Scottsdale’s Bar District is NOT in “Old Town”

Recent media references to the stabbing in Scottsdale have placed it in “Old Town.” Martini Ranch is not in “Old Town,” which is the designation for the original town site:

The official city planning designation for that area is “North Drinkwater.” However, most of us know it by the informal (never officially designated) moniker: “Entertainment District,” or, more accurately, “Bar District.”

Unfortunately, establishments that ARE in Old Town (e.g., Rusty Spur, J Chew and many non-bar businesses) have suffered greatly from the misapplication of the “Old Town” label to problem areas of Scottsdale. Resorts are actively discouraging guests from visiting “Old Town” in the evenings because of some of these mis-identified problems.

These designations may be esoteric to many viewers, but I thought it important for you to have the background information for any future work you may do on this area.

To that end, this incident is no surprise to those of us who have been fighting this battle with Jim Lane for the last couple of years:

In this area there have been gang fights, stabbings (other than this one), firearms discharged, and assaults too numerous to recount. Lane is well aware of this history, and as you can see from my article above, he has been active in limiting public safety presence in the area. That’s one big reason (along with general lack of respect) that our police organizations didn’t endorse him for re-election.

Certainly the problems in the bar district have the potential to—and do—spill out into other areas in and around Downtown Scottsdale. The intruder incidents and the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn shooting are evidence of that.

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  1. Good point. I’m amazed at how the “Old Town” label has been stretched far beyond its original boundaries — just as with Arcadia . A coffee house at 68th St. & Thomas, no matter how charming, is not really in Old Town despite claims I’ve heard otherwise.

    I used to go to J Chew once in a while to have a drink and hear Nadine Jansen. I believe it closed several years ago and then became Brackin’s (not sure of exact spelling). Now, I think it’s the Old Town Tavern, unless I’ve missed a more recent change.

  2. Instead of secret backroom meetings by the Mayor with bar owners I want public hearings on our city TV Channel.

    Public hearings should be held by the City Council of bar owners and other people involved in the bar district changes and safety.

    Bill Crawford should speak in a public forum.

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