Urban Grocery and Wine Bar
A familiar face in the local food movement has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to study at the renowned University of Gastronomic Sciences in Parma, Italy. Natalie Morris was recently one of only 50 students (out of over 1,000 worldwide) admitted to the school’s Master in Food Culture and Communications program. This opportunity will allow Natalie to study in the birthplace of the Slow Food movement, and learn directly from its founder, Carlo Petrini.
Morris, a Valley native, has long been an advocate for local food and has become a fixture at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market and the recently opened Urban Grocery and Wine Bar. Morris’ great accomplishment is bittersweet for the market. While they will be losing her for a year, they take comfort in knowing that her talents have taken her to a prestigious academy. In addition, they know Morris will return with knowledge that will benefit the Valley’s local food movement for years to come.
“I have purposefully dedicated my time and career to maintaining this way of life,” Morris says. “I truly believe that I play a beneficial part in our producers’ futures by actively supporting them. Receiving my degree in food culture under the guidance ofwill submerse me in understanding the artisan and craftsmanship that is key to our earth’s future in sustainability and profitability. With this degree and information learned, I hope to be able to return to Phoenix to impart my knowledge of food security and biodiversity and promote those farms and ranches who actively live by these standards.”
Alas, studying aboard comes with a hefty price tag, but one that is well worth the benefits to not only Morris herself, but to Valley chefs, farmers, ranchers and food aficionados as well. To help with Morris’ tuition and living expenses — and to celebrate her accomplishment — two fundraisers are being held.
This first event, and one of interest to most DPJ readers, will be held on Sunday, February 21 from 5-8 p.m. inside the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar. The event will feature favorites of the Downtown Phoenix dining scene, including PastaBAR, The Breadfruit Authentic Jamaican Grill and the market’s own Chef Elizabeth. The event will feature locally sourced food from Valley producers Maya’s Farm, Seacat Gardens, Double Check Ranch, The Meat Shop and Petit Fromage. A number of Arizona winemakers will provide tastings, including Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Pillsbury Wine Company and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. For beer lovers, Prescott Brewing Co. will also be on hand. In addition, local band Wizards of Time will perform outside. Tickets for this event are available for $35 through Eventibrite.
A second event will take place at FnB Restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale on Tuesday, February 23 at 6 p.m. The four-course dinner from Chef Charleen Badman will feature Arizona’s own agricultural bounty paired with owner Pavle Milic’s selection of Arizona wines, which was recently featured in The New York Times. Reservations are $75 per person, and can be made by calling the restaurant at 480.425.9463. Reservations are limited.
The Urban Grocery and Wine Bar is located at 14 E. Pierce St. in Evans Churchill — 602.493.5231.
We *heart* Downtown Phoenix. Yep, we are embracing the cliche. And what better way to expound on the object of our affection, then to share the voices of DPJ. Read on for a few of our favorite things.
Note: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the list of destinations mentioned here in one handy guide.
