Kenneth Donald Rogers—an American country-music star, photographer, producer, actor, and fellow with a nice beard—has won three Grammys and more than a dozen American Music Awards for his sweet, stirring crooning. Though he won't be toting his dozens of awards, Mr. Rogers will be bringing an impressive showcase of selections from his extensive collection of country hits. To prep the crowd for the main event, The Herndon Brothers—a local act lead by Ray Herndon, a country star known for livin' the dream—will layer the crowd in hometown vibes from their wide library of inspiring and honest tracks.
The music factory of PHAT Entertainment marks its 10-year anniversary by thumping and bumping downtown Tucson with a two-day celebration of elephantine beats and contagious dance music. More than 30 performers fill two kaleidoscopic stages and one seemingly boundless clown car. The first day of PHATFest takes over the Hotel Congress, infusing both the outside stage and Club Congress’ innards with a pulsating soundtrack. Friday night's line-up features a dozen specialists in electronic euphoria, including the Arizona debut of mixologist duo Run DMT, licensed knob-twiddler DJ mLe, and the first Tucson appearance of Parisian bass-blasters Dirtyphonics, who have played some of the biggest festivals and most intimate PTA meetings in the world.
The culinary half of this delicious dichotomy is curated by award-winning head chef Christopher Gross, while the palate behind the fermented lounge is sommelier Paola Embry. Hungry peepers can feast upon Christopher's thoroughly modern dining digs; outfitted with bright, candy-colored fixtures that accent clean geometrics and foundational earth tones. Commence proper consumption by memorizing the full dining menu, which is creatively infused with the flavors of French cuisine, tempting early appetites with first plates such as wild-mushroom soup with foie gras ($18) and escargot en croute ($14), or savory salads such as duck confit with mixed greens, Humboldt Fog cheese, and cognac-infused dried cherries ($16). Warm up every nook and cranny of your mouth in preparation for great after-dinner conversation with a plate of steamed mussels with Spanish chorizo and white wine ($16), or take a large bite of smoked truffle-infused filet mignon ($36) to avoid answering questions about your "secret club" and the only other member, your "Matthew McConaughey." For an edible that's both cozy and elegant, opt for a wood-oven pizza topped with wild mushrooms, shallots, and arugula ($12).
Consecrated to the cosmos, Sky Bar is a solar-powered café in the daytime and an astronomy-themed bar by night. The café's solar installation uses 323 solar panels to eschew the consumption of fossil fuels and help keep the planet healthy. At night, the focus turns to celestial bodies other than our own, as images from the bar's rooftop telescope are projected inside to create a cosmic ambiance. On open-mic nights, local and traveling musicians take the stage under the auspices of host DJ Odious, whose vinyl collection includes a 7-inch cut from Saturn's rings.
The Napoleon is a 5,000 square foot indoor/outdoor upscale luxury lounge and cigar/Jazz club. As the first exclusive high end cigar club to offer indoor smoking, alongside a luxurious space for members to relax, imbibe and listen to live jazz on Thur. Fri. & S
Amid plush leather booths and dim red lights, smoke billows from hookah pipes, wafting soft scents of watermelon and mixed fruits over patrons nodding heads to DJ-spun tunes. This laid-back ambiance is par for the course at Crave Cafe & Lounge, where Mediterranean influences meet American style to create a trendy and mellow atmosphere for dining or partying, earning it the title of Best Hookah Lounge 2011 from Voice Places. Crave’s chefs cook up a menu of Mediterranean-inspired fare, including the greek burger—a simmering layer of gyro meat topped with feta cheese and cucumber. A full bar slings more than 15 bottled beer selections and nightly specials noted by Voice Places, such as The Best Bloody Mary You Ever Had and the Crave Mango Creation, Crave’s own secret recipe starring Absolut Mango. Spirits also find their way to tables via VIP bottle service, and a house breathalyzer machine allows patrons to measure their BAC to determine if they’ve enjoyed one cocktail too many or their blood-hummus level to determine if they've legally become a chickpea.