (Nikiana Medansky/DD)

Crescent Ballroom co-owners Charlie Levy and Tucker Woodbury are opening a second live venue named Valley Bar downtown, which will start hosting bands next month.

The underground bar will be located in the basement level of a three-story building on Central Avenue south of Monroe Street, near the intersection of Central Ave and Monroe Street.

The 8,000-square-foot venue will have a stage for live acts and a 250-person capacity. The menu will be prepared by Phoenix gourmet hot dog restaurant Short Leash Hot Dogs and the venue will have a game room for billiards, shuffleboard, Skee-Ball and darts.

Valley Bar will keep busy with weekly performances and events, much like the Crescent Ballroom does with Motown on Mondays and Flamenco Por La Vida on Saturday nights. These will include Thursday dance nights, Friday Latin dance nights and Saturday old-school soul nights.

Nationally touring British rockers Wolf Alice are booked to be the first act the venue hosts on May 19. Wolf Alice will be a 16-and-over show with doors open at 7:30 p.m. and ticket prices ranging from $13 to $15.

Downtown will see the likes of noise-pop act Crocodiles, Tuscon’s Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, Mexican songwriter Ximena Sarinana, folk band Honeyhoney, two-piece Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, and Cas Haley in the underground venue next month.

Waxahatchee and the Bright Light Social Hour‘s April shows were first scheduled to be in Valley Bar but have been moved to the Crescent Ballroom.

“It’s more difficult than opening a venue in a strip mall or a newer building, but that’s what makes it a little more challenging and hopefully a little more rewarding,” Levy said.

Crescent Ballroom employee Corey Gomez will join the Valley Bar’s staff and said the move was a no-brainer.

“Instead of having a show every night, this will be more of a destination spot focusing on craft cocktails and a cool, basement vibe,” Gomez said. “There will still be shows, but I think it is different enough to bring Crescent regulars over, as well as a crossover crowd of people who enjoy atmospheric, swanky bars.”

Valley Bar will also have a lounge named after former Arizona Gov. Rose Mofford, called the Rose Room.

“You can go to the Rose Room without even going to the show, and it is its own different experience,” Levy said.

Levy said each of the lounge’s drinks will represent a Phoenix politician, based on personality and taste. The mixology is expected to be complete by next week, he added.

Shop owners located at the building have been welcoming.

“It’s good to have more venues downtown; there’s a lot of good local bands that come through,” said David Rivera, owner of Brad’s Bodega. “It’s always good to see new venues coming up rather than shutting down or closing up.”

The bar’s entrance will be located in an alley overlooked by the US Bank Center, where a street mural of palm trees surrounds a fire-exit door. This same alley was Punk Rock Alley during the annual Viva PHX music festival.

Levy said Punk Rock Alley was the inspiration behind the venue’s name, with the “alley” in Valley referring to the underground’s bar location and the Valley of the Sun.

Valley Bar will be easily accessible at its location between Central Station and the Washington Street and Central Avenue light rail stop.

Correction: April 24, 2015:

A previous version of this story incorrectly said there were open interviews to fill positions this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. The interviews have already passed. The sentence about the interviews has been removed to reflect Valley Bar’s hiring situation.

Contact the reporter at juan.durgin@asu.edu.