[Source: Arizona Republic editorial board] — A bit more than a year ago, downtown Phoenix business owners wondered out loud where all the Arizona State University students were. There may have been more than 8,000 registered for classes downtown, they said, but they weren’t showing up in their shops and restaurants. One year later… check that concern. Parts of downtown, particularly the region north of the downtown ASU campus, are being overrun with Sun Devils. Or perhaps it is simply young people in general. Whoever these kids are, they are beginning to swarm throughout central Phoenix in impressive numbers at last.
The most notable demonstration of the blossoming of the central city continues to be the First Friday events, of course. On Nov. 5, the city closed off East Roosevelt from North Central Avenue to Seventh Street to traffic for the first time, allowing the throngs of attendees to overflow the streets without fear of automobiles.
The growing First Friday crowds and the widening ASU footprint have attracted entrepreneurs like Kyle Simone and Jeff Mann to open shops like their Phoenicia Association, a combination men’s clothier and art gallery. The youth traffic persuaded restaurateur Wade Moises to open the popular PastaBAR at First Street and Pierce Street, in the same building with Sens Asian Tapas and the now popular Irish bar Turf. [Note: Read the full article at Viewpoint: downtown Phoenix businesses finally scoring.]