Si Robins, DPJ Managing Editor
1. Grilled vegetable sandwiches at the Urban Grocery & Wine Bar
2. Urban kickball at Conspire
3. Free nights at the Phoenix Art Museum
4. Urban infill at Plus Minus Studio
5. Retro duds at R&R Surplus
6. Virtually any cocktail at SideBar
7. The sheer potential of a space like Fractal
8. Environmental friendliness at Civic Space Park
9. Live music at the Lost Leaf
10. Tammie Coe cookies
11. Cornhole at Local Breeze
12. Biking in Encanto
13. The buzz at Suns playoff games
14. The relaxed vibe of Third Fridays
Yuri Artibise, Staff Writer
1. Business meetings at Lola Downtown
2. Chatting up tourists on the Metro Light Rail
3. Co-working at Lux Coffeebar
4. Buying unique housewarming gifts at Frances
5. Lusting after jewelry by Heidi Abrahamson
6. Discussing ‘infill development’ at After Hours Gallery
7. Having breakfast for lunch at Matt’s Big Breakfast
8. Stretching out on the grass at Roosevelt Park (3rd Ave, south of Roosevelt)
9. Searching for ghosts at the Hotel San Carlos
10. Winding down with a cookie and coffee at Royal at the Market
11. Getting disoriented in James Turrell’s light sculpture “Mohl ip” at the Phoenix Art Museum
12. Participating in the Critical Mass bike ride
13. Noshing on chilquiles verdes at Gallo Blanco
14. Sampling the rotating tap at Roosevelt Tavern
Kenny Bump, “Sips & Grub” Blogger
1. First meal at Gallo Blanco in the Clarendon Hotel
2. Watching The Swell Season in the Orpheum Theatre
3. Roosevelt Tavern
4. Tuck Shop
5. Jimmy Eat World’s Secret show at Modified Arts
6. The PHX Brew Party hosted by communitas
7. The view of Downtown from the top of After Hours Creative
8. Phoenix Design Fair in the Anchor Building
9. Dear and the Headlights during Star Swim on top of the Wyndham
10. Playing my first gig at the musical opening of fractal
11. St. Francis
12. Lux Coffee
14. The first First Friday I attended and knew that I didn’t want to leave
Janessa Hilliard, DPJ Staff Writer
1. Paddle boating in Encanto Park
2. Tea at the Japanese Friendship Garden
3. The view from the top of South Mountain
4. A picnic in Civic Space Park
5. Spending a day lounging by the rooftop pool at Hotel San Carlos
6. Biking around Downtown
7. Taking a tour of the State Capitol. Can you name the five c’s of Arizona?
8. Matt’s Big Breakfast – Why cook breakfast the morning after when you can just go out for it? Almost always worth the wait.
9. Cibo — It’s like your neighborhood diner, except with an outside patio that’s oh-so-romantic.
10. Paisley Town — If you want a variety of shopping & great food at one adorable, cohesive location.
11. Sweets & Beats on Grand Avenue — If your sweet tooth needs satisfying while adding to your record collection.
12. Lost Leaf — If you love a low-key atmosphere where the conversation is stimulating and the music isn’t overpowering.
13. Tammie Coe Cakes — There is nothing more beautiful — or delicious! — than these amazing creations.
14. The Compass Room at the Hyatt — The rotating dining room view is totally worth it, if you’re willing to shell out a pretty penny.
Deona Smith, DPJ Staff Writer
1. Local Breeze – My place away from home where everybody knows my name! This is hands down the best patio to chill out at in Downtown Phoenix.
2. Civic Space Park — Whenever I need to get away, I walk to this park and enjoy the grass and view of the city.
3. The Willo District — Whenever you want to take a Sunday drive and check out some historical homes, this is my favorite place to do it.
4. Central Ave. — You might be thinking just Central Ave.? Yes, just Central Ave., I love driving down it to get home, the view of the city just over the bridge warms my heart.
5. Carly’s — Anytime I am craving smoked mozzarella I go to Carly’s for my favorite sandwich in town…The Europa. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
6. The Roosevelt Tavern — Warm, cozy and friendly… The Roosevelt is my favorite place for happy hour and the coldest beer on tap in the city.
7. Roosevelt Row — I live in the neighborhood, I can’t help but love it!
8. Bikini Lounge – Who doesn’t enjoy a great dive bar? Bikini is the place to be especially on a First Friday.
9. US Airways Center — Let’s face it, I am a Suns fan and love going to the games!
10. The Sheraton Hotel — Just this location in general is my favorite part of Downtown. I love the feel of “Downtown” and this makes me feel like I am in the heart of it.
11. The many locally owned coffee shops in Phoenix — From Fair Trade to Lux, each place offers a unique atmosphere plus great coffee and teas to be had!
12. Two Hippies — Beach House, Magic Mushroom Burgers, Pita House and Breakfast Joint, oh my! Great atmosphere at each location and awesome eats!
13. Heritage Square — It hosts the Matsuri Festival, one of my favorite yearly events. Not to mention, Rose and Crown and Pizzeria Bianco!
14. Burton Barr Central Library — The best library in Arizona. The architecture, the smell of a library, several quiet places to read and the helpful staff — the Phoenix library is simply awesome.
