Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Chile Pepper Festival Celebrates Local Food and Culture

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

chileLiving in Arizona for any amount of time, you learn how to add chile to just about everything. With more than 200 known varieties of chile pepper, understanding the subtle and nuanced flavors is an art form that takes a lifetime — and many taste tests.

Come taste a variety of delectable chile-inspired dishes Saturday from 5-11 p.m. at the third annual Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival located in the open-air section of Phoenix Public Market. This free event features 24 restaurants, craft beer, cocktails and entertainment for the whole family.

As the smell of fresh-roasted chiles wafts through the air – roasted on-site by Crooked Sky Farms – cool yourself down at the Deschutes craft beer garden or 3 Amigos Tequila margarita station. Enjoy some live music by Pick and Holler, Mariachi Luna de Mexico and a free salsa dancing lesson and demonstration by Stilo Dance Company.

Bring the whole family and check out the campy and hilarious Ghost Pepper Talent Show and designated kid’s zone with chile pepper-themed arts, crafts and face painting.

Street and on-site parking is available but guests are encouraged to ride the light rail, walk or bike to the event.

Tasting tickets can be purchased for $2 each or in discounted bundles available on the website, with a special deal for Downtowners living or working in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

A Bold New Look for Canyon Cafe

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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Downtown Phoenix landmark Canyon Café inside the Arizona Center reopened Tuesday with a completely new look and feel. After three weeks of renovations, the new style is bright, modern and upscale with a classic Southwestern feel.

photo 2With new flooring, paint, outdoor fire pit, lighting and furniture, almost everything got a facelift. The new aesthetics enhance the expansive patio area, which it’s known for, and simplify the dining room, showcasing the lovely Southwest-style wood pillars and archways.

For regulars who love the sophisticated Southwestern fare, the menu remains the same with the addition of seven street tacos, served a la carte and perfect for happy hour, everyday from 4-7 p.m.

Try the Crispy Chicken Street Taco with its spicy-sweet marinade, creamy cilantro dressing and fruit salsa for $4. The Chile Relleno Street Taco is another favorite made with thinly sliced steak, mushrooms and cheese tucked inside a poblano pepper and wrapped in a fresh flour tortilla for $4.50.

photo 4In the mood for a drink? Wet your whistle with the famous Top Shelf Traditional Margarita, made with only the best tequila, fresh squeezed juices and Grand Marnier. For $13, it’s the best margarita in Downtown.

Open for 24 years and formerly known as Sam’s Cafe, Canyon Café is truly a Downtown staple and local favorite. Fortunately, the restaurant stayed true to its roots through this remodeling process and came out with a beautiful new look, classic enough to withstand another 24 years.

September RadiatePHX Spotlights ASU Grant Street Studios

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

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Stepping into the large atrium at Grant Street Studios with its natural light, metal doors, exposed brick and giant vintage motel sign – it’s easy to feel a tinge of creativity, excitement and wonder.

“It’s got that cool factor,” said George Harris, facilities supervisor for the ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

ceilingHarris watched this 100-year-old renovated factory transform into a state-of-the-art studio and gallery space for ASU graduate art students over the past year.

“When we needed to relocate, the burgeoning art community and increasing presence of ASU Downtown made this a really desirable location,” Harris said.

In addition to housing the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) student-run Step Gallery and a number of studio residency spaces, Grant Street Studios in the Downtown Phoenix Warehouse District is also becoming an arts and culture venue – hosting the September RadaiatePHX event on Tuesday.

Organized by the Downtown Phoenix Journal and Downtown Phoenix Inc., RadiatePHX celebrates the beginning of the fall arts and theater season with a free networking event and lecture series, while showcasing Downtown’s most innovative art space – Grant Street Studios.

studioAdriene Jenik, Grant Street Studios’ visionary and director of the ASU School of Art, is currently on sabbatical but wrote in an emailed statement that she dreamed of one day bringing the Step Gallery and MFA students under one roof, enriching their surrounding community and embracing public forums like RadiatePHX.

“We are buoyed by the excitement this project-in-progress has stimulated,” Jenik wrote.

In addition to opening for special events like RadiatePHX on Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 5-7 p.m., the Step Gallery is open First and Third Fridays and 12-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Hikers Guide to the Urban Ale Trail

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

mainGet ready to hike the Urban Ale Trail Sept. 20 from 1-6 p.m., a walkable beer tasting tour from Downtown Phoenix to uptown, exploring amazing craft beers and great local cuisine along the way.

