Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category

Downtown Living: CityScape Residences

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

cityscapeAs the housing market rebounds, more people are considering Downtown living, as seen in the volume of leasing flow at places like CityScape Residences.

“We’re opening at the right time in Downtown Phoenix,” said Travis Shumake, general manager at CityScape Residences. “There’s a lot of buzz about what’s happening with the revitalization and we happen to be the new shiny penny sitting in the middle of it all.”

It’s all about ease and access, according to Shumake. People love the amenities, the floor-to-ceiling views of the city and the concierge service at CityScape. But most of all, residents love being just an elevator ride away from everything in the Downtown core.

Open just five months, the complex has already reached 50 percent occupancy and Shumake hopes to reach full occupancy by Christmas, a fairly lofty goal for a concept that’s completely new to Downtown Phoenix.

“When you look at other thriving downtowns that are really taking off or have taken off historically,” Shumake said, “the component that we seem to be missing is that luxury apartment option.”

Creating a modern high-end living option is exactly what RED Development, the brains behind CityScape Residences, sought out to do.

Located atop the Hotel Palomar, residents of CityScape have full access to the same amenities as the four-star hotel including 24-hour room service, valet parking and housekeeping.

As an added incentive, the Black Card program available to all residents offers 15-25 percent discounts to all businesses at CityScape, and that’s recently expanded to 23 restaurants and retailers Downtown.

To an outsider, Downtown living might seem more appealing to a specific demographic. But according to Shumake, it’s surprisingly eclectic.

“It’s a unique mix because everyone wants this quality of life,” he said.

The Vig Fillmore Fits Right Into the Neighborhood

Thursday, July 17th, 2014


“Let’s just go to the Vig.”

When locals need good food, great drinks and a laid-back atmosphere, they know where to go. That’s how the Vig’s slogan developed, according to Graeme Doyle, general manager of the Vig Fillmore.

“My favorite part of this restaurant is the diverse melting pot of people Downtown,” Doyle said. “It keeps things exciting.”

Located in a 1914 renovated bungalow on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Fillmore Street, it’s smack-dab in the middle of a residential area, living up to its “neighborhood tavern” concept.

True to form, the menu is filled with comfort food staples like mac and cheese, hot wings and burgers, but with a contemporary twist. Try the impeccably seasoned blackened fish tacos or Pad Thai for a delightful break from the ordinary. Wash it down with a cold beer from the Coronado Brewing Company, winner of the 2014 World Beer Cup, and you’ll want to move right into the neighborhood.

vigThis is the third Vig location in greater Phoenix, which opened its doors September 2013 and assimilated quickly into the Downtown Phoenix community.

With bocce ball court, large patio and live music, it’s easy to see why people love coming here.

“It’s the growth of Downtown that’s made this location possible,” Doyle said. “Anything we can contribute to that growth is a great thing.”

Location and Hours:

606 N. Fourth Ave. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-12 a.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Check out the Vig’s happy hour specials and brunch (featuring bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary bar) on the weekends.

Top Ways to Beat the Heat Downtown

Thursday, July 10th, 2014


Unless you’re positioned directly under a mister covered in shade, or submerged in a body of water, Phoenix in July makes most people want to hunker down and just hibernate until fall.

Fortunately, Downtown Phoenix has plenty of cool activities to keep you active, even during the hottest months of the year.

2014logoPhoenix DinoCon
This dinosaur fan convention features the designer behind Jurassic Park’s Tyrannosaurus rex, in addition to other great panelists, demonstrations and dino-themed exhibitors. All the fun goes down indoors at the Phoenix Center for the Arts August 2.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.27.39 AMDowntown Museums
The Arizona Science Center, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Rosson House Museum and Phoenix Art Museum all have one thing in common: they’re nice and cool inside. In an effort to preserve the wonderful art, architecture and treasures found inside, each museum is carefully climate-controlled and ready to be explored in comfort. Downtown’s museums also have great summer programming for kids, so check the event and exhibition listings and ask about free or discounted days, which most museums offer. It’s a great way to get the whole family out of the house.

Arizona_Diamondbacks3Arizona Diamondbacks
Baseball and summer go hand-in-hand. With a steel retractable roof and high-powered air conditioning system, being at Chase Field is like watching a live game from the comfort of a movie theater. With tickets starting as just $9, there’s no reason to miss a game.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.38.44 AMSurfing on Central
Grab a towel and head Downtown for some body boarding at CityScape. Surfing on Central is now open, with an introductory offer of $10 for 30 minutes. Inquire at the “Surf Shack” inside Chloe’s Corner and feel the rush of surfing in the desert!

