Long-time midtown restaurant favorite, FEZ is moving just a few lights south on Central to 105 West Portland, adjacent to the Roosevelt light rail station.
Fez has built their success on a fun, accessible atmosphere; an eclectic, reliable menu; full bar; late night hours and menu; and a well-trained staff. The new location will be all of that and more. The location of the new FEZ will be familiar to some as the old Portland’s, but Mark Howard (pictured right), one of the co-owners of FEZ, (as well as Bliss/Rebar) is quick to point out that “it won’t look at all like the old Portland’s. We’re giving the whole space a complete lift.”
The new FEZ will have a great mix of recognizable, but upgraded assets: expanded patio seating, including a larger patio in front and one on the Portland Avenue side; trees, planters and mounted heaters; a 25-seat bar, in a cool hexagonal shape that will make it easier for people to see and talk with one another; and bright new everything.
“We’ve opened up the space,” said Howard. “It’s going to look so fresh, new, updated. Everything will be brand new – all the furniture, lighting, equipment in the kitchen, bar, everything.” He continues, “There will be so many cool things. We’re taking all of the fun elements of FEZ and just upgrading them.” They’re using all local, small business, and independent trades for the remodel and construction. To create the fresh vibrant look of the new location they are working with artist, architect, and designer Rocco Menaguale, of Rocco Designs. Additionally, Menaguale is creating a fine art ceiling sculpture for the bar area. Local furniture designer Levi Christiansen is creating a community dining table
“People have come to us for 10 years for what they know and what they love,” said Howard. “Our menu will always have the same good, wonderful, unique, consistent items, but we’re going to expand it a bit. We’re adding more brunch items and a few more entrée pieces. But basically it’s the same menu, same great staff, same great atmosphere.”
Howard knows that accessibility is one of the keys to their success and will continue to be key in the new location, which will build on FEZ’s reputation as a fun destination and a great place to hang. In addition to the easy biking, walking, and light rail access to the restaurant, there will be plenty of parking. The garage just behind the new location has 70 free parking spaces, and there is parking all along Portland on the greenbelt.
“You have to know who’s coming downtown,” said Howard. “It’s not suburbia. People who come downtown like eclectic, not-high-end concepts. They like the idea that they can eat there every day; that it’s reliable, consistent, affordable, more accessible.”
So FEZ fans, start spreading the word. FEZ will not close in its current location until the end of the year, and the new location opens on January 2, so there will be no lapse in getting your FEZ fix.
If you go:
What: FEZ in their new location, 4,00 sf restaurant, plus 68-seat expanded patio
Where: 105 W. Portland. Next to the Roosevelt light rail station.
When: Opening day is January 2 (the current location will remain open through the end of this year)
Hours: 11:00 am to midnight every night
Parking: 70 free parking spots in the garage and street spots on Portland Ave.
Renderings by Rocco Designs. Courtesy of FEZ.
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The annual Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood Home Tour by the Roosevelt Action Association will feature many historic properties from Phoenix’s first suburb (beyond the Phoenix city limits). The Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood is a modern name for a series of neighborhoods that grew North of the city between 1893 and 1930. It spans from McDowell to Van Buren and from Central Ave to 7th Avenue. Learn about early Phoenix life by taking a rare glimpse into the history and architecture of Historic Roosevelt’s homes. Explore turn-of-the-century architecture (Bungalows, Neoclassical, Tudor, Period Revival and Southwest Vernacular Homes).
The tour takes place on Sunday, November 9th, from 11am to 4pm and will include guided tours by hip historian Marshall Shore. Enjoy eating, playing and living (for the day) in the Phoenix’s mixed use & close to everything community.
Proceeds from the Home Tour support the work of the Roosevelt Action Association’s mission to preserve the neighborhood’s unique historic character. Tickets cost $15 per person (advance $12 per person) for the Home Tour. Please visit http://www.rooseveltneighborhood.org/ for updates and full details.
When: Sunday, November 9, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Throughout Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood (McDowell to Van Buren, Central Avenue to 7th Avenue)
Cost: $15 per person ($12 in advance). Get tickets and full details.