We hear it all the time: Phoenix has no density; Phoenix has no true Downtown core; Phoenix is the king of sprawl and not much more. I’m not writing to argue these points. But, looking back on the 2009, Downtown Phoenix got quite a bit more urbanized — probably more than one can reasonably expect in a year’s time.
You can’t help but be amazed that how successful the METRO light rail transition has been. The ridership numbers in year one completely blew away expectations. A rail culture, fueled by endless promotions, great blogs like RailLife.com and LightRailBlogger.com and a seemingly immediate impact at several intersections (most notably Central and Camelback) has me excited to see that Phoenix has indeed embraced mass transit. Sure, there are still kinks to be worked out, but all those who said it couldn’t work have been proven wrong. I’ve even run into several Downtown Phoenix residents over the past year who have sold their cars since the light rail launch. That’s progress.
Civic Space Park opened in 2009, along with the restoration of the historic A.E. England Building on its grounds. The heart of Downtown Phoenix has needed park space desperately, and this is a true urban park — solar power, gray water redistribution, funky artwork, retail spaces and scheduled entertainment. It helps that the focus on actually getting to the park has leaned toward transit or by foot or bike. The close proximity to ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus has been a boon, and integration into the First and Third Friday scene was swift and successful. Now if we could only utilize that amphitheater space to its full potential…
We had heard about it for months, and when the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar finally opened its doors, it was a pivotal point in Downtown Phoenix’s history. We’ve yearned, begged and flat-out shouted our need for a grocer south of I-10, and it was beginning to feel as if it would never happen. Now, after a few months of experimentation, the Urban Grocery has a great balance of amazing local produce, food products and wine and beer; just the right amount of household necessities (all eco-friendly!); and a highly underrated kitchen that churns out some of Downtown’s best lunches. The regularly scheduled wine tastings don’t hurt, either.
And, who can debate that our taste buds had a nice 2009? Tons of great places opened: Nine05, Postino Central, Lola Coffee Uptown and Roosevelt, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Gallo Blanco Café, Local Breeze, PastaBAR, St. Francis and the Turf, as well as others, all opened in ’09 and became instant favorites.
With so much progress in a year (let alone during the big bad recession), it’s encouraging to see what’s happening in our city. Nothing happens overnight. Perhaps there won’t be much difference at this point in 2011. But, great people are doing great things close to us. Let’s encourage it. 2010 has great things in store.Banner photo by Jason Garcia
Are you gonna be Downtown on Christmas Eve? Well, not everything is boarded up. Hopefully you don’t have last-minute shopping to do. Hopefully you don’t even have any last-minute food to buy for your feast. But, if you’re a-slackin’, or if you’re just looking for something to do on your day off, you do have options.
The Heard Museum Shop (2301 N. Central Ave. in Midtown) is open until 3 p.m., and it’s full of unique American Indian art and gift ideas.
Bunky Boutique (812 N. 3rd St. in Evans Churchill), home to an array of clothes, jewelry and accessories, is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and is a perfect stop for the fashionista in your life.
Made (922 N. 5th St. in Evans Churchill) will be open and dishing out its usual trinkets and artsy goodies for the home. It’s a perfect spot to stock up on stocking stuffers and presents for those people who are entirely too difficult to shop for.
Across Roosevelt Street, Tammie Coe Cakes (610 E. Roosevelt St. in Evans Churchill) is open until 5 p.m., and can save you from arriving to your Christmas destination dessert-less. Though it’s far too late to order custom cakes, Tammie Coe still provides a good selection of ready-to-purchase (and awesomely delicious) sweets.
Hopefully you aren’t stuck cooking the holiday feast, but if you’re stocking up on grub last minute, the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar (14 E. Pierce St. in Evans Churchill) will be open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and it can provide you with fresh, local fare that’s sure to be a hit at the dinner table.
Need a good thank-you gift to bring to the festivities? Lola Coffee‘s Roosevelt location (1001 N. 3rd Ave.) is open 7 a.m.-2 p.m., and its house-roasted espresso beans complement any meal nicely.
