[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Bill Smith is cooking up a small restaurant empire in downtown Phoenix. Smith owns four downtown restaurants and is in talks to open two more eateries in the neighborhood. One of will be in the Collier Center, where he has three restaurants, and the second may be in the planned Jackson Street entertainment district near Chase Field, he says. Downtown Phoenix has long been a tricky neighborhood for restaurants, but that is starting to change, Smith says.
“If you try to buy a bunch of places near Wrigley Field, those places have been gone for 50 years,” said the 49-year-old president of AZ Banquets and Events, referring to the neighborhood near the storied Cubs stadium in Chicago. His restaurants have a similar great location, Smith says. The businesses are close to Chase Field and US Airways Center, venues that attract thousands of visitors. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]