For over five years, Downtown Voices Coalition has been meeting and growing, and helping to change the face of Downtown Phoenix. Now, to honor the group’s accomplishments, they’ll take a look back on a half-decade’s worth of progress as well as glimpse into the future of our neighborhoods.
Comprised of Downtown Phoenix residents, business owners, property owners and organizations, Downtown Voices Coalition first met in the spring of 2004 at the Icehouse to discuss the revitalization of Downtown from a number of relevant, unique viewpoints. Today, the coalition’s monthly Saturday morning meetings at Roosevelt Commons are a must-attend for anyone interested in improving the Downtown core.
On January 15 and 16, Downtown Voices Coalition will host a five-year retrospective and visioning conference, and the public is welcome to attend (RSVP for Saturday required). The “open, facilitated and collegial” discussion will examine what has been accomplished in the past five years (Friday) and what remains to be done (Saturday).
Friday, January 15, 5-7 p.m.: “A Look Back”
Matador Mexican Restaurant, 125 E. Adams St. in Copper Square, 602.254.7563 — light rail station at Central and Washington/1st Ave. and Jefferson
This opening night affair will feature free appetizers, no host cocktails, an introduction to the visioning conference and a few special presentations on the coalition’s accomplishments thus far.
Saturday, January 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (registration at 9:30 a.m.): “Looking Forward”
A.E. England Building, 424 N. Central Ave. at Civic Space Park, 602.262.7490 — light rail station at Central/1st Ave. and Van Buren
Saturday features discussions led by Kimber Lanning, Dale Erquiaga and a special guest, plus break-out sessions and lunch.
Previous week’s games
01/08/10 Heat 109, SUNS 105
01/11/10 SUNS 105, Bucks 101
01/13/10 Pacers 122, SUNS 114
This week’s games
01/15/10 SUNS @ Hawks, 6 p.m., ESPN
01/16/10 SUNS @ Bobcats, 5 p.m., My45
01/18/10 SUNS @ Grizzlies, 3:30 p.m., TNT
01/20/10 SUNS vs Nets, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
With the Suns out on the road for a few games, we here at Suns Spot decided to take a look at some of the places around Downtown Phoenix where Suns fans can still enjoy the games that are played away from US Airways Center. (And, after last night’s performance, there’s no way I could write about the Suns’ current play without shooting myself.)
First we’ll start with a place that’s both close to USAC and to the team: Majerle’s Sports Bar. The bar and grill owned by and named after the former Suns great and current assistant coach, Dan Majerle, is located at 24 N. 2nd St., right in the heart of Copper Square in one of the older buildings in the Downtown area. Majerle’s offers great food at great prices to go along with the great vibes, as Suns memorabilia adorns the walls inside the sports bar. Every Suns game is shown on many of the flat-screen TVs throughout the restaurant. As an added bonus for Suns fans, when the game begins, the music goes off and the sound of the games echoes throughout the bar. This is a nice touch, as most places I’ve gone to watch the game never turn the sound on. Majerle’s constantly runs specials such as Martini Mondays, which allows patrons to get a martini for $5 throughout the month of January. All in all, Majerle’s is definitely a place any Suns fan can enjoy.
Perhaps you’re not into restaurants named after an ex-athlete, and maybe you’d prefer one named after a rock star, such as Alice Cooperstown over on 1st and Jackson streets. Cooperstown has been around since 1998 and is known as the place “Where Jocks and Rock Meet,” as the nearly 6,000-square-foot, two-story dining room contains a rock n’ roll atmosphere while playing all sports and only sports on all 16 of its big-screen TVs. Cooperstown shows every Suns game, paired with its made-from-scratch homestyle and barbecue dishes, along with daily drink specials. Cooperstown is definitely a place every Suns fans should consider going to take in a Suns road game.
For those looking to enjoy a Suns road game without heading all the way into Downtown, Half Moon Sports Grill on 20th Street and Highland Avenue is always an excellent choice. Half Moon may not be owned by a celebrity like our first two selections (though there is an interesting story behind its name, which can be found on its website), but it does offer up a great atmosphere for fans to take in games while enjoying a wide menu, including the New Times Best of Phoenix award-winning wings. The best part about the wings? They’re half-off during all Suns games. With today’s economy the way it is, you can’t afford not to head over to Half Moon and take advantage of the great deal on these delectable wings during a Suns road game.