If you get hungry, Local Breeze (606 N. 4th Ave. in Roosevelt), just a few blocks from Lola, is open for brunch and lunch until 2:30 p.m.
And, if you need a beer after a hectic day of preparation, Lost Leaf (914 N. 5th St. in Evans Churchill) opens at 5 p.m., and it’s open on Christmas, too!
Know of more places Downtown that are open during the holidays? Comment and share!
Note: Below is some good writing, which obviously means that it isn’t mine… Please enjoy a wonderful piece on ASU’s role in the development of Downtown Phoenix written by Beth Wischnia. I’ll be back next week with some fresh work. — Sam
The once-lifeless capital city of Arizona has taken on a new look and feel recently, complete with a bustling Arizona State University campus in the heart of Downtown. The influx of students on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus has directly affected the development of Phoenix.
The campus includes nationally recognized schools such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. The campus opened in fall 2006, however it was when the Cronkite School opened in fall 2008 that many more students relocated to Phoenix.
Paul Martinez, manager of local restaurant Hanny’s, said the Downtown Phoenix campus has brought multiple businesses to the community because of the “youth’s energy.”
A Starbucks is in operation on the first floor of Taylor Place and Hsin, a Chinese restaurant, is expected to open in Taylor Place in the near future. Other recent additions to the Downtown Phoenix area include Fair Trade Café and the Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery and Wine Bar.
Arianna Heet, a sophomore nursing major, has been working at Starbucks in Taylor Place for more than a year. The job sparked her interest because of the “convenience factor”, which allowed her to wake up and walk downstairs to work. In addition to the convenience factor, Heet said she enjoys the atmosphere of the student-friendly on-campus Starbucks as opposed to off-campus locations.
“We have a different dynamic,” Heet said. “We have a strong student-based business.”
Armark, the company that manages the various dining options in Taylor Place, owns the location in Taylor Place, unlike most Starbucks. Heet said the location she works at is a licensed store and not a corporate store. The Taylor Place baristas are employed by Armark and simply buy their product from Starbucks.
“It’s essentially the same business, but run by another company,” Heet explained.
Hanny’s, an Italian-inspired restaurant located just a few blocks away from the Downtown Phoenix campus, draws in customers by combining great food and service with a “historic piece of property,” Martinez said.
The building that is now home to Hanny’s was built in 1947 and underwent a restoration process that took three years. In addition to the unique building’s historical significance, the location is ideal, as it is located adjacent next to the area’s developmental milestone, the light rail.
“The light rail and us were opening about a month apart,” Martinez explained. “It was exciting to have that advancement next to that historic piece of property.”
Lenni Rosenblum, a sophomore journalism student, lives at Taylor Place because she was elected into a leadership position in a residential program. Rosenblum has been living at Taylor Place since the building opened in fall 2008 because of its convenient location. While she enjoys living Phoenix because of what it has to offer, she recognizes there is room for improvement in the development of the area.
Despite some new development in Phoenix, many students who lived at Taylor Place last year chose to live in Tempe this year. Sophomore communications major Amy Gauvin said that part of the reason she no longer lives in Downtown Phoenix is because of the lack of city development in comparison to Tempe.
“After class you can walk to Mill and go shopping, or you can go to Barney’s and get food and go to happy hour. Downtown Phoenix doesn’t offer any of that,” Gauvin said. “I would literally go to class then go back to my dorm until my next class.”
City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon addressed the effect the students have had on the Phoenix community during his State of Downtown address on Nov. 17, 2009 in the city’s new Civic Space park, which was built by a partnership between the city of Phoenix and ASU.
“I want to highlight the steady heartbeat of Arizona State University, which continues to pump life into Downtown Phoenix, continues to generate revenue to the state,” Gordon said, “and continues to do what universities are supposed to do: educate our residents and prepare them to change the world for the better.”
“ASU has brought that fun, youthful life back to Downtown that we didn’t have before,” Martinez said. “We are trying to help pioneer the movement of revitalizing Downtown by taking a local business owner, restoring a building and giving people a place to congregate.”