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.40.19 AMFlamenco Por La Vida
Every Saturday night Crescent Ballroom hosts Flamenco Por La Vida, a free show in the intimate lounge area, featuring the beautiful and traditional art form of southern Spain. Passionate Latin music, the pounding rhythm of step patterns and an ice-cold beer; what could be better on a warm summer night?

mercuryPhoenix Mercury
These ladies are on fire this season, with their seventh straight victory on Sunday against L.A., they’re well on their way to becoming the best team in the WNBA. Tickets start at $12, the drinks are cold and the indoor U.S. Airways Center is the perfect place to watch an Arizona team dominate the competition.

10173608_10152176451632677_4352584793793570336_nCivic Space Park Splash Pad
Splash pads are a great way to cool the kids off, especially young ones who can’t swim yet. Add in some colored lights in the evening, lots of shade trees during the day, proximity to the light rail, and this attraction is sure to make the whole family happy. Come on the second or fourth Friday night of the month for “Fridays in the Park,” which features games, movies, music, poetry and more! Hours are 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, but the city changes the hours depending on park events, so call ahead of time 602- 262-6412.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.51.14 AMPool Party at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden
Cool off every Saturday and Sunday with live DJs, cornhole, table tennis, a photo booth and great food and drinks from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo Project: Downtown Phoenix Stories – #DTPHXWorldCup

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Let’s face it, Tuesday was kind of a bummer. Belgium overpowered team USA 2-1 in the last game of the World Cup before the quarterfinals. But despite the loss, Downtown Phoenix really came out on top, bringing in hundreds of people from around the valley and packing bars, restaurants and pretty much anywhere with cable TV.

In true sports-mania fashion, people dressed up, painted their faces, drank beer and took to social media. We compiled the best photos from around the Web, capturing the personality, drama and anguish that only soccer fans possess.

You can join in the fun too – just follow @downtownphoenix and look out for the next hashtag and photo project.


@kelliehwang – Packed house @crescentphx for the game! Go USA! @FIFAWorldCup #Merica #dtphx


@lukasnaugle – Working during the #WorldCup in #dtphx #dtphxworldcup with @Potbelly @downtownphoenix


David Stevenson – FIFA World Cup at GypsyBar

justin_la piazza

@lapiazzaalforno – #tiltedkilt #usa #outlaws #letsgo #usa #usa #usa !!!!!


@miraword – Packed house at Crescent Ballroom for #USA #dtphxworldcup #2014WorldCup #dtphx


@gentleman_joes – Top of the morning friends! #dtphx #worldcup action and a #haircut to start your week.

The Summer’s Heating Up With Downtown Events

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Summer in the City

Think the heat has killed all the fun? Think again.

Downtown is still bursting at the seams with events this summer with several performances, sports, parties and activities taking place every day of the week. Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or refuge from the 100-degree weather, check out our extensive events list and celebrate Summer in the City now through September.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Independents’ Week Roosevelt Row Pub Crawl

The founding fathers certainly enjoyed an ale or two in their day and you should too. Join Local First Arizona for a pub crawl through Roosevelt Row favorites like Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Carly’s Bistro, FilmBar, Bliss/ReBar and The Local. Each will have a $4 drink special plus attendees can compete for special prizes along the way.

LUSTRE All American Independence Day Party

Spend your Fourth of July cooling off poolside and playing a game of cornhole at Lustre Rooftop Garden. Starting at 11 a.m., they’ll have live music, specialty cocktails, games like table tennis and Champong (beer pong with champagne), and a “Most Patriotic Costume Contest” with prizes.

All-Star Fan Fest at CityScape

Gear up for the WNBA All-Star game with Mercury and Suns entertainers, live bands and special giveaways during the All-Star Fan Fest at CityScape on Friday, July 18. The event is free and will feature bounce houses, sport court and other fun.

Phoenix DinoCon

This dino-mite pop culture convention is celebrating the Jurassic Period with an exclamation mark by offering a full day of dinosaur panels, demos, crafts, art and more. It’s stomping into Downtown on Saturday, August 2 and will even include a chance to meet the man who created the T Rex for “Jurassic Park” as well as a sneak peak into the new Jurassic Park film, “Jurassic World,” set to be released next year.

