Some news items don’t need translation. That’s why DPJ launched the From the Wire series, so we could serve the destinations here by posting information and announcements – in their own words.
Devour Phoenix and Waste Not Team Up for Hunger Awareness Drive July 17 -31
Devour Members set goal of using local food producers to raise enough money to feed 100,000 people
This July, the Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition, an initiative of Local First Arizona and the hosts of the Devoured Culinary Classic, is collaborating with Waste Not to tackle hunger in Phoenix through their Devour for Waste Not campaign.
Waste Not, a local food rescue organization that collects up to 6,000 pounds of local food daily and re-distributes it to agencies and organizations that feed the hungry, is able to gather and re-distribute a surplus of edible food that would otherwise be thrown away. The collaborative effort has set a goal of feeding 100,000 people as a result of the Devour for Waste Not campaign and, with your help, will reach that goal. For every dollar raised by Devour restaurants, Waste Not can feed six people.
The details are simple and fun: help them reach their goal by dining out at one (or all 12!) of the participating restaurant locations from July 17 to July 31 and ask for the Waste Not featured dish. Each restaurant will be using local food purveyors like The Meat Shop, Queen Creek Olive Mill and Seacat Gardens and proceeds from the featured dish will go directly to Waste Not in their efforts in combating hunger.
IF YOU GO
What: Devour for Waste Not
When: Tuesday, July 17 to Tuesday, July 31
Where: Astor House, Beckett’s Table, Bliss/ReBar, Cibo, FEZ, Gallo Blanco, Humble Pie, St. Francis, Switch, The Parlor, Tuck Shop, Urban Beans
Remember the guy who taught you how to ride a bike? Who interrogated your prom date about his intentions? Or maybe you were cheered by him at your sports games growing up? There’s a good chance you call that man your father (or father figure), and this weekend just happens to have a special day for him.
But how do you show your appreciation? While spending time together may rank as the #1 gift, spending a few bucks on the guy at these Downtown Phoenix boutiques surely ranks a close second.
If your dad tends to shop at brand-name stores and would never be caught dead in a regular T-shirt, then you likely have a pretty debonair dad. This man don’t care for the typical clothing that doesn’t have any pizzazz – he likes to make an entrance and isn’t afraid to stand out in a crowd. Amir’s La Voûte, located inside Vintage by Misty on Central, has his essentials covered.
If your dad is relaxed and loves to throw on his favorite old T-shirt for any occasion, then you most likely have a street-style father. This chill attitude exudes through his wardrobe choices. He might layer the classic essentials with a vintage twist and, sure enough, those proportions work cohesively for him. GrowOP is a fabulous shop on 6th St. that is sure to be equipped with a thing or two to give to the street-style dad.
If your dad is always impeccably dressed, seamlessly put together, but always has a quirky detail on his outfit, then you probably have a hipster father. This man leaves no detail untouched and always has the perfect accessories to complete his ensemble. He also knows he likes to keep things simple and demure, perfect for a business meeting yet still appropriate for afternoon cocktails. Dapper+Dash, sold at Mercantile on Central, is a brand dedicated to the bow-tie, and perfect fit for the hipster dad!
For information on sales happening at these boutiques in June, check out the Fashion Roundup!
The Garfield Galleria is home to many talented artists, including three fashion-forward designers. I sat down with a T-shirt creator, jewelry maker and a gown seamstress and got an up-close look at their operations.
Brian Cresson, 28, is the sole designer and curator for Alter Ego, his handmade T-shirt line that is expanding quickly in the Downtown community. He uses completely original designs and stencils on each shirt, and even makes his own tags with his vintage typewriter.
Downtown Phoenix Journal: How did you come up with Alter Ego as your brand’s name?
Brian Cresson: At the time I was still at my other job, which was managing some restaurants at a local resort, I kind of started doing this and I decided to make the move down and get a little more involved in my art. So at the time it was sort of my alter ego, later on I realized that out there was my alter ego but in here doing this was the real me.
DPJ: When did you first begin creating art?
BC: It is something I have always been into. I have always been making things, building and painting things. As far as really getting into this it has really been over the past few years.
DPJ: How long ago did you decide to become a full-time artist?
BC: It has been about 3 months now. A lot of things have really happened in just a couple of months. I was juggling both of them and it felt like my other job was taking away from my creative time. It wasn’t fair to keep doing that.
