(Please welcome guest writer Frank Morris)
Sanskrit word of the day: Sutra. It means the thread that binds. And it’s a word that one Downtown yoga studio is taking literally.
SuTRA Midtown, which opened its doors and innovative business practices in March 2009, fuses contemporary takes on traditional fitness techniques with a touch of Coronado culture in its efforts to remind the masses “it can be hip to be healthy.”
Set in what once was an abandoned factory along Seventh Street between Thomas and McDowell roads, SuTRA Midtown offers an array of exercise classes from yoga, Pilates and ballet barre to a number of sessions for kiddies and moms-to-be.
The studio also hosts a range of neighborhood events, rotating art exhibits, and is home to the Chop Shop Café, offering servings of locally roasted coffee, a cornucopia of world teas and an assortment of appetizing treats.
A fully family-owned-and-operated facility – co-owners Matt and Rebecca Fritz have four children together – SuTRA Midtown represents the unyielding will and resolve of two eager entrepreneurs and a community that turns out in droves to support them.
With backgrounds in the creative arts and real estate development, the couple said they waged everything in the midst of the worst economy in generations to open up their neighborhood business.
While the Great Recession proved challenging for an upstart undertaking, the Fritz family passion for healthy bodies, healthy minds and a healthy community kept them going.
“We’ve been living in this neighborhood for nine years and it got to the point where we wanted to do something in our own ’hood. We wanted to be that thread that binds and lets people be healthy,” Matt said. “Unfortunately, we opened our doors right before the rug of the economy got pulled out from beneath all of Phoenix. That was difficult.”
But with a mixture of affordable classes, a positive spirit, and a unique and upbeat business approach, the couple’s endeavor appears to be paying off.
“I think a lot of people were hurting, but we offered a lot of classes [30-40 a week] to help people get by,” Matt said.
“We’ve been very fortunate and have been fully embraced by Central Phoenix, the residents of our neighborhood and the residents of Downtown,” he said. “It’s been a baby-step process, but we’ve definitely been doing wonderfully.”
That baby-step process has earned the studio not only the support of the community, but multiple awards, as well. SuTRA Midtown been named best in the Valley on more than one occasion.
And from a purely selfish viewpoint, the couple’s venture has completely been worth it, they said.
“Everything we love we put into this building; that’s the whole reason we went into this. It’s really just our own lifestyle that we put into this space,” Matt said. “Even after maternity leave, Rebecca comes back to work and on the first day back says, ‘Oh, God, I love this place.’”
And it’s a place the Fritzes are hoping more and more will love, too.
Frank Morris can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Join us for a live, streamed broadcast of the Mayoral Candidate Forum for a Greater Downtown Phoenix on Monday, June 13 from the ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation. We’ll be front and center at the event, and you’ll be able to look right over our shoulders from the comfort of your desk chair.
To make this work, we need you to download Silverlight. It’s a programming language used by Microsoft that’s often used to get high quality video feeds to homes that may not have the fastest broadband connection available. MLB.TV uses it, and Tyler, our editor, tells us that he loves it, and because he complains about everything, we’ll take that as a vote of confidence (ed note- it does work).
Download Silverlight, then come back there at 5:00 p.m. and we’ll be ready. We may turn the feed on early if there’s something worth watching. If we know, we’ll be sure to update you. Follow all the action on Twitter, hashtag #phxforum
DPJ magazine’s June/July issue is hot off the presses and ready to celebrate a HOT summer. Pick up a copy at one of 300+ locations in and around the Greater Downtown area. Just a few of the issue highlights:
- Welcome | Meet Guest Editor David Leibowitz and read about his love of Downtown Phoenix
- All-Star BUZZ | Check out the rundown of MLB All-Star Week Festivities, taking place right here in July
- All-Star Regular | Read Leibowitz’s interview with Arizona D-Backs’ Luis Gonzalez and get his take on Downtown
- Paving the Way | J. Seth Anderson’s gets the scoop on a cool new parking lot innovation
- Core Values | Tazmine Loomans gives an account of her interesting conversations with the mayoral candidates
- Eats & Drinks | Justin Lee explores the core and more, helping identify the ideal culinary itinerary for locals and visitors alike
- District Beat | Courtney McCune takes the pulse of the city in a new section that celebrates the haps that make Downtown great
- Centerfold Map | Peruse a four-page, pull-out map and visit some new places on your next First Friday adventure (or any day of the month!)
