Guest Editorial: Bar Rescue

By Scottsdale Pinetop
Downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment area, the Valley’s nightlife epicenter, has created a number of headaches between Scottsdale residents, City Council and business owners. Really it’s a love-hate relationship. While numerous patrons have spoken in defense of the growing entertainment scene, many Scottsdale residents have become disgruntled and vocal by attacking local bars.
The Rockbar in downtown Scottsdale is the latest drinking establishment to fall under Scottsdale’s hostility.
Rockbar, opening in 2011, is located on Craftsman Court just south of Fifth Avenue. The bar is centered on the need for an affordable, live music venue that the everyday person can enjoy. It’s has become a local hotspot for many Scottsdale residents. However, its rowdy nature has brought some unwanted attention and negativity.
The debate between business owners and residents came to a head last week when the Scottsdale City Council approved a 15-year dining license for the patio area of the Rockbar. Angry residents have claimed that the bar clashes with the artistic atheistic of the Old Town scene. The area is known for its upscale shopping, art galleries and fine dining, not loud music and smoke, as they claim. Advocates of Rockbar say that it is a welcoming gathering place for sports fans, local musicians and younger patrons alike that all help boost our economy and diverse identity.

The ongoing dilemma between neighbors and Rockbar showcases the diverging attitudes and future for downtown Scottsdale. Bars and entertainment areas, like Rockbar, play a bigger role in the community than just serving a good beer. They provide a space, outside of the home and office, for gathering and socializing. Along with providing a place for the community, bars are a huge boost to the local economy and job market. While you might not think of Scottsdale’s vibrancy as a “vital” part of our community, if you take a second look you can see the positive impact they can have. Support your local drinking establishments. Like Rockbar. Criticism of it is like nails on a chalkboard – not the good tunes from an excellent small business.