BC: My main focus is the clothing right now. I was painting for a while . . . I had been pushing that for a long time trying to get people to catch on to what I was doing. I then started cutting sleeves off of my T-shirts and jeans into shorts and I decided to make a stencil to put my studio on my shirt then I thought oh I can add a little more to that and I added a few photos of them on Facebook and within two days I had about 10 requests for shirts. It was just like this is it. I have always been into fashion and I have stood out at times, so when that hit it was a light bulb moment and so I hung the paintings up and started figuring out how to do clothing. I just taught myself and I learn something new everyday.
DPJ: How do you choose your fabrics for the shirts?
BC: Everything is handpicked. I collect vintage shirts from around town; thrifting all around from the Downtown shops to Mesa. I pick depending on the feel of the shirt, how worn is it and what the print is on it. I like a lot of local stuff and I find really neat pieces that are of different things that have happened in the past in Arizona and the world, like one from Arnold Schwarzenegger running for California governor to beat the heat shirts from the heat wave in Arizona in 1991. A lot of my time is picking the right shirts and colors.
BC: First I hand pick the shirt for the design, from there I am hand drawing whatever symbol or design that is going to be on there and then making that into a stencil, which I also hand cut. Then working right on the floor, I use actual screen print ink and I paint it by hand with a paint brush. It is quite a tedious process.
DPJ: How long does each shirt take to make?
BC: Anywhere from one to four hours, but that varies with each shirt. The thing is I am not doing the same thing over and over again, so it changes every time. I just keep on trying something new, which is my fault. It is evolving really quickly.
DPJ: First painting and now T-shirts, what is next for you?
BC: I want to expand to more types of clothing, more feminine cuts for shirts and tanks, creating shoes, bags and dresses. I will also use more interesting fabrics in the future.
DPJ: Are you involved in the Downtown community?
BC: Yeah, I really have fallen in love with the people and scene down here. The whole community I have come into is a great feel. I have been involved with Roosevelt Row CDC and the Valley of the Sunflowers, from the planting of the seeds to maintaining the field and the harvesting this weekend. Everyone Downtown is very supportive of what I am doing.
DPJ: Other than in the gallery, are the shirts available anywhere else?
BC: They are featured at GROWop right now, but it is all so new so finding the right places to carry them is still in process. I also have my ETSY shop. I will be having a First Friday show on Friday, July 6 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at GROWop as well.
Take a peek inside locals’ shopping bags and learn how they use health and beauty products in everyday life.
Name: Ronda Hampton
Occupation: Bartender at Legacy Golf Resort
Her Neighborhood: Central Phoenix
Where spotted: Haven Boutique (pictured below)
What she purchased:
• Tokyo Milk Le Petit Handcreme
• Love & Toast Cherry Lemonade Lip Balm
• Love & Toast Sugar Grapefruit Handcreme
• Two handmade bracelets
• Vintage sterling ring
Why she chose these products: The jewelry would probably make great gifts, but I picked these up for myself because they were so pretty. I picked the beauty products for the scents. They are so summery, light and cool, which is great in the hot Arizona summer.
Her must-haves: The hand cremes will be something I use everyday because I will probably just throw them in my purse. It’s something that’s great to always have right there with me when I need it.
How she benefits: I’ve bought a Love & Toast handcreme before and I love it because its non-greasy and it’s not too heavy at all. Now I’m picking up a new scent, but I already know I love the product. The lip balm is something new I had to try because the scent is irresistible. Its ingredients are all-natural and the list is simple and straight-forward. The Tokyo Milk also has an ingredient list with only four things listed on it, which I think is great because it’s not hard to understand what it’s made of.
Why they fit her style: The mix of vintage (jewelry) and new products makes my purchases unique and shows I like trying out the new while still using old favorites. And I’m all about the natural and simple ingredients in my beauty products because I like to be able to understand what’s in them.
Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails is trying to do something right.
Padded gloves in their approach, the powers behind the new Downtown restaurant and cocktail marker inside the equally fresh Hotel Palomar have made a transparent effort to court and coddle the new neighborhood in which they are rooted. Hopefully, this transcends over time.
Unlike other recent Downtown hotel (or big-monied) projects, who landed Downtown like an alien spacecraft, there seems to be an edge of awareness for the Downtown community here that separates.
