[Source: Lynn Ducey, Phoenix Business Journal] — Sales at bars and restaurants in the downtown business district were up 5.4% through September, according to a report just released by the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. From January through September 2008, sales at downtown bars and restaurants totaled more than $194 million, compared with $183 million during the same period in 2007, according to the report. “Bars and restaurants are a leading indicator of any type of redevelopment activity,” said Dave Roderique, president and CEO of the nonprofit partnership, which represents businesses within the 90-square-block downtown area. “I think this is a very positive sign for downtown.”
Downtown Phoenix Partnership research indicates 29 new bars and restaurants opened between January and September, including Bar Smith, Sonoma Grill, Sens, and ZPizza, and eight others were under construction. The study also shows 14 restaurants closed during that period, including 101 Bistro and Circa 1900.