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The Best Bar None

Dierks Bentley celebrates the first year of Whiskey Row, his rocking Scottsdale restaurant with Riot Hospitality Group.

What a year it is for country music artist and Phoenix native Dierks Bentley. In February, he released his seventh studio album, Riser, to the delight of his ever increasing fan base. May saw the kickoff of the Riser Tour, which rolls into the Valley on July 26. And Whiskey Row, the Scottsdale restaurant Bentley opened with local firm Riot Hospitality Group, celebrates its first anniversary this July 4. "Opening a bar in my hometown is something I've always wanted to do," Bentley says. "[RHG] spent a lot of time and put a lot of thought into really cool details that make it the perfect place to watch a game or listen to music or just get a few drinks with friends."

But lest you think Bentley brings star quality to the operation and not much else, think again. RHG founder and CEO Ryan Hibbert praises the singing sensation for the passion and ideas he brings to the venture. "This is an amazing partnership," Hibbert says. "We see his family dining with us weekly, so it keeps us all connected. Whenever he is in town, he brings his friends and family in to show the place, and if you get him in the right mood, he will usually jump onstage and have some fun. ... We are always brainstorming how to take the experience to the next level, [and] Dierks is always supportive of this."

A casual hangout where young professionals can let their hair down, Whiskey Row is a hybrid restaurant, bar and entertainment concept, with a 360-degree stage suspended from the ceiling, state-of the-art sound system and impressive roster of rotating live acts. Oh, and the food isn't bad either, encompassing American gastropub eats, craft beer on tap and, yes, 40 different types of whiskey. In the short term, Hibbert and his team are planning a big blowout on July 4 to celebrate the milestone. And down the road? A second Whiskey Row location is poised to soon open in the Windy City. Looks like Bentley's album isn't the only thing he's taking on tour.