On Tour

With a plethora of venues in Downtown, it’s no wonder it’s the Phoenix’s headquarters for major shows and headliners. And we have quite an eclectic mix headed to a venue near you—check out Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga at US Airways Center or John Legend and Pat Benatar at Comerica Theatre.

There’s no need forfeit fun in the summer heat—just check out the full list of summer happenings that will leave you feeling refreshed, cool and entertained. And keep checking back for more—we add to it every day.

Belle & Sebastian Take The Stage At Civic Space Park

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014


The Scottish indie pop sensation Belle & Sebastian are gearing up for their 2014 North American Tour and are scheduled to play Civic Space Park in Downtown Phoenix on Wednesday, October 8.

Belle & Sebastian are in the process of recording their ninth studio album and are widely revered in Europe by music critics and enthusiasts alike. They have recently been written about in the Rolling Stones and their folk ’60s pop tunes have consistently topped the charts in the UK. The excitement from music lovers here in Phoenix is also contagious and reinforces the expectation for Downtown Phoenix to rise to the top as a world-class music destination.

Outdoor park performances and Arizona weather are a matchmaker’s dream and Downtown Phoenix is ready to take center stage. The fact that Phoenix is attracting the attention of high profile artists and has an abundance of programming locations–both outdoor and indoor–is exciting and sets the tone for even more activity to come. The momentum around the music scene in Phoenix is a great opportunity for the city to shine and take big steps towards the bright future of consistent event activation.

So get your concert blankets ready for a night of folksy frolicking. Tickets are already on sale and range between $32 and $41.

*Photo Courtesy of Belle & Sebastian Tumblr

Map Your Live Music Adventure

Thursday, June 12th, 2014


Downtown Phoenix is growing as a vibrant music destination, with so many venues ranging in sizes that accommodate international artists to up-in-coming local bands. With old gems and new additions the music scene is first class, eclectic, and inviting.

Check your doubts at the door and dive into Downtown Phoenix music; explore the scene and map out your live music adventure. Here are some examples of regulars on the scene and ideas of how to catch them all.


1. Warehouse Wanderlust

Start off your night of music exploration in the historic Warehouse District of Downtown Phoenix with Last Exit Live and The Pressroom. These venues are the latest to rock this area, both regularly featuring national touring acts and opportunities to get to know the latest small local band. Both venues offer up a new vibe and reason to explore the historic neighborhood around. From there it’s an easy jaunt on over to Crescent Ballroom where you can catch a late show or just dig into the best nachos around.

2. High-Roller Route

Getting ready to see your favorite headliner at US Airways Center? Stop into Hard Rock Cafe first for some onion rings and kick back with the sounds of their live band before hitting the big show.  If your destination is Comerica Theatre, start your night with some live music while sipping a local brew at Copper Blues before the easy walk over to catch the big band.

3. Soak in the History

Get ready for a night at the historic Orpheum Theatre by starting out at Seamus McCaffrey’s for a live music appetizer then, after your show, perhaps end your night dancing to the DJ at Hanny’s.

4. Feeling Artsy?

Start your night off classy and visit The Nash on Roosevelt Row for some live jazz music. Then maybe circle back around on your trusty bike to end this night of culture and catch some tunes at The Lost Leaf.


Phoenix has it all and is willing to hand you the music keys to the city. Over a dozen venues within walking or bike riding distance are just waiting to lure you in and enchant you in that special way only music can. Have your own favorite music map? We would love to hear from you!

Check out the more interactive Music Map here.

Where To Watch the World Cup

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

It happens every four years and now the FIFA World Cup will be decided during four weeks of heart-pounding action.

Where will you watch every corner kick, header and goal? Downtown Phoenix has the perfect pitch for you and your soccer hooligan friends.

The Rose & Crown Pub

740080_10152022222345633_8132675889474553105_oThe Rose & Crown Pub at Heritage & Science Park has been working tirelessly to create the ideal setting for fans to watch all the World Cup matches, even erecting a covered TV stadium with two 80-inch screens and misters to accommodate large (and loud) groups.  There’s also a Caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail) bar and trailer offering three additional screens. Raffle prizes include trips to Las Vegas, Diamondbacks tickets, jerseys and official World Cup gear.

