Continue down 80 and you’ll slowly see the terrain change, with rolling hills and more green. Of course, the sun was down, so i didn’t see any of this on my way to Bisbee. The city pops out of no nowhere, with small houses on the hillsides and the main town nestled in the valley. A mining town, Bisbee was the happening place in the early 20th century. But as time went on, it went the way as most southwestern cities went.
The town gives off the same vibe as Rehoboth or Little Five Points, the clash of the past and present create a fresh atmosphere, attracting the free spirits of both the young and old. Hippies, hipsters, artists and vagabonds fill the town, adding to the experience.
I booked a night at the Copper Queen Hotel, which you may have seen on ‘Ghost Hunters’ and ‘Ghost Adventures.’ They say it’s haunted, but I slept like a baby there. The Copper Queen was originally for investors and the rich, which is evident throughout the hotel. Even after over a century, the charm isn’t lost.
There’s a bar on the first floor, usually alive with music and travelers. If you want to see the nightlife, everyone will tell you to hit three spots: The Grand, St Elmo’s, and Room 4, the smallest bar in Arizona.
My first stop was The Grand. It’s usually known for it’s live music on the weekends, but the bartender informed me that he was an hour late and couldn’t get ahold of him. So I decided to keep walking.
Next was St. Elmo’s Bar, which holds the title of the oldest bar in Arizona. It’s busy, vibrant, and fast paced, with both locals and tourists sharing the bar. Live music fills the air, but so does the crowded floor. I was looking for something smaller, and a bit quieter.
Bisbee not only holds the title of the oldest bar in the state, but also the smallest. On the second floor in the Silver King Hotel, there’s a room with a bar and four stools in Room 4. After a night of live music and action, the quietest place to grab a margarita is in Room 4. It’s an intimate setting, seeing that the bar is the size of a late 18th century hotel room. But if you need a break from the live music and loud conversations, head to Room 4. Head there early, because they close before everyone else.
For a late night snack, it was suggested to me numerous times to head over to The Quarry. Like every other place open after 10PM in Bisbee, it is full of live music and a mix of tourists and locals. But the distinctive difference is the food. The grilled cheese with meatloaf was recommended, so I went for it. The live music was a hooligan with a lone guitar with a basedrum and and highhat. She brings out the sandwich, and it looks like something you would make in your parents kitchen when they were out. But the taste, it was phenomenal. Better than your mother’s meatloaf, and even better than your ex girlfriend’s grilled cheese. Every bite reminded you that the greasy sandwich would go straight to your ass, but it is worth it. The only regret is that I didn’t order two.
All the old ladies will tell you to head down to Lowell and get breakfast at the Bisbee Breakfast Club. There has been a few other BBCs opened in Tucson and Mesa, but they say Lowell’s is the best. You pass the old Copper Mine, and roll into Lowell, which is more of a ghost town than anything else. Route 80 runs left of the main street, which has the BBC, an ‘active’ motorcycle shop, and a Harley and Indian window display, and a mock up police station.
The BBC has that welcome diner feel most restaurants today fail to emulate. They’ll tell you no matter what you order, you need to get the biscuits. So, ti was the Chorizo, with a biscuit, and four cups of coffee. Why four? As delicious as it was, it will put you into a food coma, and the only way to combat the Z’s is to drink no less than three cups of coffee.