With 25 “beer stops” in all, you might need some planning. Luckily, we’ve done the orienteering for you, listing a few routes ranging from easy to advanced, depending on your “hiking” ability.

Be one of the first 300 people to reach the Urban Ale Trail base camp - District American Kitchen and Wine Bar – and receive a free commemorative growler!

The Van Buren Corridor (Easy)

Start at the District American Kitchen and Wine Bar and for $2 each, try the Sonoran White Chocolate Ale, Phoenix Ale Camelback IPA and Mother Road Gold Kolsch. The featured snack is Devils on Horseback (Bacon Wrapped Dates.) Located at 320 N. 3rd St.

easy trail

Cross Third Street and enter the Arizona Center where you’ll find Brick Restaurant. For $2, sample the North Mountain Cream Ale, Four Peaks Kilt Lifter and Four Peaks Hefeweizen. The snack is Brick’s Signature Flat Bread. Located at 455 N. 3rd St.

Head west on Van Buren Street and you’ll see Crescent Ballroom on the corner of Second Avenue. Snack on some chips and salsa and wash it down with $2 samples of Four Peaks Kilt Lifter and Odell IPA. Located at 308 N. 2nd Ave.

The Downtown Switchbacks (Moderate)

alesquareFrom District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, walk one block west to Second Street and head south to Adams Street. Steve’s Greenhouse Grill is featuring  $3 samples of Papago Orange Blossom, Oak Creek Nut Brown and Humboldt Hemp Ale. Eat a Soft Pretzel with Spicy Beer Cheese for energy. Located at 139 E. Adams St.

Follow your compass west on Adams Street and head south on First Avenue. You’ll find respite at Tom’s Tavern & 1929 Grill located at 2 N. Central Ave. Beer and snack samples will be announced soon.

Walk across the street south to CityScape Phoenix and find Copper Blues. For $2, get a taste of Four Peaks Sunbru Kolsch, Hacker-Pschorr Bavarian Marzen and SanTan Hefeweizen. Some Spicy Chicharrones will put some pep in your step. Located at 50 W. Jefferson St.

Don’t wander too far. Next door is the Corner CityScape, formerly known as Chloe’s Corner. Try $2 SanTan Devil’s Ale, Borderlands Prickly Wheat and the Grand Canyon Pilsner. You might need some homemade Trail Mix to keep your strength up. Located at 50 W. Jefferson St.

Cross Central Avenue to the east and you’ll find Squid Ink Sushi Bar. For $3, taste Badlands Citra, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA and Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori Sake. Pork Gyozas create a perfect pairing of flavors. Located at 2 E. Jefferson St. on the street level of the Kimpton Palomar Phoenix.

Just up the hill (or stairs) is Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery with $2 Samples of Guinness Stout, Harp Lager and Smithwick’s Ale paired with Irish Nachos. Located at 2 E. Jefferson St.

ModerateNext to Gold’s Gym is V’s Barbershop CityScape – a barber with beer! Try $3 samples of Kona Longboard Lager, Mudshark Full Moon Belgian White and Four Peaks Kilt Lifter while noshing on some mini pretzels. Get a free shoe polish puck (pre-oiled polishing pad) while supplies last. Located at 1 E. Washington St.

Go down the escalator to The Strand Urban Italian for a $3 Johnny Appleseed Cider, Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA and SanTan Devil’s Ale. Feeling fatigued? A Caprese Bruschetta will act as an energy bar. Located at 2 E. Jefferson St.

Next door find The Arrogant Butcher with $2 Samples of SanTan Hefeweizen, Lumberyard Knotty Pine Pale Ale and Prescott Ponderosa IPA. Pretzels & Fondue are the perfect salty snack. Located at 2 E. Jefferson St.

Head east on Jefferson to Hard Rock Cafe Phoenix for $2 Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, Four Peaks 8th Street Pale Ale or Four Peaks Lefty’s Lager. Try some signature Rockin’ Wings and Vegetarian Spring Rolls. Located at 3 S. Second St.