Images provided by Roosevelt Action Association
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PORTLAND ON THE PARK DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IS FULL STEAM AHEAD
Downtown Sales Office Opening on November 6
WHO: Portland on the Park, the highly anticipated sister property to Downtown’s award winning Portland Place, is searching for those that are ready to make Downtown Phoenix their home. The energy, sophistication and culture of the urban area are attracting people of all ages and backgrounds.
WHAT: The sales office for Portland on the Park is opening and ready to virtually tour guests and prospective buyers through the property, floor plans, amenities and social spaces. Pre-sale contracts will be accepted at office opening.
WHEN: Beginning Thursday, November 6, the sales office will be open daily with the following hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am to 6pm Sunday: 11:30am to 5pm
WHERE: The sales office is located directly off of the light rail stop at Roosevelt / Central Avenue at 107 N. Central Ave, Suite 3, Phoenix, AZ 85004
PROPERTY DETAILS: Portland on the Park is a Downtown Phoenix urban living project that is situated between the three-acre Portland Park and the 32-acre Margaret T. Hance Park along Central Avenue. Once completed in mid-2016, the property will have a total of 170 condominiums and true lofts in 3 structures: four-, 12-, and 14-story towers. In addition, a five- story parking garage will be available for resident and guest parking. Home sizes range from 745 square feet to 2,381 square feet with 21 thoughtful and efficient floor plans. Prices begin in the low $200,000s with penthouse suites available under $1 million.
Community spaces will underscore the urban living that blends work and play as well as social aspects of life. The first floor 7,200 square foot commercial space will house a coffee shop, wine bar and restaurant providing a social space for residents and the Roosevelt neighborhood. A resort-like pool will be on the ground level with an open-air gathering spot on top of the 14- story tower. A state-of-the-art workout facility will also be available for resident use.
SALES INFORMATION: For more information on the condominium and true loft homes, visit: PortlandParkCondos.com or call designated broker David Newcombe, Habitat Urban, LLC at 602.277.8500.
Downtown Phoenix is a great place to celebrate any occasion, and Riette Pretorius Bartlett, owner and senior events coordinator for Downtown Phoenix Venues, knows this perhaps better than anyone.
Since 2010, she and her team have helped their clients host memorable events, including weddings and corporate parties in some of downtown’s most memorable spaces. From restored warehouses to art galleries, these venues features unique historical and architectural elements that automatically infuse a sense of culture and style into any event.
As Pretorius Bartlett points out, “none of these spaces were built to be wedding or event venues, making them different and unique. They all have a separate purpose. One was a laundry, a literal ice house, a mart, they just happen to have the right amount of open space for private events . . . these building are all around 100 years old. It is such a treat for visitors and Phoenicians to see true history, and to host an event within a space like that.”
In managing these spaces, the team at Downtown Phoenix Venues aim to go above and beyond to make their clients’ dreams a reality – from helping them stay organized, to vendor recommendations, to helping to keep their timeline on course. “We really want our clients to walk away thrilled,” says Pretorius Bartlett.
Within the Downtown Phoenix core, you’ll find a wide variety of locations that will make any event a special one. As Pretorius Bartlett notes, “these spaces are a destination on their own, well worth the trip to see a bit of Arizona history.”
Below is the list of spaces that Downtown Phoenix Venues has to offer, along with a sampling of other unique special event locations within the downtown Phoenix area.
AVAILABLE THROUGH DOWNTOWN PHOENIX VENUES
Venue: The Icehouse
Location: 5th Avenue & Jackson
Vibe: “One word: raw. This historic space is absolutely unique and the years have left it close to its original look. The roofless cathedral room is like no other space in the valley, truly extraordinary.”
Venue: Bentley Projects
Location: 3rd St. & Grant
Vibe: “Raw, but polished, with the white walls, exposed red bricks, wooden bow truss ceilings and world class art on the walls. This space is the perfect balance between raw and polished to please both the young and old.”
Venue: Phoenix Merchandise Mart
Location: 1st St. & Jackson
Vibe: Former location of Phoenix Merchandise Mart in 1946: “Like being in a downtown Brooklyn building.”
