Dive bar fans are simple creatures in some respects, throwing up a little Christmas tinsel and a patchwork of string lights sometimes enough to draw people in. And that’s exactly with Phoenix’s Swizzle Inn has done, a small dive bar in the back corner of a strip mall perpetually illuminated by Christmas lighting that gets turned up to 12 during the holidays. The front door is just recessed enough from the parking lot that it might cause a second thought about entering, but that is a fear best discarded.
The unofficial slogan of the bar seems to be “Swizzle Inn, Swagger Out” which may be the best possible dive bar motto. This midtown Phoenix outpost is a neighbors and regulars style of bar where events range from trivia nights to October pumpkin carvings that serve as more of an excuse to get together than an impersonal business grab. Black carpet, black ceiling, multi-colored string lights, circular bar, a comforting lack of windows, Swizzle Inn is a spot to flee the hot Phoenix sun in favor of a domestic beer bucket or five.