The final stretch is a 10-minute walk to The Duce, the southernmost destination on the trail and good camping spot for the night. Once you’ve made it, reward yourself with a $2 Schlamm (Schlitz and Hamm’s Lagers), Chi-town Schlamm (Old Style Lager, Organic Prairie Vodka and lemonade) or a Bloody Schlamm (Schlitz and Hamm’s, Bloody Mary mix and citrus on ice.) Duce Dip and Mac and Cheese Muffins make for a fine meal around the campfire. Located at 525 S. Central Ave.

Uptown Pinnacle (Advanced)

hikerguyFrom District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, walk one block west to Second Street and head north. Once you hit Pierce Street, you’ll see Phoenix Public Market Cafe. Try $2 samples of Oskar Blues Mama’s LittleYella Pils, Phoenix Public Market Amber and Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro. Recharge your batteries with some Chips and Fire Roasted Salsa. Located at 14 E. Pierce St.

Just across First Street to the east you’ll find The Turf Public House with $3 samples of SanTan Mr. Pineapple, Lumberyard IPA and Grand Canyon Sunset Amber Ale. You’ll definitely need some Fried Pickles to hike the next leg of the trail. Located at 705 N. 1st St.

One block east of The Turf, turn north on Second Street and follow the trail to Angels Trumpet Ale House. For $3, try any craft beer taps numbered 1 through 31, which are always changing. Pair your brew with a Meat and Cheese Skewer. Located at 810 N. 2nd St.

From there, it’s just a short bike ride or 10-minute walk east on Garfield Street to Mother Bunch Brewery. Choose from a selection of 20 different Arizona craft beers for $2 each, while enjoying Gougere and Roasted Garlic Crostini. Located at 825 N. 7th St.

Walk or bike one block north up Seventh Street and turn west on Roosevelt Street to Carly’s Bistro, where you’ll be greeted with $2 samples of Lumberyard Knotty Pine Pale Ale, Dragoon Stronghold Session Ale and Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. A little Hummus and Pita never hurt either. Located at 128 E. Roosevelt St.

bikeadvancedNext door is Short Leash Sit…Stay with $3 samples of Marble Pilsner, Ballast Point Big Eye IPA and Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout. For a snack, try the Pimento Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, Sausage Meatballs with Naan Wedges or a Brioche Doughnut with Chocolate Icing. Located at 110 E. Roosevelt St.

Head west on Roosevelt to Central Avenue and hop on the light rail. It’s time to hit Fez in midtown. Get off at the Indian School Road and Central Avenue rail station and walk south one block. Sip a $2 Shiner White Wing Belgian Ale, Four Peaks 8th Street Pale Ale or Stella Artois Cider. By now you’re probably running out of steam and need some Hummus and Kisra Bread. Located at 3815 N. Central Ave.

Walk about three blocks north to Central Wine on the opposite side of the street from Fez. For $3, sample THAT Roadrash IPA, OHSO Handlebar Hefeweizen and Anchor Steam. Snack on some Truffle Chips and rest up. Located at 4236 N. Central Ave.

Get back on the light rail and head to the Campbell and Central Avenue rail station where Hula’s Modern Tiki is located just one block north. Taste $3 samples of Kona Longboard Lager, Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, Kona Firerock Pale Ale or Kona Castaway, all while snacking on Hawaiian Ceviche. Located at 4700 N. Central Ave.

Next door to the north is Maizie’s Cafe and Bistro with $2 samples of Phoenix Ale Fretzy’s Unfiltered Pale Ale, Oak Creek Amber Ale and SanTan Oktoberfest Lager. Bratwurst sliders on a pretzel roll with peppers and onions compliment the samples nicely. Located at 4750 N. Central Ave.

Keep trucking north until you reach the Central Avenue and Camelback Road light rail station. It’s time to get back on the train for a final push to the summit. Just a block west of the light rail station is uptown’s newest venue The Newton, where you can rest your weary bones at First Draft Book Bar inside Changing Hands Bookstore, sampling $3 North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and the Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout. Reward your ascent to the top with a Pretzel with Spicy Mustard from MJ Bread. Located at 300 W. Camelback Rd.

Meet the Man Behind Lawless Denim

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

squareIf Roman Acevedo wasn’t handcrafting jeans and leather accessories, he’d probably be a rock star. Usually wearing jeans, a pony tail and turquoise jewelry, he’s articulate with a larger-than-life persona. Fortunately for us, he went the route of Levi Strauss instead of Carlos Santana, opening up Lawless Denim in October 2013 at CityScape.