Venue: Red Bricks on 7th Street
Location: 1st St. & Jackson
Vibe: “This intimate brick building has more of a woman’s touch with it hosting an in-house florist. They have beautiful exposed bricks with repurposed pallets, giving it a more delicate touch.”
Venue: Legend City
Location: 7th Ave. & Van Buren
Vibe: “Owned by 4 creative men (3 photographers and 1 painting artist,) this space has the clean white walls of Bentley and also the exposed brick. This intimate space is perfect for smaller events.”
ADDITIONAL VENUES IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX
Venue: The Duce
Location: Warehouse district – 525 S Central Ave. Corner of Lincoln & Central
Vibe: Restored 1928 warehouse featuring vintage soda fountain, bar, and airstream trailer. The feel: “authentic, vintage, retro, comfy and cool.”
Contact: Steve Rosenstein, Co-Owner. 480 650 9160 or email@example.com
Venue: Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Location: Downtown Phoenix – 7th Street & Van Buren.
Capacity: Up to 1,250 guests
Vibe: “A special events venue with historic elegance and contemporary cool. It’s not just for the children; it’s for the child in all of us.”
Contact: Alex Wurth, Special Events Manager. 602.648.2747 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue: Arizona Science Center
Location: 600 E Washington St. – 7th Street & Washington
Vibe: “Arizona Science Center is the perfect, modern science-y backdrop to your special day. Immerse and interact with loved ones in a futuristic setting unique to you!”
Contact: Emily Gagnon, Sales & Events Manager. 602-716-2021 or email@example.com
Venue: Phoenix Art Museum
Location: 1625 N. Central Ave. – Central & McDowell
Capacity: For receptions: up to 250 with dancing; For ceremonies: up to 150
Vibe: “The space is architecturally special. Cummings Great Hall has 27ft ceilings with large-scale contemporary art and a dramatic lobby for arrivals. The Dorrance Sculpture Garden is an enclosed urban oasis for ceremonies. Photo-ops abound. Year-round climate control of 72 degrees.”
Contact: Events Department. (602)307-2019 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Roosevelt Row – between 2nd & 3rd street
Capacity: 250+, depending on season. 150 for seated reception.
Vibe: “The monOrchid is well-known in the Downtown Phoenix Arts District as a modern industrial chic gallery which offers its visitors a one of a kind urban experience. With masonry walls and soaring natural wood bow trusses, the historic remodeled warehouse is a truly unique place which can accommodate any event ranging from large receptions with musical performances, to intimate sit-down dinners, weddings, receptions, business meetings, photo & film shoots, fashion shows, and fundraisers.”
Contact: Ashton Brown. 602.253.0339 or ashton@monOrchid.com
The enduring tradition of Oktoberfest just goes to show that the Germans knew how to throw a great party. The Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures will continue their party-throwing tradition this Saturday in Hance Park. What began as a massive wedding celebration for the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen carries on 200 years later as an annual celebration of all things deliciously Deutschland. Of course, Oktoberfest isn’t just an excuse to pull your favorite lederhosen out of mothballs. It a great opportunity to learn a bit about a key part of the event and something the Germans do exceedingly well: make beer!
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, beers acquire their flavor from different varieties of hops, barley and wheat. Hops are a type of vine with flowers that are used in the process of brewing.
Soil chemistry and nutrients are critical to the taste of hops, as well as the taste of grapes used for winemaking. Loose soils are ideal since they provide the necessary level of water drainage.
Filtration is also a key part of the process. Mother Nature knows this and thus provides a natural filter in the form of a mineral called Diatomite. Diatomaceous earth, as it’s also know, is often used in farming for grain storage as a natural insecticide and an anti-caking agent.
Now that you’re in on a few of the brewers’ secrets, you can enjoy the fruits and grains of their labor and raise a stein to Ludwig and Therese at the Old World Phoenix Oktoberfest on Saturday October 4th at Margaret T. Hance Park. The celebration starts at noon with a ceremonial keg-tapping and carries on til 9pm. Look for rides, music, dancing, authentic German food and beer – lots of beer.
If you go:
What: Phoenix Oktoberfest Festival
When: Saturday, October 4, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd Street (entrance to festival is off of East Moreland Street)
Admission: $10 per adult, under 21 is free. To pre-purchase your tickets.