[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Downtown Phoenix is more appetizing than it’s been in years, with more than 20 new bars and restaurants catering to tourists and locals. All of those businesses have opened or have started construction within the past two years. That’s a 25% increase, said David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. It’s also the biggest jump in recent memory, he added.
Many of the new establishments hope to capitalize on the thousands of people expected to descend upon downtown Phoenix’s new attractions, including the Phoenix Convention Center, which will wrap up a $600 million expansion this month. Others want to serve a quick bite to ASU students, downtown workers, or Metro commuters when the $1.4 billion light-rail line opens Dec. 27.
To be sure, the national financial crisis has curbed consumers’ craving for restaurants — taxable sales are down citywide at Phoenix restaurants and bars, according to city figures. But people are still eating and drinking downtown: Sales are up, and some entrepreneurs have forged ahead with new spots. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]