So far, Acevedo’s hip heritage-style jeans have been a hit in Downtown Phoenix. In fact, he said he can’t keep up with the demand and is opening an additional factory in Los Angeles.

“You can still come to Lawless and get custom fitted and your jeans will be made right here in Arizona, he said. “But for our online presence, it will all come out of L.A.”

Acevedo is committed to creating an affordable American-made product, while still paying workers a living wage. His passion for sustainable local production recently led him to acquire 14 vintage looms with plans to begin producing his own chambray and denim using Arizona-grown Pima cotton. He said he’ll have 20 looms by the end of 2014.

“It will be 100 percent Arizona if we can help it,” he said.

Using high quality materials and selvedge denim, which has a finished edge instead of a frayed one, is costly and time consuming, but ultimately, he said it’s worth it.

“There’s nothing like this store that I know of west of the Mississippi,” he said.

When you come into Lawless Denim, located on the first floor of CityScape, it’s a completely custom experience. For $79, you pick out the denim, the fit, the cut, the thread color and even the buttons. You’re guaranteed to love them or Lawless will make you an entirely new pair.

Love Your Downtown at Wednesday Wind Up

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

PrintHow can we create a sense of playfulness, fun and energy in the communities where we work and live? The answer could be as simple as coming together in a public space and fostering activity through programming, atmosphere, interaction – and food, of course!

This is the simple but deep-seated idea behind Wednesday Wind Up, a weekly park activation dreamed up by Downtown Phoenix Inc. and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.

This event not only spotlights the award-winning Civic Space Park, but also brings people together on a regular basis just to have fun.

Featuring food trucks, pop-up park games, activities, music, and great local vendors like Bunky Boutique, Coiffeur’s Salon, Nostra Style House and Maggie’s Thrift – just to name a few – this event has a little something for everyone.

Wednesday Wind Up kicks off Aug. 27 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Civic Space Park, located on Central Avenue between Polk and Fillmore streets right across from ASU Downtown.

But this event is only the beginning. The fun continues every Wednesday, with special Halloween-themed programming coming at the end of October. Check Downtown Phoenix’s Facebook and Twitter pages for weekly updates.

RadiatePHX: Get Connected and Be Inspired

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

UofA-Radiate-648x398

Looking to expand your network and get involved in the community? With over four years experience connecting people to the Core, RadiatePHX is just the place.

The monthly networking takes place Tuesday, Aug. 26 with more people to meet and topics — including Downtown developments and Super Bowl Central — to discuss than ever before. And who knows… you may be the next director or executive of an organization contributing to a Greater Downtown.

Historically, the event has been an inviting space for people to connect with people and local businesses in the Downtown community, said Leslie Lindo, who is now executive director of Project Rising Phoenix, an organization that promotes urban infill projects.

“(RadiatePHX) is how I initially became connected to the downtown community,” she said. “It really made me feel welcome and a part of a strong community — an active community. It inspired me to be engaged.”

And Lindo isn’t the only one. Jennifer Boucek, director of Preserve Phoenix, also credits RadiatePHX for introducing her to the Downtown community.

“The best part (about RadiatePHX) was meeting different people and the format was very informal… and interactive,” Boucek said. “It wasn’t your typical networking mixer where you were on your own. It was an event where you interacted with a group of people and talked about different issues that were going on downtown.”

Lindo and Boucek’s experiences aren’t isolated. RadiatePHX is an informal way to connect with fellow business people, community and civic leaders, and urban advocates — all whilst enjoying complimentary bites and bar.

Hosted by Downtown Phoenix Inc., and Downtown Phoenix Journal, RadiatePHX kicks off on Tuesday, August 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Downtown Campus. RSVP on Facebook.

Downtown Living: Summit at Copper Square

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

intsummitLike so many other developments in the area, Summit at Copper Square was hit hard by the economic downturn of the last decade. Built in 2007, the building was approximately 50 percent sold when the initial developer walked away and new investors decided to lease the remaining homes.

Now seven years later, the building is transitioning over to more owners than renters. This says a lot about the current real estate market in Downtown Phoenix and bodes well for the future, according to Jeff Devorkin, broker at iGo Urban Realty.

