Best Lowbrow Bar Ambiance

The Buffet

Readers Pick

There is a line in Barfly, Mickey Rourke's (sole) masterpiece from the late 1980s, that goes something like this: "Anybody can be a non-drunk; but it takes something special to be a drunk. It takes endurance." And if there is one thing that The Buffet has, it's endurance. Opened in 1934 shortly after Prohibition was repealed, The Buffet is one of the last great neighborhood bars in Tucson. In this era of Homeland Security and rampant corporate homogenization, The Buffet is a neon-lit beacon of hope and promise. Faintly perfumed with the byproducts of heavy drinking, industrial-strength cleaners and things unmistakably unexplainable, The Buffet welcomes your tired, your poor, your huddled masses with open doors and a slightly sloppy smile. Drinking starts at 6 a.m. six days a week, accommodating both night-shift workers and marathon booze hounds alike. When choosing a poison, beer is your best bet. If you want to get crazy, add a shot. Now stop reading this and go to The Buffet. It will save your soul.

Runners up:

2. Bob Dobbs Bar and Grill, 2501 E. Sixth St., 325-3767

3. TIE

  • Che's Lounge, 350 N. Fourth Ave., 623-2088
  • Golden Nugget Tavern, 2617 N. First Ave., 622-9202
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