But at PureSalon, employees and customers alike value health as much as glamour. This eco-friendly salon uses only natural, plant-based products rather than typical hairsprays and nail polishes.
Owner Debra Staufen (pictured left) said the company started when its founders decided to create a clean-air workplace.
“Because they’re working everyday in an environment with lots of chemicals that are associated with cancer, they put themselves at a higher risk for getting sick,” Staufen said. “But people walk in here and there are no smells, fumes or burning at all.”
PureSalon has a location in Midtown and another in Scottsdale, where it offers haircuts and color treatments, manicures and pedicures, skin care, and waxing. Everything from the paint on the walls to the hair dyes are 100 percent “green.”
“We call ourselves a healthy alternative in the salon business because we use natural products with all the toxic chemicals removed,” Staufen added.
She also said that unlike chain salons, all PureSalon workers use the same products to eliminate the risk of releasing potentially hazardous fumes into the air.
“All of the people who work here believe in the same concepts and live the same kind of lifestyles,” Staufen said. “They use these products because they are highly aware of their health.”
Hairstylist Brittany Miller (pictured right) said she worked in salons for five years before starting at PureSalon. In that short time, Miller said she could tell the environment was weighing on her health.
“You would open some bleach, and it was just overwhelming how the fumes would come at you—you can actually feel it,” Miller said. “If you’re offered something healthy that can basically do the same thing, why not take that option?”
Miller added that she finds it “mind-blowing” how the bleach used at PureSalon smells like vanilla.
Like other PureSalon workers, Miller said she believes in marketing herself to show the importance of health rather than just beauty.
“If we can use simplified products, we can help prevent these sicknesses to live healthier lives,” Miller said. “To me, simple is best, and it’s more about well-being than looks.”
For one Phoenix local, the salon’s simplicity helps her maintain a green lifestyle.
“The all-natural products were the most appealing to me,” said Maren Showkeir, a PureSalon customer (pictured above). “I’m a granola-head, I drive a Prius, and I buy my food at the farmers market, so it was a gift that this salon is green and right across the street for me.”
Showkeir added that the salon’s friendly, peaceful atmosphere makes the experience even more positive.
“I like the vibe and how it’s intimate rather than filled with people, noisy or stressful,” Showkeir said. “It’s calming and more personal than other salons, which keeps me coming back.”
Gone are the days of the idea of brunch conjuring images of chattering ladies, fine hats, exquisite china and erect pinky fingers. While tradition still honors Mom once each year, survey the masses and you’ll find people of all ages taking the opportunity to sleep in, recover and strategically choose a meal, or dare we say drink, that will comfortably help them transition back into the idea of Monday.
But where to go? Here’s just a smattering of downtown brunch hotspots we’ve turned to in such moments, in no particular order. Feel free to add your favorite, whether place, dish, drink or deal.
We’re skipping the mimosa here and going straight for the tequila. Barrio Café’s version of a Bloody Mary, Sangrita, may be just what one might need after a hard day’s night. Serve it up with live music like Barrio Café does and the morning is set.
Served: Sunday, 11am-3pm
POSTINO on Central
The team known for their tasty assortment of crusty bread with various toppings has seamlessly transferred the idea to their brunch menu. Find artisan breads (country bread, grilled focaccia, ciabatta, marble rye) paired with our favorite morning indulgences like Italian ham, berry preserves, herbed butter, vanilla crème fraîche, gruyère cheese and more.
Served: Saturday and Sunday 9am-1pm
CIBO URBAN PIZZERIA AND CAFÈ
It might be a crime in Italy to not have something with Nutella on it for your colazioné in the morning, but it would definitely be a crime here in Phoenix to not experience Cibo’s saltimbocca – and their brunch is a great place to do so. Their bubbly, chewy and crispy signature bread lends itself so perfectly to their soft-scrambled eggs that it is just impossible to miss out. For those who are still worried about being booked for missing the Nutella, try it on the side with your Cornetti while dunking into a cappuccino.
Served: Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2pm
The best place to go with the most classic of choices is always the place that prides itself on ‘round the corner ingredient sourcing. St. Francis does and it shows in their American Breakfast. We suggest opting for their super-fluffy scrambled eggs and side of parmesan, sage and rosemary Fingerling Potatoes that arrive with lemon aioli and Mexican ketchup.
Served: Saturday 10am-2:30pm, Sunday 9am-2:30pm
FEZ ON CENTRAL
Famous for their kisra, FEZ recommends sharing their egg, bacon and tomato brunch version of the herbed flat bread with a friend. If that’s just not quite enough for the both of you, we’re thinking their FEZ Breakfast Pasta filled with Linguiça sausage, peppadew peppers and parmesan cheese alongside $3 cocktails sounds like fun too.
