Sometimes a bar is more than just a place to get a drink, it’s an event, a happening. A bar with personality creates opportunities for patrons to step outside the barroom box and embrace a whole new experience. For a memorable time, check out these great themed bars in New Mexico.
If you have a thing for cars, this is the bar for you. “Diamond-tuck upholstered seats,” hub caps as décor, and “tables made of chromed chain-link steering wheels” capture the essence of the lowrider culture found in the bar’s namesake town. The car-centric decor pays homage to the book “Low ’n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico.” Specialty cocktails are inspired by the cars featured in another book, “Lowriders, Hoppers and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico.”
A tiki bar in the desert is an anomaly and in this case a good one. Kitsch is the name of the game at this island-themed bar, from its thatched hut to rattan chairs to stuffed fish that adorn the walls. Even the drink menu reflects island charm. Sit in one of the themed booths and try a Blue Hawaiian, Chi Chi, Surfer Girl or if you’re really adventurous the Flaming Volcano. The live music is all local.
An old junkyard is the inspiration and home of this local brewery. Tailgates and scrapped car hoods with hubcaps as a base serve as tables. An old yellow school bus, giant tractor tires and a bar area that’s a 1957 truck with working taillights all are someone else’s junk repurposed. Kegs are in the back of the truck where the servers sit and pour. Try the salted caramel stout or Black IPA and while away an afternoon listening to some live music.
You’ll feel like you’re on vacation at this Baja-inspired bar and eatery located at the airport. It’s so festive with its bright, bold colors throughout you might just be tempted to get on a plane and head south. The menu is fun and tasty with both Southwestern and Mexican favorites. Slip into your flip flops and your favorite summertime shirt for an afternoon of fun in the sun.
The Old West personified is at the heart of this mountain top bar that served its first drink in the 1860s. The saloon highlights that era with a thick oak bar, brick walls, and a wood-beamed ceiling. Throughout there are old paintings, historic photographs, quirky mannequins, a taxidermist’s treasure-trove of animal heads, and other period artifacts. The fully stocked bar has, of course, whiskey plus a passel of other drink fixings.
During the heyday of Prohibition in the 1930s, speakeasies were all the rage. Knock three times on a secret door was the code to get someone to open the peephole to get in. This bar is a recreation of that era. There is a somewhat hidden entrance door highlighted only by a red light. Once inside, the black diamond walls and red velvet curtains, a pin-striped clad doorman and waiters dressed in all black take patrons back in time. Get dolled up and head on out to this juice joint for a fun night out.
Both a bar and a liquor store, this hard-to-find watering hole is on old Highway 85. A rustic western theme, showcasing a bygone era, dominates the inside decor. You might even find horses waiting for their riders at the hitching post outside. A funky cast of local characters that represent local farmers and ranchers are regulars. A jukebox and pool tables, plus a full bar and cheap beers make this a great hangout.
With a facade that’s reminiscent of the Long Branch Saloon in Gunsmoke, this bar looks like the Old West. Once inside, the decor does not disappoint, nor does the food and drink. The ceiling and walls are covered in dollar bills and license plates…mementos of those who have passed through…and tokens of the past are scattered about. Order a beer and get ready. The barkeep might just slide it down the wooden bar to you.