Though it’s preferred that you support Team USA or England, all allegiances are welcome. And while you’re glued to the many screens, you can sip specially priced Oskar Blues beers including Old Chub, Mama’s Little Yella Pils and Dale’s Pale Ale ($4), plus the deliciously potent G’Knight Imperial Red ($4.50).

Film Bar

Like big screens? Enjoy Team USA matches (first up, Ghana on Monday, June 17) on Film Bar’s projection screen for free. Members of La Furia Roja 1881, a Phoenix-based soccer support group, get $4 draft beers.

Tilted Kilt

Opening at 8:30 a.m. for 9 a.m. World Cup matches, the Kilt will be serving up a special breakfast menu featuring corned beef hash. The Downtown location is home to the Team USA-supporting American Outlaws soccer club.

Networks Bar & Grill

Networks is World Cup Central for fans of any country. They’re even offering special bar items for all the teams, like the Brazilian Caipirinha and American Apple Pie shot.

Coach’s Corner Grill

For June 17’s big Mexico vs Brazil match Coach’s Corner will be giving away an official Team Mexico jersey and other prizes, plus have the Modelo girls on hand to mingle with fans. Speaking of Modelo, get 24 oz. cans for just $4, Newcastle bottles for $4 and $3 Coors Light drafts.

Majerle’s Sports Grill

Downtown’s longtime sports HQ will be showing all the matches with sound.

The Turf Irish Pub

The Turf will open early to show World Cup matches with sound and offer a rotating list of specials.

Chloe’s Corner

It’s surfing and soccer this summer at Chloe’s. While you’re waiting to take your turn on the FlowRider you can peruse the selection of board shorts and bikinis at the surf shop while taking in the World Cup action.

George and Dragon

Home base for Team USA, England and Mexico, the historic pub and restaurant will be opening an hour before each day’s first match.

The World Cup starts Thursday, June 12 and continues through Sunday, July 13.


Roosevelt Row Debuts Vampire Hours

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

It’s First Friday. And today through Sept. 1, Downtowners and visitors alike can beat the heat and shop local during Roosevelt Row’s new Vampire Hours.

vamplogo_colorThe days of shortening business hours during our warmer months are gone. Instead, galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants in Downtown’s vibrant arts district are keeping their doors open later to cater to those night owls who’d rather not do their window shopping and bar hopping in the summer sun.

“The summer is actually a time when many shift their schedules to experience the uniqueness Phoenix has to offer after dark,” said Nicole Underwood, Director of Operations for Roosevelt Row CDC, a non-profit organization that serves area businesses. “Vampire Hours will be a great way for residents and visitors to explore our arts district any night of the week.”

During the Vampire Hours promotion, Roosevelt Row businesses will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. or later. For a list of participating businesses visit the Roosevelt Row CDC web site.

New Cocktail Parlour Opens Friday

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The Accidental Connoisseur

As smooth and swanky as a Manhattan but warm and welcoming too–the new Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour opens Friday and is sure to impress. Behind the frost-covered windows in the historic Luhrs Building lies a vintage lounge with a bar menu that includes over 50 carefully crafted cocktails plus beer and wine.

We were fortunate enough to get a sneak peek last week at the space, which is a dead ringer for a time and place where the spirits were strong, and a necktie and pearls were routine.

Though there were several different options on the menu, The Accidental Connoisseur (pictured to the left) stood out among the rest with Carpano Bianco and plum wine stirred with bitters, lemon juice and red wine syrup. What’s then placed in front of you is a citrusy, bittersweet concoction that is the epitome of class and elegance.

The cocktail paired nicely with the beets & eggs dish, which came with peppery roasted beets, hard boiled egg, crisp potato slices and smoked salmon laid over a creamy dipping sauce.

The real show stopper was dessert, which was a modern twist to a campfire classic: Four delicately roasted marshmallows served on top of a graham cracker stick along with a warm bowl of chocolate for dipping.

So while you sip on an old-fashioned or one of their signature drinks, make sure to check out the food menu, which features small bites like the market meat and cheese board, heartier grub like the Tropic Thunder Burger and sweet treats like, well, s’mores.

So cool off this weekend, grab a carefully crafted cocktail and see for yourself what’s sure to become a local favorite. You can read more about the cocktail parlour and its owner, Ross Simon, here.