Served: Saturday and Sunday at 10am
Something for the health-conscience, something for the indulgent and a Bloody Mary Bar for the something-in-between means Windsor has it all. Try the Quinoa Oatmeal with mascarponè and dried fruit or the Homemade Doughnut Holes and delve into the $5 cocktails and “Pitchas of Beer.” That’s right: $5 Pitchers.
Served: Saturday and Sunday 9am-1pm
MAIZIE’S CAFÉ AND BISTRO
The menu at Maizie’s is the perfect balance of traditional offerings and new additions. The Corned Beef Benedict would satisfy those who prefer the savory side of things and the Banana Bread French Toast, for those who love the sweet. Top either off with a prosecco-meets-limoncello, Lemon Fizz Mimosa.
Served: Saturday 9am-2pm, Sunday 9am-4pm
MATT’S BIG BREAKFAST
We love this experience from beginning to end. Entering Matt’s is a throwback in time and the menu consistently keeps that promise. Try anything from The Hog and Chick to The Chop and Chick to simply the big bowl of Frosted Flakes complemented by a refillable cup of coffee sourced from Cave Creek and you’ll leave satisfied.
Served: Tuesday-Sunday 6:30am-2:30pm
BLUE HOUND KITCHEN and COCKTAILS
Housemade Mozzarella and berries to start your day? Is a 16-day dry-aged ribeye with eggs more your thing? Blue Hound has that and more, PLUS a weekly rotating menu of $5 Brunch Punch. We’re eyeballing the Kentucky Fried Sandwich and Salt-Roasted Baby Beets but that’s just us.
Served: Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm
Have a favorite brunch spot not listed here? Let us know!
VegCo, a new plant-based supermarket, is expected to open in a to-be-determined Midtown location. By the end of this year, the local grocery store will make it easier for people in the central Phoenix area to knock out all of their meat-free grocery shopping in one place.
Heather Francois, the founder of VegCo, said the store will provide affordable, high-quality foods for the increasing number of people restricting their meat consumptions. Francois added that she wants to make grocery shopping more convenient for those with special diet needs.
“I wanted to tie all the factors together and serve those people who eat strictly organic, who are focused on local products and community, and who may have allergy concerns,” Francois said. “I also want to able to give (Phoenix locals) plenty of options.”
She added that Phoenix needs this supermarket because of the push for sustainable living and healthier diets.
“There’s a movement growing here and across the nation as people realize all the dangers of eating meat products,” Francois said. “People are becoming more educated on plant-based diets and how they are optimal for the human body.”
Want to skip the meat? Here are a few vegetarian dining options:
Other food experts in the area are also making changes to meet shifting demands as more people join in the plant-based food movement.
Ingrid Hirtz, a chef originally from Austria, said she began building a business around vegetarianism to show people that meals without meat can actually taste delicious. Along with cooking at Fair Trade Cafe, she recently started a vegetarian meal preparation service to serve the city economically and environmentally friendly cuisine.
Hirtz added that she hopes to make people realize the standard American diet is not the standard global diet.
“The United States focuses on meat,” Hirtz said. “If you go out to a restaurant, everything on the menu has a focus on the meat—such as a pork tenderloin or a steak. But in other countries, the traditional diet usually consists of some kind of legume or grain with vegetables—meat is more of a side dish.”
Whether it be her creamy vegetable korma curry or goat cheese quiche made with almond flour and sun-dried tomatoes, Hirtz said it just takes getting people to realize the food tastes good.
“Before, people thought of vegetarians as people who cut out meat and had to go to the salad bar or just eat side dishes.” Hirtz added. “Now, it’s a cuisine in itself. People don’t realize that it can be a very satisfying culinary experience.”
Now that Phoenix residents seem to accept and understand vegetarianism more than ever before, a local meat producer said she certainly noticed the shift in views.
Beth Wilson, owner of The Meat Shop, said when she first began giving out meat samples at The Phoenix Public Market, she worried that her products would not sell among this huge vegetarian population.
“I was thinking, ‘Wow, 75 percent of these people walking by won’t even look at or touch the samples,’” Wilson said. “I thought maybe that would impact my business in Phoenix.”
Luckily, Wilson said many people come from families who still eat meat, so they visit her shop for local products made from “happy pigs” and meats made without the use of preservatives or chemicals.
Even if people refuse her products because of vegetarian or vegan beliefs, Wilson said she understands and respects their goals.
She added, “It’s just a part of their search to live better, eat better, and be a better person.”
It’s the little things sometimes.
I may be one of the few people to notice the mural on the side of the Phoenix Public Market well before the announcement that the indoor market would be closing. The mural depicts a market at the center of a community in the process of rebuilding itself. The market bears a liquor sign with an impossibly ambitious 24 hour sign (currently not legal in AZ or most anyplace for that matter).
