Palm Springs Reinvented

The Coolest Place ‘Bar’ None

Bar is one of Palm Springs' coolest watering holes.

Deren Gilly

There’s a sweet spot in the “sand box” of Palm Springs; it’s called Bar. Opened in January by locals Donovan Funkey and his wife, Molly, Bar stands out among other establishments on the strip with its vibrant aesthetics and edgy vibe. It rivals the popular dark and intimate Hollywood dives and lounges that celebs sneak away to when the paparazzi is in pursuit.

Dimmed, retro-style lighting complements the earthy tones of its décor, while slats of raw redwood panels greet you as you enter. Hop onto one of the plush stools at the counter and marvel at the warrior-painted faces at your feet. Fix your eyes on the Anthony Cioffi, native-inspired design displaying the bar’s top-shelf liquors, earthy flagstone façade, and the rotund tree branches fashioned into handles, which function as Bar’s tap. Pull on a branch and beer comes out? I know what my next Home Depot project will be.

Bar’s drink station exudes the same subtlety as its name. An illuminated strip lines the length of the counter where the friendly and knowledgeable staff uses fresh ingredients to conjure up old classics and new twists from reasonably priced drink menu. Try the Dark & Stormy to kick off your weekend celebration. Bar serves it in a white metal mug with black trim.

Funkey’s brainchild is more than just a watering hole. Claim your seat on the quaint patio and take in the passing nightlife. Or, grab a bite to eat, listen to the DJ, or a variety of live music by emerging artists on the aptly named Redwood Stage. Step outside to hang with the band or chat it up with Bar’s laid-back patrons.

For privacy, try Bar’s lounge area. Snag the corner booth for one of the coziest hidden make-out spots in town. 340 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-537-7337;

Rainbow Bright: The 6 Coolest LGBT Hangouts in the Desert

Toucans Tiki Lounge. Perfect place for him or her. Diverse all-ages crowd. 2100 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-416-7584;

Spurline. Show tunes, karaoke, and more, scheduled throughout the week. 200 S. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-778-4326;

Hunters. Gives West Hollywood a run for its money. 302 E. Arenas Rd., Palm Springs. 760-323-0700;

Digs Bar. Cathedral City’s sexiest hang. Lots of great activities throughout the week. 36737 Cathedral Canyon Dr., Cathedral City. 760-321-0031;

Streetbar. Sexy, older crowd. Intensely good time. 224 E. Arenas Rd., Palm Springs. 760-320-1266;

Tool Shed. How’s about a little rough trade? 600 E. Sunny Dunes Rd., Palm Springs. 760-320-3299

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