Charitable outreach is an ongoing interest for Fox Restaurant Concepts (FRC). In many different ways — financial, culinary, and more — the Arizona-based restaurant empire supports groups ranging from the American Heart Association’s Phoenix Heart Ball to notMYkid.
Saturday, October 19, FRC presents the music festival YardStock, with a portion of certain proceeds going to the Phoenix Girls Chorus, a nonprofit music education organization welcoming singers from 7-18 and offering six different concert programs this season.
Running from noon to 11 p.m., YardStock features sets from seven local artists: country-tinged rockers 36 Cents and a Dream, singer-songwriters AJ Odneal and Sam Kiles with Sol Trak Union, blues band The Sugar Thieves, Led Zepplin tribute group Song Remains the Same, alternative blues guitarist Lee Perreira, and indie rock duo Vinyl Station.
All performances take place at The Yard, a 53,000-square-foot repurposed central Phoenix motorcycle dealership housing FRC’s Culinary Dropout and Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend restaurants. Other amenities include a shared outdoor patio-courtyard space offering ping-pong, foosball, shuffleboard, and cornhole. Meanwhile, representatives from Slippery Pig Bike Shop plan to tune bikes on site during the festival.
Fundraising opportunities for the Phoenix Girls Chorus will come from the sale of t-shirts provided by Tempe-based Brand X Custom T-Shirts as well as a special promotional offer from luxury transportation provider Uber.
If you go:
Where: The Yard, 5632 N. 7th St.
Date: Saturday, October 19
Time: 12 noon to 11 p.m.
Friday, September 13th will mark one year since husband and wife team Mat and Sharry Englehorn opened Angels Trumpet Ale House, their bastion of craft beer in downtown Phoenix.
Nestled in the Roosevelt Row arts district, Angels Trumpet boasts 31 continuously rotating beer taps, along with wines on tap, a delicious menu of high class pub fare and a stunning view of downtown Phoenix from their back patio. Not surprisingly, it’s quickly become a favorite spot for beer enthusiasts in downtown and beyond.
The Englehorns’ background is in real estate and property management and the building that houses Angels was previously their office, but after nearly a decade of visiting great beer bars in other cities, they decided to take the leap in the name of contributing to Phoenix’s own beer scene. It didn’t take long for these self-professed beer geeks to learned just how thirsty other valley residents were for good craft beer.
They are grateful for the success that has come in their first year and note that being a part of the downtown Phoenix scene has been a big piece of that.
Though they already had the building, they wouldn’t have opened there if they didn’t think downtown was the right place. “Downtown Phoenix as a whole has been amazing and I think we’re continuously surprised by the neighborhood, the sense of community. There’s a lot of pride in this area.”
They’ve received a lot of support from local neighborhood folks, but craft beer has also proven to be a siren song for people from other areas of the valley, drawing them to downtown Phoenix for the unique selection they provide.
So what has it taken to keep a place like Angels floating along through its first year? According to Mat and Sharry it took hard work, little sleep, plenty of passion and oh yes, beer – a lot of beer.
Of course, all the blood, sweat and beers they’ve invested in building up Angels have been worth it. For them, it’s all about adding to the scene, citing other favorite local craft beer bars like Papago Brewery in Scottsdale. “Hopefully we keep growing a beer-centric community where people just continuously go to different craft beer houses,” says Sharry.
Another high point for Angels over the past year was being approached to launch the Taphunter mobile app in Phoenix. The app allows you to see what’s on tap at Angel’s and at bars around the country at any time or to search for your favorite beers.
So how do you properly celebrate one year of pouring great craft beers? You give the people what they want: great craft beer! Throughout the past year, Angels has been saving up special, one-off kegs, specifically to be tapped for their anniversary.
Beginning at 11am on Friday the 13th, they’ll be tapping their special cache of kegs and will continue as long as the supply lasts. Expect a wide variety of beers, from a barrel aged Old Rasputin to rarities from Belgium, Italy, and Iceland to specialty brews from favorites like New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Odells – and of course plenty of the usual suspects.
As an added bonus, they’ll also offer limited edition stainless steel anniversary pint glasses for $12. The first 100 of the glasses will be released at noon on Friday and another 100 will be available later that day at 5pm.
According to Mat and Sharry, the anniversary celebration is all about the beer and about thanking those who have helped them get to this point. Essentially, it is a toast to their supporters, as they put it “here are more great beers for you guys, thank you for supporting us and we hope you continue. We’ll try to continue our march towards great craft beer.”
Cheers to that!
Photography by Victor Cosme
Every year a new crop of ASU students stream into downtown Phoenix and begin to “explore the core” as they navigate their way to class and their new home.
At DPJ, we encourage these urban adventures and are launching a fun social media hashtag campaign to encourage this discovery of the the people, places, and events that bring our urban core to life: #My1stTime.
Students, as you explore downtown, we want you to tweet us at @dtphxjournal, or post on Facebook or Instagram, a photo of yourself enjoying your very first time visiting downtown restaurants, parks, stores, art galleries, and events.
Be sure to include the hashtag #My1stTime. We’ll share our favorites.
What can fellow community members do? Help activate this campaign!
Those of us who have been here for a while can look for these hashtagged updates, welcome these new residents and encourage them to continue their urban adventures.
#My1stTime @dtphxjournal. It’s fun. It’s easy. And your mother will approve!
Eating is very important for a thinking, doing person. Sometimes, rapt in a creative fervor, one forgets, and ends up grazing on odds and ends left in the cabinet or fridge: the bottom of a cereal box, a questionably old apple, a bag of flour.
