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Feel like shooting some stick? There's no shortage of boffo billiards bliss at this combination pool hall/nightspot located in the heart of downtown Tempe's clubbing zone. While the front half of the establishment is more of a swanky saloon and hangout spot (offering daily drink specials, DJs on the weekends, and plenty of hotties perched atop bartstools), the back is all about the art of the cue. A total of 10 different tables fill the room, all of which are typically occupied by a mix of ASU students and scenesters pretending like they're Paul Newman in The Color of Money. Things get crowded pretty quickly most nights, which usually results in players trying to make their shots while dodging drinkers and other wandering social butterflies.
Some sad news broke earlier this week that Arizona State University has taken a tumble in Newsweek's rankings of the top party schools in the nation. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. At one time (read... More »
CatCalls2010 Mill Cue Club An Absolute Nightmare I went back to the Mill Cue Club last night....Thursday. Not an oasis. Not comfortable. Not great service. Not neat line outside. Not good drinks. The only and I mean ONLY redeemable point was the security guy, Alex, who was working non-stop to try to keep up with the adolescent crowd busy being rude, rowdy, ass grabbing and lewd. I was ripped off, hassled, hit, hurt and left unhappy. Bonus points for the evening: Three mixed drinks in a row skittered off the counter because the crappy house music was so excessively loud. I think they jumped in a suicidal attempt to stop the noise. And, I got hit in the jaw with a pool cue. To the red headed girl with the bozos responsible....thank you for gettiing him and his overly drunk friends out of the bar. MCC staff....thanks for nothing. I was overbilled for astonishingly short pour, lousy drinks (I watched them being made) and overbilled for the pool table. When I ordered a (warm) beer, I never got change for the $5.00. Roaming staff should have gotten hazard pay. Barmen were either overworked as back bar or abusing front bar position. Although, I am not surprised. On nights like last night, there's a wait for a table. I paid attention. If you work for MCC, not only do you get a table right away, you also get the tab waved. If you are a nobody like me, you watch other people get tables faster and have the bar man lie right to your face. MCC management: Wake up! The drinks were horrible. The long neck beer was barely cold and cost 4 bucks a pop. Well, that would be one thing but when I paid for a beer with a five dollar bill.....the barman just couldn't seem to find me to bring me my change. Hey, it's not that I wouldn't have tossed him the buck as a tip. I am on an expense account. I don't like it being a forgone conclusion, though. Figure if he did that with only 3 out of every 10 customers, he went home looking like a talented titty dancer….singles stuffed all over. Folks, MCC may seem tight but there is still no sex in the champagne room (as the expression goes). I was ripped off. Women were being hassled. Boys (there were no men there) were grabbing the behinds of their buddies' girlfriends and lying about it. Although, it was a little distressing to realize the girls were putting their behinds into the guy’s hands. Literally. I stood back and watched it. Snapped some short run art to prove it, too. No one cared. Grossed out cat. The determining factor for getting into the joint was (I swear) a guy asking me, "Are you drunk?" Granted, I was alone, in heels and it was dark enough I don't think he realized I was old. The zoo out front could have been managed better (okay, managed at all) but the boys running the show weren’t thinking with their big heads. In all my years reviewing, professionally and for book research, I have never flip flopped on a joint this hard or fast. Expensive, cheated, hassled, hurt, short pour, warm beer, no change, bad loud sound, dangerously overcrowded, over-billed and under-thrilled. This cat calls MCC Thursday night (at least) horrible. CatCalls2010 This cat calls The Mill Cue Club the quintessential "shooting bar" wet dream. This joint is an oasis of dark wood, clean beer, generously poured cocktails and well-maintained pool tables. In homage to Western saloons, the space above the bar boasts prints of modern saloon girls... lounging, languid and luscious. No fantasy though. (These girls not only exist...there's a good chance one has taken your order.) Meticulously clean while still being comfortable, Mill Cue Club always has attentive, inventive bar men, dedicated, beautiful servers that roam consistently and conscientiously and a security staff that is courteous, caring and extremely convincing. MCC, absolutely and unquestionably, remains the place to see and be seen. Proof? Show up on a weekend night. The neat, well-managed line of beautiful people seeking admittance (not too long a wait, though) stands as proof of the draw. Comprehensively diligent about safety, the place is full but not the crushing sea of humanity that changes bar scene to bad scene. Admittance is based on space, too, not status. Security is fair, considerate of women, respectful of men and vigilant. I've been shooting at MCC on and off for decades (yikes) and I have never seen an altercation, ever. A terrific sound system adds to the allure, although someone needs to load a new compilation. The same music (mostly house and thumping sounds) is getting so old I use my Ipod ™ now. Although, when I did listen, the volume was good...loud without drowning out conversation or prompting the classic "Sorry, what did you say?" scenario. While tables stay well lit, the ambiance made through subtle and well-timed lighting changes is inspiring. Cozy, clean leather couches invite patrons to relax and talk. A cute patio allows for smoking and watching life on Mill Ave. (a perpetually interesting show). Well-placed TVs are tuned to relevant games. Prices for beer and cocktails are always reasonable with excellent daily specials. (Inside note: If there's a Will, there's a way good drink.) The customer base is more varied and provocative than many of the nearby bars combined and makes for an extremely entertaining visit. MCC is close to public parking and the light rail, which is important in this part of Tempe. Note to single women: Safety is 100% from car to bar to car and all the boys in between (and oh, what a tasty selection, if you're so inclined.) The bar and the pool tables are separate...an intelligent set-up. Tables are well spaced, quality cues are in abundance and pricing is good. Walls are adorned with provocative black and white, gallery quality prints of real people. (I guess people like to get on the table, too 'cause cats love climbing up there.) The Mill Cue Club is everything a bar should be...beautiful, comfortable, provocative, and financially reasonable... and the most fun I've had in a while. Come by, have a drink, play some pool, watch the game, visit with friends. If you want, I'll rack. This cat calls The Mill Cue Club on the mark. Happy Cat.
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