A large, deep-pocketed development this may be, splashy and superficial it is not. With equal attention paid to both its physical, and spiritual, design, Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails appears to be a nice layover between that quirky, idealistic (and independent) hot-spot we Downtown die-hards crave, and the more manufactured corporate digs our transitioning Downtown still needs, despite those entrenched cravings to the contrary.
Weathered wood, untreated metal and communal energy pervade Blue Hound. Its deceptively raw interior is trimmed by art both playful and pointed, and, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city just above street level, Downtown’s biggest inherent asset is always dining with you: a genuine urban environment.
Honest in its hotel restaurant genes, but clear in its stance to veer off course, Blue Hound’s food menu straddles the accessible and foreign. Arizona-grown food items are injected throughout, and responsibly raised and sourced produce, proteins and seafood have a clear agenda here. The balance between food-cost and food ethics hits a good middle ground here.
Executive Chef Steven Jones is a local player who knows Arizona well, too. From respectable stints at Tarbell’s and most recently Latilla at the Boulders Resort in Carefree, Jones understands local palates and what’s possible market-wise.
Otherwise common short-ribs lean uncommon at Blue Hound, with their Flintstone-sized entry (full order $26; half $15). One of the menu’s biggest jewels, it’s a primal cauldron of tender red-meat that has been lacquered in a sarsaparilla-heavy barbeque sauce. The blue cheese grits that sit beneath show restraint, and the pickled peaches that bedazzle this aggressive rib are great, providing that perfect smack of summer.
The Kentucky-fried quail ($15) is another example of Blue Hound and Jones’ intention to tease without obscuring. Seasoned quail, fried flaky, screams of the famed Colonel’s secret recipe – Jones claims to harbor its secret mix – climbs a cube of foie gras cornbread (you read correctly) and swims in a sinful, spiced red bean gravy. These are trophy southern flavors twisted with reinvention.
Blue Hound’s beverage program is probably one of the outpost’s flashiest canons. Initially guided by San Francisco-based mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout, but built-out and fully refined by two of the Phoenix area’s most talented and enthusiastic bar personalities Shel Bourdon and Tyson Buhler, the booze menu is extensive but smart, and reasonable: most cocktails float at price point of $10 or less.
Never overwhelming, the bar showcases a brainy catalog of top-shelf spirits. From gin to scotch, rye to mezcal, Blue Hound is clearly braiding the sentiments of timeless, prohibition-era cocktailing with the exploding ambitions of current craft cocktail trends. Much like the food menu at Blue Hound, these are hand-crafted drinks that will please ardent spirit geeks and surprise unknowing hotel guests alike.
For something more serious, be sure investigate the appropriately named “The Darkness” ($10), a smoky cocktail with Bols Genever (think a malty Dutch gin), homemade lavender syrup, fresh lemon, mezcal, amaro (bitter herbal liqueur) and egg white. It’s floral, deep and smooth – the perfect introduction to an evening of menu hopping.
For something a little airier, swing for the Heathen Child ($10), a bright muddle of strawberries, Jamaican rum, strawberry-coconut creme, ginger liqueur, fresh lime and orange bitters. A cold pitcher of this on a sweltering Phoenix afternoon? Instant relief.
Blue Hound’s wine list covers ample ground as well, with almost 70 varieties – some on tap – represented efficiently. For sud lovers, a great craft beer checklist exists presenting options bottled and on tap, local and beyond. Blue Hound also flexes its muscle with its house-made ginger beer, served on tap – one of the first bars in Arizona to exploit this trend. Spicy and fragrant, their version is worth a sip. Added to a cold, fizzy cocktail or guzzled virgin, straight from the tap, it’s ginger beer on another level.
Exploring the rest of the Palomar’s multi-level lobby and common areas, you’ll also discover what is soon to be one of Downtown’s most buzzing perches, the expansive pool terrace and outdoor bar area Lustre. A colorful plank overlooking Downtown’s growing skyline, the entire space is ripe for early afternoons and late evenings lounging outdoors with icy cocktails and great gossip. Totally urban, totally un-characteristic of Phoenix (or Scottsdale), this space alone marks a new era in Downtown socializing.
Outside of Blue Hound Kitchen, and Lustre, the Palomar Hotel in its entirety lacks most of the pretension local cynics will be hunting for. Alien in its arrival it is not, the newest player on the block respectfully cues our neighborhood – and its possible future – without completely succumbing to its (sometimes) provincial pitfalls. It’s confident, proud and perfectly happy to be in Phoenix.
We couldn’t agree more.