Arizonan Excellence: A Local Bar is Named America’s Greatest Place for Cocktails

We know that Arizona is a great place to live (certainly at least when the temperature dips back below 110 degrees at least); this is why we call it home. Yet every once in a while it still manages to surprise us…for instance, we never would have considered our area a cocktail destination. Yet one local establishment is showing us that we should never doubt the talent here.

Century Grand, located in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, was named the Best Cocktail Bar in the U.S. in the 2023 Spirited Awards, as announced by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. The location itself houses three individual bars, with one of them, Platform 18, recently named as one of the 50 best bars in North America.

Granted, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone that lives in the area; Arcadia has quietly taken its place in the Valley as one of the best nightlife destinations for fun around. While not as condense and as obvious as Old Town or Mill Avenue, it has long been a repository of numerous great places to have a beverage, such as The Little Woody, The Porch, and one of the very first locations of The Vig.

But even then, it is impressive that apparently our area’s greatest cocktails don’t come from the bougie opulence that can be found in Scottsdale, or the boisterous fun in Tempe. Not from Phoenix’s established downtown nor its refined uptown, nor the more experimental Grand Ave. or Roosevelt Row scenes. And that’s not even factoring  in the impressive growth that can be found in Gilbert’s downtown…

But ultimately, the fact that there are so many options for excellence and it took us referring to a scene we rarely do as the source of this greatness reminds us yet again that Phoenix metro is an area on the move. We are incredibly fortunate to have so, so many options, so many entrepreneurs and restaurateurs striving for greatness. The desert has become an oasis for ingenuity in so many different fields.

Those different scenes and different proprietors will need to hold off for another day to get their proper kudos however. Today, the day goes to Jason Asher and the entire team at Century Grand for being the best in the entire United States. Incredible work.