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“Really enjoying the new menu and as always the DANCING!”

Handlebar J Restaurant and Saloon
Ranked #315 of 1,241 Restaurants in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, Bar, Barbecue, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Central Scottsdale
Level Contributor
61 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Really enjoying the new menu and as always the DANCING!”
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Handlebar J's has updated their menu since I last reviewed them. This is a classic country not-to-be-missed restaurant and saloon. I loved the fish tacos and the service has improved greatly. They have also added some wonderful micro-brews to the menu.

The owner for more than 35 years, Gwen Herndon, is still gracing the restaurant and bar every night, keeping an eye on every detail. She's a wonder to watch as she goes around and greets everyone as if they are old friends... and many of them are. You feel like you are "home!"

As I said before - this isn't a "bar" in the strictest sense... it's a restaurant with a bar and dance floor attached. So bring the kids! Bring grandma. Bring your friends! There's live music almost every night, often from the Herndon Brothers (Gwen's sons and friends.) This is a GREAT dance band. I've traveled all over the western states and haven't found a combination of this kind of band and this kind of dancing anywhere outside Arizona. Add the microbrews, the new menu, the wonderful sense of family - and you have a wonderful night ahead of you when you visit this special place.

With the resurgence in dancing, this is a place you must see. Most of the regulars are better than many professional dancers. Actually, many of the dancers are competition dancers! It's a floor show, and great food, AND a great live band!

If you watch the dancers and want to learn, there are free dance lessons and a few options to hire one of those pro dancers to teach you. In this venue, it's not the usual awkward chugalug type dancing you see in many cowboy bars. Here you will find Cowboy ChaCha, Cowboy Waltz, Nightclub TwoStep, Texas Two Step, Arizona (Rhythm) Two Step, HalfTime, West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Texas Swing, Triple Step, and Triple Two Step - all executed beautifully. It's fun to watch and you will want to join in. Most of the dancers would be happy to take you on a whirl around the floor, so don't be afraid to ask one that you see out there regularly. They're just all there having fun.

Handlebars is History. It's fun. It's one of the longest running cowboy venues in Arizona. I just love it whenever I go. I think you will, too.

(BTW - for dancing, Wed, Thur, and Sunday seem to be the best. There's a cover only on Friday and Saturday. Two drink minimum every night. Little bit different crowd on the weekend. Best nights to bring a big party would be Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday. I was there recently when they had 80 people for one party and it seemed to work well even with the smaller dance floor and the regular crowd.)

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BT88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Good food, amazing value, incredible local house band (owners 2 sons - lead singer and ?? drummer??) play a wide variety of popular country songs. Locals and visitors get up and dance the two step from about 830pm - midnight. Fantastic local micro brew beers on tap. Well worth a fun evening at the Handlebar J!

Visited June 2012
Thank C C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“great experience”
Reviewed May 17, 2012

We went on a Sunday nt at 7pm when they have a live band. The staff was very hospitable & the band played a line dance just for us Canadians!
A really fun family run resturant - highly recommend it!

Visited May 2012
Thank Diana v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
922 reviews
692 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 322 helpful votes
“If You Love Cowboy Dancing, This Is the Place”
Reviewed February 26, 2012

Know your Texas two-step. Practice your western swing. You come here to dance, or watch the dancing. Live band and, in between, great recorded dance tunes. The floor is filled. Food is better than average.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MarshBruce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,406 reviews
632 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 905 helpful votes
“This is THE ONE if you are into Honky Tonk”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Steaks were great, music and dancing every night, service a bit distracted, but it might be because we were there on a Friday. Excellent value for the money

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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