UnderTow

Phoenix, AZ
Bar
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3620 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ
Opened in 2016
Wed-Thu 4pm-midnight
Fri-Sat 4pm-2am
Sun 2pm-10pm
(602) 753-6504

Critiki ratings

UnderTow

9.4

Overall

by 174 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.8
Drink Quality 9.7
Drink Selection 9.7
Mood 9.6
Music 9.4
Service 9.3
Tikiness 9.4
Tilt 9.3
Vibe 8.8

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 247 UnderTow regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

UnderTow opened in August 2016, in the lower level of Sip Coffee & Beer Garage. The interior was designed by Danny "Tiki Diablo" Gallardo.

Comments

bejacob
bejacob has visited UnderTow.
September 4, 2019, 10:25 AM
UnderTow is darn near perfect. The atmosphere is excellent. Great drinks, some a bit on the pricey side, but when you're immersed in this place, you can almost forget that aspect. It is possible to get in without a reservation, though if you really want to experience the place, don't leave it to chance. You might only get in if someone else cancels or fails to show up. Make the reservation and plan to spend the full 90 minutes allowed. Think of it as an hour-and-a-half show with the admission being price of a drink or two (you'll want more than one). This place is an experience and a darn good one at that. Put this on your list of 'not to be missed' Tiki bars. You won't be sorry.
CWGross
CWGross has visited UnderTow.
August 26, 2019, 11:57 AM
UnderTow is ALMOST perfect... I love Tiki bars that go above and beyond to to something really creative with the experience, to provide some novelty that catapults them beyond what is expected for a Tiki bar (which, don't get me wrong, is already pretty awesome in itself). UnderTow has that in spades.

The atmosphere of a ship's hold filled with exotic cargo is wonderful. The storyline written in the menus is engaging and provides excellent backstory for the decor. Everything is purposeful and it's fun to pick out things from the story or anticipate where the story might go given the artifacts around us. The animations out of the portholes are very well done. We could tell by changes in lighting and perfect background music that something was happening and craned our necks over to see what was happening outside the ship. The drinks were also very well done, with an interesting selection of original cocktails based in the story. Great merchandise too, and I was lucky enough to come away with one of their Thor-designed mugs.

So why ALMOST perfect? I understand that the place was built in the service bay of an old garage, so nothing much can be done about conditions that are a little cramped for my 6'4" frame. And I understand that it's really the affluent cocktail culture of Phoenix/Scottsdale that are paying the bills, not the Tiki crowd, and the scene was friendly enough (minus the rowdy table trying to convince me that I should be taking pictures of their buddy who is a roadie for AC/DC... If he's not a Tiki bar I don't care). What really brought it down a few tilt points was the lack of food.

Neither myself nor my wife are big drinkers. We'll nurse a social cocktail or two, but we go to Tiki bars for the experience more than the drinks. Food is more integral than drinks for us... We enjoy having a nice dinner or pupu platter to soak up the alcohol and give us time to soak up the atmosphere. Unfortunately UnderTow doesn't serve any food, and since we weren't really in the mood for a second drink that evening, we were actually ready to leave before our 1.5 hour reservation window ended. We'd seen everything, enjoyed our drink, and that was that.

UnderTow is a great topper to an evening out. Dinner, theatre, shopping, whatever... Once you've done something else, cap your night off with a drink for an hour at UnderTow and it's perfect. I wish it could be a night unto itself, but without food it can't sustain it. That said, I still ranked it over 9 out of 10. My only complaint is that I wanted more of it!
GeekyTiki
GeekyTiki is a semi-regular at UnderTow.
August 9, 2019, 3:17 PM
My wife and I stop by Undertow every time we are back in Phoenix visiting family and it never disappoints. The staff are always friendly and ready to talk tiki and the drinks are amazing. For their house cocktail creations they utilize a lot of more typically southwest ingredients but in a way that works with tiki (think mezcal drinks and agave syrup) which allows them to establish their own distinct drink program from other tiki bars. I would absolutely recommend their Smuggled Goods, a holdover from their first menu, and one of my favorite drinks anywhere. That said, don’t skip their menu of classic cocktails as it’s full of delicious drinks (their Cobra’s Fang is great and their Zombie is everything a zombie should be). The “ship’s hold” atmosphere complete with changing scenes out the porthole “windows” creates the perfect tropical escape and their website offers a great 360 “walkthrough” of the bar if you want to get a virtual, though brighter, glimpse inside. If you’re looking for a souvenir they usually have a couple mug options ranging from $45.00 for a Thor mug to $80-150 for some of the more limited mugs from Tiki Diablo. They have great collins and mai tai glasses for around 12.00, and also tee shirts and a few enamel pins so there’s definitely something for every taste and budget. As people have noted, it is not easy to find if you’ve never been before and it’s also very small (seats about 28-30). It is inside Sip coffee bar and it’s usually easiest to tell your Uber driver to take you there as Sip has a sign while Undertow has no exterior signage. You actually enter through sip and go down a set of stairs in the middle of their seating area (Sip is in an old jiffy lube service station and Undertow occupies their former motor pool). They take reservations until 9pm and this is definitely the way to go as they’re always packed, though please keep in mind that your reservation is for 90 minutes and they have to be pretty rigid about it to ensure they can accommodate everyone. Your server will notify you when there is a half hour remaining on your reservation so you can put in a last drink order if you want before they close your bill out. In spite of the small space and the limited time, it’s a really great experience. Easily one of the best tiki bars currently operating and well worth a visit the next time you’re in Phoenix.
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Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • John S. james
  • ridric
  • Tobin
  • arcadiandj
  • WesleyJames
  • Dutch
  • tikiboss
  • JustLis0222
  • Tiki_JC
  • LoloHaole
  • auntangi
  • RANKINFullStop
  • Tiki AF
  • Professor Tiki
  • TDMarrinan
  • DanNowicki
View all 247 UnderTow regulars & visitors