Samuel Richard, a senior nonprofit leadership and management student, calls himself a “defacto community activist” in Downtown Phoenix. Richard lives and works in the community. He also was part of the team that reimagined the Downtown Phoenix Journal in January of 2009 and is a weekly contributor. He is optimistic about the future of Phoenix because he said that community development takes time.
“Our civic and business leaders have showed a renewed interest in developing the heart of our city,” Richard said. “Thankfully, ASU has been able to play a large part of this renaissance.”
“The area is now seen as a stable, desirable place for the community to be,” Panetta explained. “It’s more attractive for those who might want to live in the area or open a business.”
Also pioneering the revitalization of Downtown Phoenix is CityScape, a multi-use destination blocks away from the Downtown Phoenix campus that will feature retail, restaurants and entertainment. The complex will feature The Breakfast Club, a taqueria bar, Lucky Strike Lanes and an Urban Outfitters, to name a few.
John Matthews, senior leasing associate of RED Development for CityScape, attributes snagging the prime, central location to being at the right place at the right time.
“After reviewing what the city and state had done with getting the ASU campus Downtown, the time seemed to be right,” Matthews said. “Rarely do you get three blocks in the center of a downtown that are available to develop.”
Matthews said the students on the Downtown Phoenix campus were like a “built-in population”, which is an additional reason CityScape is in Phoenix.
“It’s a huge benefit being near a university campus,” Matthews said. “That, and the diversity downtown has to offer.”
Panetta said the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus acts as a “catalyst for development” in an area that was previously underutilized. He explained such a high concentration of students in a relatively compact area creates an economic effect on the community.
Panetta said the indirect impact students have had far exceeds the direct impact.
“The area is now seen as a stable, desirable place for the community to be,” Panetta explained. “It’s more attractive for those who might want to live in the area or open a business.”
“With an increase in the student population comes an increase in the number of students who will locally rent apartments, go out to dinner and attend local entertainment events, for example,” Rosenblum said
Gordon and Martinez said that ASU’s existence Downtown has helped the city appeal to potential Phoenicians who are looking for an enriching environment to live in.
“We have seen a huge surge of people interested in the Downtown area whose businesses were once solely located in the Scottsdale area,” Martinez said. “They’re starting to branch our because they see more people focusing on Downtown.”
“It’s [ASU] attracted…businesses, restaurants and galleries,” Mayor Gordon said.
“ASU has been in Tempe since 1885, and in Downtown Phoenix since 2006,” Richard explained. “If the community at-large can gain a little perspective and patience, our future will be brighter.”
Martinez said that with increased student population comes increased activity in various businesses located in the area.
“Anytime that you bring in the youth and that kind of energy, especially in large amounts, businesses tend to flourish as they strive to provide for the youth,” Martinez explained. “ASU brought dollars and young energy to support and help the Downtown area grow.”
Arizona State University has “long-range plans” in place to accommodate the projected student growth rate at each campus. Panetta said plans include retail opportunities and more student housing, adding there has been a strong trend for convenient food spots on and near campus.
“Additional retail opportunities will likely emerge in the campus and neighborhood, as well as office and residential projects that will desire proximity to the Downtown campus and the energy and activity it generates as well as the market stability it can help foster,” Panetta said.
Richard said it is a combination of multiple sources that creates a successful Downtown area. Additionally, all major development takes time.
ASU President Michael Crow spoke about the Downtown Phoenix campus during a forum held on Dec. 1, 2009. Crow explained how the city of Phoenix and ASU Downtown have an ideal partnership.
“The Downtown campus is a perfect example of a university and a city with objectives that overlapped with each other,” Crow said. “The city was looking for enterprise and we were looking to expand from the Tempe campus.”
Crow added that there are plans for expanding the Downtown campus’ programs and facilities because it has proved to be a successful campus so far. Additional future plans include moving the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Downtown, building a third residence hall and creating more retail space.
“We’re at the end of phase one,” Crow said. “We need to finish our planning for phase two.”
Contact Beth at email@example.com.