As the summer flowers begin to bloom and more people go out on the town, many restaurants and bars in Las Cruces and El Paso host events tailor-made for a fun night with friends. Though many of these places are great to go to any day of the week, it’s their recurring events that consistently offer the most enjoyment. From trivia to open mics, live music to karaoke, here are some of the best places to visit for a special night out.
LAS CRUCES VENUES
Live music every weekend
302 S. Main St.
Located downtown, AmadorLive offers enter-tainment like no other place in Las Cruces. It’s a city block consisting of Amador Patio Bar & Grill, Broken Spoke Taphouse, 575 Cruces Crafted Cocktails, and JAX Rooftop Lounge, with an event lawn that can hold upward of 1,000 guests being the centerpiece. Here live music acts appear every weekend and have the potential to draw large crowds due to the easy access from the other bars and restaurants in the complex. The music played is truly diverse — one weekend, an R&B funk rock band will play and the next weekend might feature an ensemble playing Mexican music of different genres and from multiple decades. And for those seeking club music and live DJ perfor-mances, JAX Rooftop is the best place to go in Cruces.
Live music every Friday, open mic every Saturday
402 S. Melendres St.
Amaro Winery is the stage upon which its wines, all produced and bottled on site from grapes grown in Southern New Mexico, per-form. A winery may be daunting to those who don’t know much about wine, but Amaro’s casual environment and friendly staff will make your visit a pleasant and welcoming experience. You may end up finding a favorite local wine! Amaro also has a stage on its back patio for live music and open-mic nights. It’s the perfect place to spend a weekend evening, especially during the summer months when you can sip wine on the patio at sunset while live music and poetry are performed by local artists.
Live music every weekend
13060 N. Valley Dr.
Blue Moon, established in 1920, has been a go-to destination for the community because of its vibrant energy. Expect to see large crowds on New Mexico State University game days as the bar tunes all its TVs to Aggie basketball or football. Live music also brings in many people, and acts like The Delk Brothers and 96 Proof can sell out shows and fill the bar to capacity. Blue Moon often books country and folk musicians to play on weekends, so be sure to wear your boots if you go for a live show!
Open mic the first Wednesday of the month, karaoke the first Thursday of the month
119 N. Main St.
Located in the heart of downtown Las Cruces, Little Toad Creek specializes in food that features New Mexico staples like green chile pizza and red chile marinated pork along with refreshing drinks. It offers a selection of beer and spirits from its distillery in Silver City, where the first Little Toad Creek is located, as well as wines from around the state. The food and drinks share a fresh-made quality.
The first Wednesday of every month, Little Toad Creek has open-mic night followed by karaoke night on the first Thursday. The indoor stage is well equipped for performances, with large speakers and ambient lights. Expect to see local artists on these nights, as the craftsmanship of the food and drinks attracts similarly creative local performers.
Live music every week, open mic every Monday
2461 Calle Principal, Mesilla
Located in the heart of Mesilla less than a block away from the plaza, NM Vintage Wines is a historic place that offers exciting new entertainment. The stand-out feature of NM Vintage is its 1850s adobe-style tasting room that transports patrons to the past. It’s the perfect place to enjoy its Cowbelle Wines, produced in New Mexico, and a variety of cigars from around the world. Open mics are musical affairs at NM Vintage, as they often feature bands performing folk, jazz, indie, Latin, and more. There are also live-music events featuring local artists scheduled every week. On holiday weekends, you may find several acts scheduled to perform in NM Vintage’s courtyard.
EL PASO VENUES
Karaoke every night Tuesday through Sunday
2720 Montana Ave.
Duets is a must for anyone who loves to sing. It’s a spacious bar with a stage at the back where karaoke night is every night the bar is open. Duets lives up to its name, with two retro-style micro-phones on the stage to encourage people to sing their favorite songs as a pair. Karaoke classics like Mr. Brightside by The Killers and I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor are sure to be played during any visit and will undoubtedly get everyone singing their hearts out. Also expect to be introduced to new music as the bar brings in people with widely different tastes including country, Disney musicals, rap, and everything in between. Seeing others having fun on stage singing their favorite song, regardless of their actual musical talent, may persuade the timid to give karaoke a try.
Live music every week
3011 Pershing Dr.
For music fans of all types, Love Buzz is the place to go. Located in Central El Paso, this bar hosts different music acts every week with live shows every few days. Most acts are local artists based in El Paso or Las Cruces, but the bar is often a stop for touring artists from out of town.
Love Buzz’s layout emphasizes live music, as a large empty area is a perfect spot for a band to set up. The stage area is a back wall lit by professional lighting that bathes artists in color as they perform. The stage isn’t elevated, which makes for an intimate setting as patrons can get close to the performers, depending on how full the bar is. Musical acts range from indie rock to electronic, folk, rap, singer-songwriter, pop, punk, and anything else that’s making it in the local scene.
Trivia night every Tuesday
4025 N. Mesa St.
Rubiks Arcade Bar in West El Paso feels like it was specifically designed to host any and all things pop culture, and its music and art create an aura of entertainment. Every wall is covered with images of popular artists, shows, cartoons, movies, and games, like Eminem, Queen, The Simpsons, and The Breakfast Club. Its main appeal is the dozens of arcade machines as diverse as they are vintage, including Namco arcade games like Pac-Man and Galaga, along with The Mandalorian and Stranger Things-themed pinball machines. This emphasis on pop culture is what makes trivia night at Rubiks such a fun time. The staff is tuned in to what patrons are watching and listening to and welcomes suggestions on topics to include for their next trivia night.
Themes of past trivia nights include Golden Girls, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ghostbusters, and other popular franchises. They offer prizes to the winning team, which often include some type of merchandise relating to the trivia topic, like a Funko Pop figurine or T-shirt, plus a $25 bar credit.
Open mic the first Wednesday of every month 500 N. Stanton St.
The Pizza Joint is a popular spot for young adults and pizza lovers alike, as two of its locations are close to the University of Texas–El Paso campus. For open-mic nights, The Pizza Joint on Stanton is where you want to go. Most performers are singer-songwriters that play both original music and covers. Other types of acts, like poetry and spoken word, are also welcome. Their signature pizza styles are must-trys and the perfect meal while watching local artists perform.
Story and photography by Javier Gallegos, Neighbors intern
Originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com