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Drift Lounge

Scottsdale, AZ
Bar & Restaurant
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4341 N. 75th St.
Scottsdale, AZ
Opened in 2002
Closed in 2010
No longer in operation.

Critiki ratings

Drift Lounge

7

Overall

by 1 person

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Former Glory 7

Regulars & Visitors

View all 15 Drift Lounge regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

Modern tiki bar in Scottsdale that opened in 2002 to mediocre reviews of its food, drinks and vibe. At opening, drinks were served in tiki mugs from Munktiki. Drift had a thatched A-frame entrance, but the interior was more sleek. Drift closed in November 2010.

Comments

bohemiann
bohemiann has visited Drift Lounge.
April 4, 2017, 1:43 PM
My visit was in 2006 while in Scottsdale. We were day drinking so I did not get to see it at night but imagine it would have been pretty cool. Someone did a great job and created an exceptional space that perfectly merged a contemporary look with Tiki. The decor, architecture and use of space was inspiring. But the Vibe was not there and I think the other comments explain it better than I could.
Tiki B
Tiki B was a semi-regular at Drift Lounge.
December 1, 2011, 12:02 PM
The Drift Lounge closed as of November 2011.
I went to the Drift five or six times and had a great time. The exterior was so promising, I was ultimately a little let down by the scene inside. They tried too hard to cater to the Scottsdale club scene by appearing "upscale": playing inappropriate dance music or Top 40 stuff, DJ sets on weekends which were always cool, but just not what I like to get out of a tiki joint. I want to hear Martin Denny records or at least some Don Ho!

But it was by no means a bad place: the drinks were pretty good, the decor was cool. They had some of the mainstays - a giant tiki head inside, burning tiki torches, and a great signage outside the door.

Bon Voyage, Drift Lounge!
Wild Man of Wongo
Wild Man of Wongo has visited Drift Lounge.
September 6, 2010, 11:46 AM
I stopped by Drift around 6 pm on Saturday, after a somewhat underwhelming visit to the Scottsdale Trader Vic's the previous night, and was pleasantly surprised. I think the timing was key: you get the sense that the management is going for more of a club feel later in the night (low lighting, techno music in the background), but at an uncrowded time, it was a great place to have a drink and soak in the modern tiki flavor.

First of all, the exterior is exceptional - you enter under a thatched A-frame with torches blazing on both sides, a large overhead light suspended in a fishing net, and ribbed roof overhangs ... not to mention numerous palm trees, this being Arizona. I've seldom been more excited to enter a tiki bar based on the exterior alone.

The interior is also cool, though in a different way ... you can either sit at semicircular beige vinyl-covered booths along the side wall or at wooden tables with curvy black vinyl and silver chairs in the middle of the room. The overall effect is retro-futuristic - think cutting-edge design from the 1950s (as seen at the nearby, not-to-be-missed Hotel Valley Ho).

The outstanding feature of the room is a lovely gray moai, lit from below, by the back wall (of dark stone, in more classic tiki style). There are also small tikis along the wall behind the booths and a couple of larger ones as you enter, along with a blowfish lamp, by the maitre d' stand. The pillars supporting the ceiling are covered with thick rope for a nautical effect, and instead of thatch, the walls and ceiling are adorned with a thin screen of bamboo (as is the bar itself). In general, I thought the decor and lighting did a good job of giving the room a firelit, mysterious appearance, despite the unhelpful music.

I should make special mention of the walk to the bathroom (between stone walls, one with two crossed clubs, red fire-like lighting) and the bathroom itself - gender-identified tiki on the door and one of the most creative sinks I've seen anywhere.

Drinks were good (I had the Painkiller) and service was friendly, if a bit slow. The drink list had a nice selection of rums, organized by island. Drift isn't perfect, but I think it's a good example of how to create a more modern-feeling tiki bar without losing the tikiness - as opposed to the Scottsdale Trader Vic's. The slightly clubby atmosphere is a little off-putting, but I'm still looking forward to my next visit.
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Articles in Critiki News

Regulars & Visitors
  • DanNowicki
  • Tiki B
  • Slacks Ferret
  • tikitucson
  • monkeyskull
  • Princess P.
  • pittsburgh paulie
  • bohemiann
  • AZTikiPhiles
  • Beached Bumm Joe
  • Wild Man of Wongo
  • YveDior
  • twocaledonias
  • LilHulaMiss
  • Leaseapenny
View all 15 Drift Lounge regulars & visitors