538 E. 9th St., Tucson
HOURS: Daily 6:30 a.m.–2 a.m.
The oldest bar in town still in its original location, the Buffet has been welcoming drinkers to the Iron Horse neighborhood since the 1930s. This is a shot-and-beer kind of place most of the day, the local professional drinkers’ home bar. As such, it opens as early as 6:30 a.m., and there are numerous University of Arizona traditions that involve imbibing at the Buffet at that ungodly hour.
This is a place where frat boys slum it with 80-year-old retired miners on oxygen, knocking back tequila. Settle in and order a cheap shot and a beer, and pretty soon you won’t want to leave.
There are no windows to speak of, and with that too-earnest Tucson sun blacked out and forgotten the day just slips away on bar time.
Make sure you’re there around 6 p.m. for “Happy Minute,” when the barkeep goes around and gives everybody one more of whatever they’re having, on the house. At 11 p.m., refills are a mere dollar.
The only food offered is cheap hot dogs cooked in Coors, which is the only beer offered on tap. They’ve got a few brews in the fridge that are more drinkable, but that’s not really the point here, is it?
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition