Want to go where the locals go? Read DPJ’s new E&D Beat and visit some favorite Eats & Drinks destinations.

Local Fave: Carly’s Bistro

District: Evans Churchill Neighborhood

Owners: Carla and John Wade

Opened: 2005

Arts Interplay: Carly’s is noticeable from a distance because of the large mural painted on the biggest outside wall, which gives a great first impression. Immediately after stepping inside, your eye is taken by the blood red walls hung with intriguing local artwork.  Your ears are tickled with daily melodies chosen by the staff.  From cool oldies to greats of blues and jazz, or a local band, Carly’s can go from a relaxing hang out to an exciting music venue. The bar surface itself is adorned with sketches and doodles from local artists who proudly donated them to Carly’s display. It’s a raw, interesting way to showcase the local talent.

Have a Seat: There are tufted black benches with small, square tables in seating areas. For the city view, sit street side along the large windows at the high, two tops.  An even bigger group would still be as comfortable since all the tables are easily configured into larger ones.  This is a true bistro experience, with swiveling, cushy bar stools encouraging social interaction in the busy bar.

The Eats: Try the salty Feta Rosa (roasted red pepper, garlic and feta with warm pita wedges) with a Westmalle Tripel and you’ve got yourself the perfect snack. Have a bigger appetite? Go for the Reuben, stacked with pastrami and sauerkraut on marble rye.  Carly’s doesn’t shy away from culinary challenges either.  One of their best items is a vegetarian sandwich called “Europa”.  Marinated artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes and spinach with roasted red peppers and smoked mozzarella are piled high on toasted focaccia bread.  Most everything is under $10, so you’re sure to find something good for you and your wallet.

The Drinks: On the beverage side of things, Carly’s offers everything from local brews to imported craft beers, a decent wine selection, and a Phoenix New Times “Best of Phoenix” Bloody Mary amongst other classic drinks.

What They Say: Resident bartender, Brian Cresson, serves beautifully crafted cocktails with a side of easy conversation. “What used to draw me in is the fact that I am comfortable here.  You can stroll into a casual atmosphere at almost any time of day or night and find your buddies having a good beer and some great food,” explains Cresson.

The Report: Come here to find a comfortable atmosphere, an excellent beer selection, simple and delicious cocktails that are almost always on special, great food at affordable prices, and the most artful, comfortable bar experience on Roosevelt. This is a local hangout done right.