Phoenix Public Market’s Urban Grocery never was a liquor store, but it did have the best selection of local beer and wine in all of downtown. The market featured about 2 dozen Arizona produced bottles and cans of beer as well as a few regional craft beers.
The outdoor market will live on. Some have pointed out that it was never a full-service grocer. Others have noted that there are other local gathering places that fulfill the market’s third place qualities.
There may be far more important reasons to note the market’s passing. Your Downtown Beer seeks to work on the practical: “Where does one go to buy packaged quality beer in Downtown Phoenix now that the Phoenix Public Market’s Grocery is closed?”
Downtown Phoenix has good beer available. We’ve established that. If you think about the many dozens of restaurants and beer bars with tapped beers (Copper Blues has over 60 alone) and you add in the extensive bottle list at the Lost Leaf (over 150) you’re looking at hundreds of beer choices, but it’s not as simple as that. All of those places have on-premise licenses — you have to drink it there, you can’t take it with you. When it comes to “beer to go” I can’t resist but make the analogy, “Beer, beer everywhere, but not a drop to take.”
Remembering that Chloe’s Corner took over the Oakville Grocery space and assumed the beer and wine store license, I headed over to Cityscape to see what might be available. To my dismay, Chloe’s was closed for a private event and I was literally shooed away. I couldn’t even press my nose to the glass windows to see what might be available. Rest assured, Chloe. I will be back.
Undeterred I popped into CVS and saw several 24 oz cans that are normally seen in slim brown paper bags. A lone Arrogant Bastard bottle mocked me as if it had consumed all of the other beers that might have been in the cooler. Stone Arrogant Bastard is a great beer, but we can do better. We want our locals too.
With many things downtown, you have to know where to go and you may have to widen your search perimeter. Thomas Market Liquor on Thomas and 3rd Avenue fits all of my downtown beer requirements. It has a knowledgeable staff. There are several cooler doors full of regional craft beers as well as fine imports. There is even an entire door filled with beers brewed in Arizona. The beer geek in me noted that the code on an empty shelf indicated there once was bottles Deschutes Dissident. Thomas Market Liquor is just a shade over two miles from the Phoenix Public Market — a short light rail trip or a 15-minute bicycle ride.
I settled on a Dogfish Head Theobroma. It’s an ale based upon an ancient Meso-American beer recipe containing cocoa, honey, chilies and annatto. The chiles and spice are a perfect complement a savory pork dish or a dessert with chocolate.
Fortunately, we may be on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to packaged beer. The Arizona State legislature made a change to Title 4 of the Arizona Revised Statutes that will go into effect in August. The change allows beer bars to fill growlers of beer for off-premise sale. A growler is a 64 ounce glass jug that is filled from the tap. It used to be that only a brewery could fill a growler for sales, “to go.” This law change will allow any beer bar or liquor store with tapped beer to sell them.
There will certainly be a period where businesses work out whether they want to have access to the, “to go” market, so don’t expect a deluge of options right from the get-go. A business has to devote resources and inventory to growlers. Filling a growler without beer loss is not very easy either. One hopes that of the hundreds of beer taps downtown, a few will devote some to off premise sales this summer.
Where do you shop for beer downtown?
Visit: Thomas Market Liquors, 345 W Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013 (602) 274-4780
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.
Have anything to donate? Art, furniture, appliances, etc. are welcome. Drop items off on Friday afternoon, May 18th from Noon – 5pm at the parking lot in the rear of the After Hours Building.
Artlink, creator of the wildly popular First Friday’s in downtown Phoenix and Art Detour, one of the longest-running arts events in Arizona, will be the benefactor of a warehouse clearance sale.
The sale will be held on Saturday, May 19th, from 7AM to 12 NOON in the parking lot of the After Hours Building, at 116 W. McDowell Road. The After Hours Building is in the heart of downtown Phoenix, 1 block west of the Phoenix Art Museum and the Central/McDowell Light Rail Stop.
Merchandise comes from a variety of manufacturers and most are never-used overstocks and samples. Items in the sale include gift-wrap, stationery goods, pet products, scrap-booking supplies, t-shirts, greeting cards, holiday decor plus art, furniture, appliances and more. Many prices are discounted nearly 90% from normal retail, with many items marked at just 25 cents.
According to Mike Oleskow, President of Artlink and organizer of the sale, “This is a great opportunity for people to get incredible deals and support the Phoenix Arts community. Proceeds help keep services like the First Friday shuttles running each month. While free for First Friday participants who love using it to explore art and to get around Downtown, the shuttles are Artlink’s biggest expense each month.”
Artlink Phoenix is one of the oldest, all volunteer run, 501-C-3 arts organizations in downtown Phoenix. Its mission is to maintain and enhance regular events, including the monthly First Fridays art walk, the annual Art Detour self-guided tour, an annual Juried Exhibition and an art-related fundraiser.
For more information on Artlink, please visit artlinkphoenix.com.