Forced breaks are good. Getting up from the desk, the computer, the studio, and venturing out into the world where people bring you food is one of the wonders of living in a city. Being able to stay put at a table for hours without the staff angrily tapping their fingers is also a relaxing blessing.
My favorite place for a midday work break used to be the Urban Grocery at the Phoenix Public Market. You could get a half sandwich, soup and a drink next door at Royal Coffee for under ten dollars. Sadly, since they closed, I realized how important it was to find a place where you could take a break and eat or where you could work all day and have good food available to you.
Aaron Chamberlin’s Public Market Café has stepped up to fill the Grocery’s shoes with small nutritious meals and a great indoor or outdoor seating environment. Even on the hottest days, it feels comfortable and welcome to sit outside in the shade under the misters. Refillable iced tea and hours until 10 p.m. make it possible to cover all your meals, should you choose to stay there all day, or at least be available for a reliable break at any hour.
For so long I’d been searching for a place where I could work in relative peace and possibly have a beer without having to fight (sometimes perhaps literally) with downtown sports enthusiasts and banners advertising Budweiser or Blue Moon. Angel’s Trumpet has answered those prayers. Not only is the staff super friendly and knowledgeable but the place is also large enough that you can carve out a corner to set up and write, work or computerize. They are also open late with food served all day, so you can easily drop in for a lunch or break from work.
If these places seem a bit too pricey and you just need a place to eat and not work, La Tolteca, on Van Buren cannot be beat anywhere in the vicinity. The menu is huge, the staff is friendly, there’s always seating available and you have the added benefit of hovering over the baked items while you wait for your food. Al Pastor tacos, ceviche for less than six dollars, a giant cup of jamaica and a great salsa selection make this place a must-stop for all artists and musicians trying to save a buck, but have tons of food. I dare you to try to eat the entire burrito at once (please don’t).
Other locations that do wonderfully as eat/work or break/eat places include Fair Trade Cafe, America’s Taco Shop, Jobot, Bonjour Vietnam at the Hotel San Carlos, and Athenian Express (cheapest breakfast anywhere!).
Don’t forget, too, that most of these places are likely staffed by budding artists, musicians and performers. Working in a restaurant provides people somewhat flexible schedules so they can make a living and still be able to create their work. This comes in handy for occasional “hey I know you” discounts for artists or, for non-artists you have the opportunity to boost an artist’s ego by asking what they do.
You know the formula. Different location, same experience. Walking into a chain restaurant can make for a bland dinner, a boring city, and mild to severe déjà vu. Thankfully for Phoenicians, Tucker Woodbury agrees.
Woodbury and partner Jim Riley are bringing The Vig Fillmore to the historic William Edward Cavness House at 606 N. 4th Avenue. The Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood property was previously occupied by Tera’s Garden, Palatte and, most recently, Local Breeze.
While this may be their third Vig location, please don’t call it a chain.
Every Vig is different, Woodbury says, to reflect the surrounding neighborhood and clientele.
“It’s not taking our formula and putting it in a neighborhood, it’s making our formula work within the neighborhood itself,” he said.
Downtown Phoenix has a diversity of people and the Vig Fillmore will cater to a different type of patron than the Vig at Arcadia or the Vig uptown. Beginning with exposing the brick walls that have been covered up for too long, the interior will be darker, and will reflect a, “masculine, old world New York bar room experience,” Tucker said.
“It will be more sophisticated than Phoenix is used to, but I think it’s something Phoenix is ready for.”
Woodbury is no stranger to the challenges of an adaptive reuse project. The original Vig at Arcadia was adapted from an old building, while the Vig Uptown was a more contemporary, mid-century, building that had previously housed a bank*. In both of those cases, the interior design reflected the neighborhood surrounding the bar, creating a welcoming atmosphere for customers looking for a cold drink and a round of bocce ball.
For this project, Woodbury brought in Phoenix architect Artie Vigil, of AV3 Design Studio, who specializes in bringing old buildings back to life.
Maintaining the character of the house was important to Vigil, who focused on simple, functional design that respected the origins of the space.
“This is a 1915 bungalow. We can’t bring in mid-century design to this bungalow,” he said.
“We’re exposing all of the brick on the interior and creating this really cool, late 19th century bar feel; it’s something that you can imagine being in Phoenix back in that era.”
As an architect who travels between Denver and Phoenix, Vigil has high hopes that downtown Phoenix will experience more revitalization through various types of projects, not just completely new builds.
“You don’t necessarily need to have big new buildings to create the urban density that’s required for a really vibrant urban core,” he said. “Between the Vig and Cibo, this will create some fantastic synergy, hopefully attracting more people to the area.”
Although a kitchen addition was needed to sustain the new occupants, including superstar local chef Jorge Gomez (you can find him in Cocina 10 at Crescent Ballroom), no other major remodels have been made to the property. As anyone who visited Local Breeze can recall, the interior space opens up to a covered patio, and an even larger outdoor space, featuring an additional bar in the middle of the yard. Woodbury is also adding a fireplace in the corner of the yard, new trees for an enclosed feel, and the signature bocce ball court, so you can show off your mad skills.
Woodbury said they are attempting to alleviate some of the parking woes for downtown patrons by looking into district parking options a block away. For now, there will be a free valet that will be shared with Cibo.
The Vig team is aiming to open by mid-August, offering an old-world escape from the arid summer heat.
Photography by Jack London
If you go
What: The Vig Fillmore
Where: 606 N. 4th Avenue (northwest corner of 4th Ave. and, yes, Fillmore St.)
*This is edited from the originally published version.