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Cowpokes and country music fans have been moseying into this honky-tonk hideout since the 1960s, back when Waylon Jennings was a regular and patrons rode up on horseback. While the surrounding North Scottsdale neighborhood may have become a little more upscale in the ensuing decades, things have stayed pretty much the same at this saloon and steakhouse about 15 minutes north of Old Town. Handlebar-J’s sprawling bar still beckons boot-scooters and broncobusters, while cowboy hats still line the rafters, and both porterhouses and beefy burgers still sizzle in the kitchen. Grab your boots and take a swing on the enormous dance floor where twangy tunes are provided by the Herndon Brothers Band, fronted by Nashville recording artist Ray Herndon, most nights a week. Or if boot-scootin' ain't your saddlebag, pardner, sample some of the barbecue drenched in homemade sauce or amble on out to the patio and taste your tallboy in the great outdoors. Shucks, you might even wind up drinking next to a celebrity. Crooners like Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, and Vince Gill have all stopped by in the past.
The Herndon family has owned Handlebar J since 1975. In all those years, they've maintained a very simple policy: People like steaks and ribs, and they like country music. They've been giving Scottdale patrons exactly what they come for year after year. It's just a stone's throw from the bustling and flashy Old Town scene, and while you're certain to catch a few sparkly Ed Hardy T-shirts, Handlebar J fondly recalls the days when Scottsdale was known as "The West's Most Western Town." The... More »
Handlebar J comes loaded with no shortage of honky-tonk history. Opened in 1966, the club has been under the management of the Herndon Brothers, whose family band, The Herndon Brothers Band, plays both kinds of music -- country and Western -- Wednesday through Sunday nights at the longstanding establishment, attracting visiting Nashville stars and Scottsdale urban cowboys alike. The bar offers more than just music, with comedy shows and a menu loaded with steaks and sandwiches, but... More »
From the hundreds of cowboy hats adorning the walls to the sawdust on the floor, there's no place more "country" than Handlebar-J. This steakhouse/nightclub has been owned and operated by the Herndon family since 1975, and owner Gwen Herndon's sons, Ron and Ray, can often be found performing as the Herndon Brothers on stage.Guests such as Starfire and Jessi Coulter pop in to perform every so often, too, and on the rare nights when there's not live music, Handlebar-J's jukebox selection of... More »
The Herndon family has owned this landmark institution since 1975, when the late Brick Herndon and his wife, Gwen, sold almost everything they had to purchase the place where Gwen had worked as a waitress for eight years. Over the past 30 years, the family's turned Handlebar-J into the country capital of Phoenix, with the Herndon Brothers band (led by Gwen's sons, Ron and Ray) playing Wednesdays through Saturdays. Guest performers who've graced the stage include Jessi Colter, Kris... More »
With the granddaddy of Valley country clubs, Mr. Lucky's, closing last month, Handlebar-J, near the intersection of Scottsdale Road and Shea (a now prime piece of real estate it's occupied since the '60s), has become the default "king of clubs" for country music fans. Anchored by the Herndon Brothers Band, featuring loyal sons of original house band leader Brick Herndon -- including CMA award-winning recording artist Ray Herndon, who still makes it home from Nashville on a regular basis to... More »
From the hundreds of cowboy hats adorning the walls to the sawdust on the floor, there's no place more "country" than Handlebar-J. This steakhouse/nightclub has been owned and operated by the Herndon family since 1975, and owner Gwen Herndon's sons, Ron and Ray, can often be found performing as the Herndon Brothers on stage. Guests such as Starfire and Jessi Coulter pop in to perform every so often, too, and on the rare nights when there's not live music, Handlebar-J's jukebox selection of C&W classics keeps patrons two-steppin' and line dancing.
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