[Source: Wynter Holden, Chow Bella]
We’ll keep repeating over and over again how great it would be if someone opened a dedicated food truck court in one of the myriad of useless land plots around CenPho (Hint, hint, developers!). In the meantime, tracking food trucks around town is a bit of a detective game. One of our faves, Short Leash Hot Dogs, pops up regularly at Farmers’ Markets and in downtown Tempe. But it’s difficult to know where to find them on a Saturday evening when you’re craving a spicy jalapeno-cheese dog.
For Valentine’s weekend, the Short Leash dogmobile is rolling over to Medlock Plaza at Central and Camelback Rd. — home to Smeeks and Stinkweeds. Short Leash owners Brad and Kat Moore will be set up in the parking lot from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, February 12 and next Saturday the 19th.
The mobile dog stand’s menu includes 3 types of Schreiner’s weiners, brats, veggie dogs and “corn-pups” made with jalapeno and cheese stuffed hot dogs. Each can be customized with your choice of toppings, or you can partake in a pre-designed special like the Igby with cole slaw, blue cheese and BBQ sauce. After downing a dog, pop on over to boutique candy shop, Smeeks, for some Moon Pies or handmade sea salt caramels. Hungry yet?
Calling All Crafters
Wanna be one of 35 local artist selling handmade goods at Frances Vintage’s ‘Crafeteria’? Details ahead
If you’ve never been to the Central Phoenix boutique, Frances, and the neighboring candy store, Smeeks, you’re missing out on two of the Valley’s most charming, stylish spaces. No seriously, we dare you to walk inside Smeeks’ candy-colored space—brimming with old school sweets and retro delights such as ‘Twinkie the Kid‘ lunch pails—and not squeal like a school kid. And now Frances is inviting local crafters to join the fun as it hosts its fifth annual “Crafeteria” on December 3.
Voted “Best Indie Craft Fair” by the Phx New Times, this annual holiday open house will feature 35 of the Valley’s most talented independent artists. Working with paper goods, knitted items, sewn fabrics and more, the only requirement is that everything is 100 percent handmade, no exceptions. There will also be live music sponsored by the indie record shop, Stinkweeds, and handmade treats at the Smeeks “Sweets Alley.”
Most important, this Crafeteria is open to all local artists, with the 35 spots to be filled by a panel of judges. There’s no fee to enter, but all applicants must submit photos, a description and a bio, as well as agree to donate at least one item for a prize giveaway. Click here to get all the deets, and good luck. Meanwhile, to learn more about Frances and Smeeks, as well as see a full slideshow, click here to read a Q&A with owner, Georganne Bryant.
Crafty on Central: 10 W. Camelback Rd., 602-279-5463
[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — It’s the Monday after First Friday, but DPJ is still reliving the good times we had this past weekend. Shutting down Roosevelt Street from Central Avenue to 7th Street simply accommodated the ever-growing First Friday attendance last week. But, Saturday and Sunday proved to draw the crowds to Central Phoenix as well. DPJ was at the “When in AZ” benefit concert on Saturday and the CenPho.TV benefit concert on Sunday, and we have the tunes to prove it. While we were at Stinkweeds, we snuck into some of our favorite boutiques. You should check ‘em out, too. Need more of a call to action? “The Bearded Truth” is searching for literary genius in Phoenix… perhaps we have the next Kerouac lurking somewhere Downtown?
[Source: Janessa Hilliard, ASU State Press] — Nestled between vacant dirt lots, boutiques that resemble homes instead of stores and the always-present gas station, lies one of downtown Phoenix’s first “art houses” — Modified Arts. With ASU’s Downtown campus just a few blocks away, the venue gears many of its events toward a student audience. Highlights of this upcoming season at Modified Arts include performances by non-mainstream bands and local artists.
Created in 1999 by Kimber Lanning, owner of Stinkweed Records and Silver Platter, Modified Arts represents not only the potential of the downtown area to flourish into a unique environment for artists, but also how far Phoenix itself has come in the last decade. It was never Lanning’s dream to develop a venue like Modified Arts, but rather it was an “obvious, open, gushing wound in Phoenix” that caused her to fill in the gap, she said.
Lanning and a group of volunteers renovated an abandoned warehouse and turned it into a place for artists to express themselves, Lanning said. “We actually ended up with about six volunteers, but we only needed six,” Lanning said. “We had an assembly line of people to work on the space.”
As the building stands now, Modified Arts is essentially a large, open space that gives free creative reign to the musicians, artists and dancers who put on shows there. “I wanted to try to provide a stepping stone where people could start up a dance troupe [or] show a film,” Lanning said. “I wanted to create a place for them to perform.”
[Source: Tye Cameron, The Zonie Report] — A middle-aged man walked in just after Drip Coffee Lounge opened at 7:30 a.m. His drink, a small double-shot café americano latte with organic low-fat milk, was already being made for him by the owner herself, Gina Madrid. They chat briefly in a vernacular that exclusively exists between barista and regular before the local man pays in exact change and walks out. It was just the beginning of another successful day for the Downtown Phoenix small business model. “One of the reasons why I opened Drip was because […at chain eateries] you walk away and you feel… ill,” Madrid says as she adjusted the volume on the iPod speakers. Her independently owned cafe has a modern architectural design, and business cards of local artists and entrepreneurs line the front counter. “When you are providing something good for yourself, that in turn spills over to the people next to you, and so on.”
Independently owned small businesses in the Downtown Phoenix historic districts have thrived in the face of an influx of corporate chains to the city because of their adaptability and willingness to work together. “When you drive down the street, you’re gonna see the Applebee’s, but you’re not gonna see the Stinkweeds right across the street, or know what it is,” says Kimber Lanning, owner of both Stinkweeds Records on Camelback Road at Central Avenue and Modified Arts, a popular music venue and art gallery on Fifth and Roosevelt streets. Lacking the financial clout of a large corporation, local entrepreneurs say they rely on adaptable business models to contend in the Phoenix economy. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]