Local First Arizona (LFA) has launched “Shift the Way You Shop,” a campaign aimed at strengthening the local economy, increasing civic pride, and changing consumer buying patterns to increase the economic and cultural sustainability of the region. During this economic downturn LFA has identified a plan that will assist in economic recovery. It will also improve our environment, create jobs and enhance community development.
To celebrate all of the wonderful local businesses in the valley, Local First has partnered with METRO to create a light rail wrap and a full marketing campaign to run through the holidays that will include a mobile app which riders can use to find any locally-owned retail store, restaurant or entertainment within ½ mile of each light rail stop. The mobile app is free and is available at the mobile Shift the Way You Shop website.
“Many people don’t realize how many locally owned businesses are located near the rail,” explained Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of Local First Arizona, “and that choosing a local businesses to patronize means residents are keeping more money right here at home in Arizona.” Lanning cites several studies that prove that buying locally actually increases community wealth and creates jobs.
For the launch, several notable people in the valley will identify their favorite light rail stops and join riders, local first fans, and others to ride and explore their community.
In Tempe, Councilmember and METRO Board member Shana Ellis will join Local First for a “ride along” where guests and riders will be encouraged to visit her top two light rail stops in Tempe: the Mill Avenue/Third Street station and the Tempe Transportation Center (Veterans Way/College Avenue). Kimber Lanning of Local First will act as tour guide and will offer up bits of history, interesting landmarks, and great new businesses that have opened in the Tempe area.
Those interested in joining the fun should meet at the METRO Light Rail Dorsey/Apache Boulevard station at 5PM and ride to the Tempe Transportation Center on October 12. The group will be visiting such Tempe establishments as House of Tricks, Here on the Corner, and Canteen and will learn about biking opportunities, community gardens and other little known gems about Tempe.
In Phoenix, Councilmember and METRO Board Chairman Tom Simplot will host stops at Osborn/Central Avenue and Washington/Central Avenue, which are his two favorite stops on the line. Guests will visit an urban living environment along with great infill projects like Hanny’s, Cartel Coffee and more. Again, Kimber Lanning will act as tour guide and will offer up little known facts and history about the Phoenix area. Interested riders should plan to meet the group at METRO Light Rail Central Avenue/Cameback station at 5 PM on October 18th.
Local business hero Craig DeMarco will also be doing a “ride along” which will visit his two favorite stops on the rail, Van Buren/1st Avenue and Central Avenue/Camelback. Some of the businesses on DeMarco’s tour include the Crescent Ballroom, Civic Space Park, Cowtown Skateboards and more. Interested riders should plan to meet the group at Phoenix Public Market at 5 PM on October 20th.
Prizes will be given away to some lucky riders, so join in the fun and explore the community by learning more about the local businesses that make us proud to call the Valley home. Lanning says, “We’ll even be spreading the word about great local deals like where you can buy a great locally made lunch for only $5.99.”
”Local businesses are assets to our line,” said METRO CEO Steve Banta. “The partnership with Local First Arizona is another opportunity for us to connect with these businesses and provide value to our transit riders.”
Shift the Way you Shop was inspired by a study that was recently completed in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that examined the spending patterns of residents and businesses. The study determined if all 600,000 people in Grand Rapids county simply shifted 10% of their spending from national to local businesses, the result would be 1600 new jobs, an additional $130 million invested in the local economy and an increase of $50 million in local wages within one year.
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In just five days, an exciting beginning to the Fall season opens up with a twist of a cork and the sensual smell of an understated Merlot or the vibrant, fruity aroma of a Chardonnay. Urban Wine Walkers will get the chance to whet their whistles by sampling wine and soaking in the atmosphere at 17 participating locations in Phoenix and Tempe on Saturday, September 24 beginning at 11 a.m.
The Downtown Phoenix Partnership organizes this twice annual wine walk to give participants a taste of the high life at a great price. An incredible variety of restaurants and bars will offer up to three wine samples and snacks from $2 to $4 to everyone participating in the Urban Wine Walk. And if you’re one of a lucky 600 to stop off at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, you’ll be treated to a goodie bag filled with freebies, coupons and the latest dining guide to help you fully experience the flourishing urban dining scene.
This unique experience provides a chance for wine novices, connoisseurs and everyone in between to gather with friends, enjoy good company, sample new tastes, find new favorite wines and restaurant spots, and have a great time in a vibrant urban setting. This year’s event has some exciting new additions to the program, including restaurants such as the Arrogant Butcher and Nobuo at Teeter House featuring Sake and delights from the James Beard award-winning Chef Nobuo Fukuda. Of course, many of our old favorites like Kincaid’s Fish, Chop and Steak House and Sam’s Café will also be offering wine and food that will please any palate!
It couldn’t be easier to participate. All establishments taking part in the event are a short walking distance from three central light rail stops in Phoenix, Central Corridor and Tempe. And with a full day light rail pass costing only $3.50, it’s a great way to enjoy this exciting event! Get going at any time after 11 a.m. at the location of your choice. The walk wraps up around 6 p.m. Special thanks to Mix 96.9 for getting the word out.