- Stay up to date on all of the latest Downtown buzz and events, including Phoenix Convention Center’s record summer, the opening of the new Torch Theatre…and more!
If you haven’t picked up an issue, click below for an online view!
It can be an exercise in patience trying locate great Italian sausage in Central Phoenix.
Seasoned, snappy pork sausages heady with anise, herbs and other other spices, Italian sausages are the type of hulking, insulated one-biters worth any quest. Unfortunately, even with all of the urban corners available to roost, searching out those sturdy Italian delicatessens or blue-collar corner eateries that might serve these savory links, one too frequently turns up empty-handed. And hungry.
Family-run, and hidden in plain sight along a recklessly racing 7th Street, Calabria Italian Kitchen’s new Coronado home (a relocation from the historic Gold Spot building at Roosevelt St. and 3rd Ave.) is a curious reminder that, despite any previous realizations to the contrary, low-pitched jewels do exist if you look hard enough.
And, Calabria serves good Italian sausage. Spicy, husky cased meat sliced length-wise, pressed inside lightly amber, buttery semolina bread (made daily; locally), concealed under grilled white onions and green peppers, dusted with salt, pepper and oregano. It’s hefty and plainly satisfying.
With a menu of sizable sandwiches (think just-toasted subs) for sit-down or takeaway lunch or dinner, Calabria also serves alternating daily pasta specials and limited sweet options for dessert. It’s Calabria’s sandwiches in particular, however, that have proven to be one of its biggest magnets. From the stuffed eggplant sandwich, sweet with roasted red peppers and marinated, fresh mozzarella; and, the hefty Calabrese sandwich, which, in addition to those roasted red peppers, holds up its heaping build of grilled chicken with salty prosciutto; the petite, casual neighborhood restaurant is a great pit-spot for solid Italian sandwiches.
The Italian sausage is no exception.
Calabria Italian Kitchen is located at 2605 N. 7th St. — 602.264.2664.
DPJ is proud to bring you the best Yelp reviews of your favorite Downtown restaurants, boutiques, venues and everything in between. Every week, visit DPJ for a finely crafted, tell-all account of a Downtown spot straight from the experts: the people!
I’ve only heard about this place through the reviews on Yelp, and from those alone I KNEW I had to go here!
So, the hubs and I set out on Saturday night at about 6:30ish. We arrived and it was already pretty busy. All the tables were seated and there were people in the lounge area. However, the bar was open, and we could be seated immediately, so we snagged a couple stools.
We were hungry and wanted to try a couple things. For starters, we got the cheese curds and the fries and gravy. The curds were OK, I would have liked a crunchier batter on them, but they were seasoned very well. The fries and gravy were the showstopper of the appetizers! Herbed parsnips and potatoes, Gruyere cheese and THE MOST heavenly mushroom gravy. Seriously soooooo good!
Next up were the shrimp po’boys. They are served on freakin’ popovers!!!! These little gems were mouth watering! And I really don’t eat a whole lot of shrimp, but damn!
Last was the main event. Citrus-brined fried chicken and white cheddar cheese waffles! GOOD LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cant stop thinking about that meal! We had a couple glasses of wine and some of that housemade ginger ale — phenominal!
The bartender/waitress was soooo friendly, loved her! The atmosphere was pretty chill.
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, they bring a little ball of cookie dough out as a bite of dessert, FOR FREE! Just the right amount after the feast we had!
We will for sure be going back, hopefully the bar will be open, because they were quoting people 45-minute waits all night long and I am sooo not down for that kind of wait.
Tuck Shop is located at 2245 N. 12th St. in Coronado — 602.354.2980
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The DPJ Yelper of the Week offers honest insight on a Downtown business to help you explore your core. DPJ hopes that by partnering with Yelp to spread the good word about well-loved Downtown spots, you’ll spread your patronage and support local business.
Yelp is a social networking and local search engine that provides the reviews of places and things that matter to you. Simply log in, pick a place and queue up your inner critic. You can write a beaming review of your favorite gelato spot, or a scathing portrayal of that rental car facility you had to use after that curb came out of nowhere. Yelp’s reviews are at once honest, uncensored, wildly hilarious and true. Heck, the site must be doing something right — it had 39 million viewers just last month!