“The history of Downtown Phoenix is being written right now,” said Devorkin. “The future is super bright and we’re just beginning.”

The second tallest residential tower in Downtown Phoenix, Summit at Copper Square offers 22-stories of magnificent views, luxurious finishes like granite counter tops and hardwood floors, and a fifth floor infinity pool and athletic center overlooking Chase Field.

But according to Devorkin, these condos aren’t just for sports fans.

“I think the urban lifestyle is a tad bit newer to this area,” said Devorkin. “But when people spend some time down here, they get it.”

The convenience of living, working and playing in the same area is really what sells these homes and starting at $172, 000, the upscale urban lifestyle is pretty accessible too.

Get a Sneak Peek of the New Downtown Directory and Dining Guide

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Directory_Fall2014

Think it’s just a new directory? Think again. The 2014 July-December Downtown Directory and Dining Guide depicts a new Downtown—a Greater Downtown.

With a local artist-designed cover, local photography, walking tours, and more businesses than ever, this issue of the directory and dining guide portrays Downtown in a new light and boasts a handful of firsts for our bi-annual publication.

The cover represents what Downtown Phoenix has become, which is a place where people not only work but live, shop and play. Gone are the “nine-to-fivers,” and in their place are residents working to build a strong, creative and diverse community.

Artist Justin Queal, whose work you may have seen inside Squid Ink Sushi, has celebrated and highlighted the Phoenix Public Market grounds in a familiar way. The vendors, shoppers and families have gathered in what’s — to the majority of us — a Saturday ritual, visiting the Saturday open-air market to grab breakfast from a food truck or the Café, pick up the week’s groceries or support a local artisan.

Previous covers have highlighted the businesses in the Core, but those are only a piece of the story. Our new cover celebrates the community — and what better place to embody it than the market, which represents the growth of our city and the direction in which it’s moving.

Reflective of the changing perimeters of Downtown, for the first time the Directory and Dining Guide includes businesses and restaurants in the Greater Downtown area, expanding north to Coronado Road, south to Lincoln Street and west to 7th Avenue, for a total of 125 additional businesses.

The Directory also includes the images from three local photographers, including Jim Louvau, Andrew Pielage and Gabriel Radley. Whether you’re a Downtown expert or new to town, peruse the new Directory and Dining Guide here to see photos, stories, tours and more.

Phoenix DinoCon: A gathering 65 million years in the making

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

juliaAfter attending numerous fan conventions like Comicon with her family, Julia Zolondz, co-creator of Phoenix DinoCon, searched nationwide for a dinosaur-themed convention to attend with her loved ones (Bobby Tyning and Patty, Carl and Trinidad Jimenez.)

“There’s no single event that’s dedicated to being a dinosaur dork,” said Zolondz.

This was true. Dinosaur conventions do exist, but are primarily focused on exploring the natural history of these colossal creatures, rather than the fictitious portrayals found in mass media.

In discovering this terrible void, an idea hatched. Why not create an annual party celebrating pop-culture dinosaurs and kaiju – their Japanese kin?

Despite some initial skepticism by her family, Zolondz booked a venue and started planning. When she says she’ll do something, she actually makes it happen. Especially when it involves something awesome, like creating a dinosaur convention.

conventionThe inaugural event – held in Scottsdale in 2013 – proved successful. Not only did people show up, but the fan base was highly engaged and enthusiastic, with lots of great ideas to contribute.

Based on audience feedback and a new sense of direction, Phoenix DinoCon moved to Downtown Phoenix and is bigger, better and more much more interactive in 2014. There’s also beer and wine.

“It’s really important that people’s voices are heard and the community is involved,” said Zolondz.

One of the best aspects of creating this event, according to Zolondz, is involving local artists, vendors and organizations. As a co-creator, she’s dedicated to supporting independent businesses and artists. Especially when they can all come together around a great common goal – one that celebrates the way dinosaurs capture the human imagination and foster creativity.

The event takes place from 3p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 2 at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. Registration begins at 2:30 p.m. and the Velociraptor Vendor Room opens at 3:30 p.m. Online tickets are sold out but more will be made available at the door for $5 each as space allows. Visit the website to see the full schedule and list of panels.

*Photos courtesy of NBMA Photography, Phoenix DinoCon 2013.