So, come on down to Downtown Phoenix this Saturday. It’s time to Live It Up!
Urban Wine Walk Participating Establishments
- Hula’s Modern Tiki
- 1130 The Restaurant
- Arrogant Butcher, The
- Brick Pizzeria & Wine Bar
- District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
- Icon Lounge at the Wyndham Phoenix Hotel
- Kincaid’s Fish, Chop and Steak House
- Networks Bar & Grill
- Nobuo at Teeter House
- Phoenix Public Market
- Rose & Crown, The
- Sam’s Café
- Steve’s Greenhouse Grill
Tempe Mill Ave. & 3rd St.
- Caffe Boa
- My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
Urban Wine Walk At a Glance
Who: Downtown Phoenix Partnership
What: Urban Wine Walk
When: Saturday, September 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Downtown Phoenix, along the light rail line
Cost: Free, participants must be at least 21 years old. Wine samples cost between $2 and $4
Urban Wine Walk maps and all the details for upcoming fall events are available online.
The February/March issue of DPJ magazine features a conversation with PHXRailFood.com blogger David Bickford on food along the light rail. Here are further excerpts from food editor Justin Lee’s session with the famed foodie.
DPJ: Which of your reviews has generated the most feedback?
Bickford: That’s hard to say. I don’t get a lot of comments on the blog, maybe because I tend to be measured in my wording and not make outrageous statements. I’ve gotten some nice feedback via Twitter for my reviews of Giant Coffee and Caffe Boa. That feedback meant a great deal because it came from individuals who have actually written restaurant criticism for a living.
DPJ: How do you decide what restaurants to cover next? For lesser known establishments, do you strategically pick a particular station and fan out from there?
Bickford: I read just about every traditional media source, discussion board and blog related to Phoenix dining and often find tips about new places opening via those channels. Twitter is also great for rumors and breaking news. In a few cases, I’ve discovered places on my own just by poking around little strip malls near rail stations. I’d say that many of the restaurants I’ve covered in Tempe have been ones I’ve found on my own. In terms of how I prioritize restaurants to review, it really depends on my schedule. Often, I’ll focus on ones that align with weekday lunches or weekend family meals. Unfortunately, that means there are still a few glaring omissions on the blog — restaurants that have been around for years with locations right by rail that I just haven’t gotten around to yet.
DPJ: You disembark at the Roosevelt/Central station. It’s lunchtime, and you’re hungry. Where might you end up eating, and what might you order?
Bickford: Roosevelt is one of the most restaurant-rich stations in Phoenix, so the choice would not be easy. I could head east to Bliss, which has a very nice vegetable sandwich with breaded eggplant. Or, a few blocks south, you’ll find the Phoenix Public Market, with its own deli inside and the Mobile Food Court on Fridays. I love the grilled cheese from the Paradise Melts truck. The newest choice: Pita Jungle in the Gold Spot building. My favorite item on that menu is the lentil fetoosh salad.
The second issue of DPJ magazine hits the streets of Central Phoenix on Tuesday, January 25, and there are plenty of reasons to pick up a copy at January’s Radiate PHX or one of 300 or so locations nearest you:
- Find out how light rail is fueling a pedestrian culture in Downtown Phoenix, from First Friday to running daily errands
- Utilize a four-page pull-out Artlink map to visit some new places on your next First Friday adventure
- Discover how Encanto Park has evolved over 75 years
- Uncover a 100-year-old hidden gem in Garfield that draws in visitors from all over the world
- Take a look at CASS’ operations on the Human Services Campus and how it is sculpting the makeup of Downtown
- Hear what Downtown spot is Phoenix Suns power foward Hakim Warrick’s weakness
- Check out the evolution of PHXRailFood.com
- Read restaurateur Sam Fox’s thoughts on Downtown as he readies The Arrogant Butcher at CityScape
- Stay up to date on all of the latest Downtown buzz and events
- …and more!
METRO has announced the winter holiday schedules for light rail and Valleywide bus service, listed below:
Friday, December 24: Normal Friday schedule, but no late night service (last full-line trip at 11 p.m.)
Saturday, December 25: Sunday schedule (trains arrive every 20 minutes from approximately 5 a.m. to 12:10 a.m. Sunday)
Tuesday, December 28 (Insight Bowl in Tempe): Tuesday schedule with late-night service (trains arrive every 30 minutes, last full-line trip at 2 a.m.)
Friday, December 31: Friday schedule with added trains late night (last full-line trip at 2 a.m.)
Saturday, January 1: Sunday schedule (trains arrive every 20 minutes from approximately 5 a.m. to 12:10 a.m. Sunday)
Friday, December 24: Sunday schedule
Saturday, December 25: Sunday schedule
Friday, December 31: Sunday schedule
Saturday, January 1: normal Saturday schedule
For more information, see the Valley Metro website.