For the last recommendation from Suns Spot, I had to go with none other than the New Times 2009 Best Downtown Sports Bar winner, Coach & Willie’s. Coach and Willie’s, on the corner of 3rd and Jackson streets, has over 20 HD flat screens that broadcast every Suns game. If the TVs aren’t enough to win you over, Coach and Willie’s offers a happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. that is great for when the Suns are on East Coast trips with early tip-off times. The happy hour includes $3 appetizers, domestic bottles, well drinks and house wine. If you can’t make it over in time to enjoy happy hour or the Suns happen to be playing a late game, Coach and Willie’s still has you covered with its reverse happy hour, running Monday-Friday 8-10 p.m., and consisting of half-priced drafts, margaritas and house wine along with $5 appetizers. If you haven’t yet, I highly suggest stopping by Coach and Willie’s sometime for a game. There’s a reason it was voted the best.
Hopefully, after reading what I suggested, Suns fans will have a better idea of the places in Phoenix that offer great deals to those wanting to watch the road game while getting a bite to eat (or knocking back a few). Be sure to check out the “eats & drinks” section of DPJ for even more restaurants and bars in the Downtown area.
From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
407 E. Roosevelt St. in Evans Churchill
For years, the stretch of Roosevelt Street that is the present-day Roosevelt Row was blighted to the point of total disregard — a far cry from the nexus of the artwalk that it is today. But, there is a lot of history in the tiny gallery space at 407 E. Roosevelt St. that is now Modified Arts. In fact, the structure is celebrating its 90th birthday in 2010.
According to property records, the building at 407 E. Roosevelt once shared a double lot with 409 E. Roosevelt (presumably the the dirt lot directly to the west of the building that is currently for sale). Though it’s been an arts space for the better part of the past two decades, it certainly wasn’t always so.
Once a single-family home, 407′s original structure was built in 1920. Renovations to the building, including a new roof and a small expansion, were completed on its 50th anniversary in 1970. It was somewhere around this time that the building took a commercial purpose.
Walking through the previous incarnation of Modified Arts, which closed in December 2009, you could see the expansion lines by looking at the ceiling. It remains to be seen how the structure has been reconfigured for its new use as it reopens later this month.
In a 1988 property survey, the structure (and the neighborhood, in the peak of its blighted past) looked quite different. Shrouded in ivy and sans the metal façade it has today, it housed a small antiques store for several years before being rearranged as an arts space in the 1990s. Modified opened in the space in 1998, and has been there ever since.
Source: Arizona State Historic Property Inventory
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at email@example.com with the address and a brief description.
My original intention in trekking the 0.2 miles up the road to Coronado Café was to try out their Carne Pizza. Unfortunately, I have never been an investigative journalist – or, in this case, happened to look online at the menu — so I did not notice their menu changes to unleash their dinner fare on the world after 5 p.m. Whoops. Although, with the sweet aroma that was hovering over this little historic house, I was certain I would find something worth writing home about.
Upon setting foot inside this quaint cottage, you can sense the vibe they are going for — a down-home, in-your-neighborhood feel with an expansive menu. They are succeeding. Once I was seated, my mission was quite clear: locate the menu item that was producing that heavenly scent. Aha! My eyes landed on at least one of the culprits: the Roasted Chicken Sandwich.
The name itself sounds Plain Jane, but the outline for this masterpiece sounded divine. Savory roasted chicken with provolone, thick bacon, green chiles and an amazing chipotle aioli all balanced perfectly in a freshly baked MJ Bread foccacia bread. Needless to say, if you painted a picture of it, even cultured art enthusiasts would be attempting to consume the paint off the canvas.
Once this picture of beauty arrived, I was adrift in a wonderful land of heavenly scents and home-cooked delights. The taste I was swimming in was truly divine and unexplainable. My palate forgot the carne craving I had entered with (well… the bacon helped), and just allowed me to savor each bite.
I will return, oh dear neighborhood friend. And, next time, I will be after the wonders that your 5 o’clock menu holds.
Coronado Café is located at 2201 N. 7th St. in Coronado — 602.258.5149
DPJ is proud to bring you the best Yelp reviews of your favorite Downtown restaurants, boutiques, venues and everything in between. Every Tuesday, visit DPJ for a finely crafted, tell-all account of a Downtown spot straight from the experts: the people!
I’m reluctant to review this location since it’s where I find all my greatest deals and really, I don’t want to share with you. But I will since we’re friends.
50% off Saturdays are CRAZY. Be prepared. If you are clostraphobic you should avoid it at all costs. However, you can get smokin’ deals on pretty much everything if you’re willing to deal with massive crowds. This Saturday I got close to $200 worth of pristine Anne Taylor dresses, slacks, and shirts for about $15 — total.
This store is clean and doesn’t smell like dead people — a huge bonus in my book. It’s well organized and the people that work there are really helpful. One of the better thrift stores in the area by far.
Goodwill is located at 4005 N. 16th St. in Uptown — (602) 279.5870
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 25 million viewers just last month!