Monthly Archives: August 2010

Dining tips for ASU downtown Phoenix students (and the rest of you too!)

While this article is focused on downtown ASU students, the tips are relevant for anybody who lives, works and/or plays in downtown Phoenix.

[Source: Kelly Green, New Times Chow Bella]

​Downtown Phoenix has come a long way in a short period of time. Anyone who’s been around longer than an ASU freshman can tell you that. But the dining scene for students still leaves a bit to be desired. Here are our tips for feeding yourself, these first few weeks of school.

Source: Kelly Green, Phoenix New Times

1. Become a Coupon Clipper Printer

Little known fact: has tons of special deals and coupons on local restaurants and businesses, just select the option from the “What to do” tab and print away.

2. Be Picky About Your On-Campus Eating

There are two restaurants in the bottom of the Cronkite School at 555 N. Central Avenue: Subway and El Portal. Subway is good for a few meals, then all of the sudden one day you walk in and never want to smell that bread again. And El Portal has earned quite a reputation locally for its health inspections, which you might want to check out here.​

Our pick for an on campus meal?

ASU’s Taylor Place (120 East Taylor Street) offers lunch and dinner to everyone, not just students or dorm residents. A little more than $8 will get you an hour of bottomless food and drinks at the buffet-style cafeteria, which has offers a pizza station, salad and fruit bars, pastries, and made-to-order sandwiches. Sit outside on the patio for less of a rowdy high school cafeteria experience, unless of course, that is your thing.

The places you should be going and our coffee picks, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

City wins permit to pave over Ramada Inn in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Emily Gersema, in’s Phx Beat]

Photo credit:

Some Phoenix residents believe city officials just won approval to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

City officials last week at a hearing with a zoning officer won a permit to turn the Second and Taylor streets site of the old Ramada Inn into a parking lot.

Business leaders and residents with the Downtown Voices Coalition want to save the pink-stuccoed property that they believe has historic value. Last week, about a half-dozen coalition members argued unsuccessfully for rejection of the temporary use permit application.

Marilyn Monroe stayed in the hotel, once known as the Sahara Motor Inn, during the filming of “Bus Stop,” which was shown in theaters in 1956.

Opponents can appeal the zoning officer’s decision to the seven-member Board of Adjustment.

However, city officials have said the plans for the old inn are a done deal.

Phoenix officials intend to turn the site over to Arizona State University for a law college building as soon as the university has the funding it needs for construction.

That could take a few years; ASU is waiting for the state to recover from its budget crisis – or a very generous donor.

The five-year permit gives ASU some time to drum up funding. The parking lot would be used for overflow parking by the nearby, city-owned Sheraton Inn at Third and Van Buren streets.

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You can read the DVC’s position on this demolition and parking lot here and here.

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Share your opinion on a Skateboard Plaza in downtown Phoenix

Last week, this blog noted that the Rob Dyrdek Foundation has donated $50,000 to design and build a skate park in the City of Phoenix. At the time, Phoenix Vice Mayor Michael Nowakowski stated:

I’m thrilled to help bring a world-class skate course to my district. Residents have voiced concerns for additional recreational activities where they live and despite an economic downturn and budget cuts, we’re still able to create this opportunity for youth and families.

One of the sites that is seriously being considered is Hance Park.  It is downtown, pedestrian-friendly, accessible by numerous forms of public transit and near several schools and active neighborhoods.

Lafayette Skate Spot Rendering via Rob Dyrdek Foundation

City of Phoenix staff are looking for people express their opinions to the Parks Board at their next meeting, this Wednesday, September 1st, at 10AM.  The meeting will be held in the Parks Conference Room on the 16th floor of City Hall, 200 W. Washington.

For further information on the meeting, please call Marcia Wilson, Secretary, Parks and Recreation Department at 602-262-4993.

If you can not attend the meeting, you can share you opinion by sending an email to and your respective city council member.

Barrio Bikes coming to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Emily Gersema,]

Mayor Gordon Visitis the shop (via Facebook)

A new set of wheels is hitting the pavement in downtown Phoenix.

The Barrio Bike Shop, a business that is part of the Neighborhood Ministries campus at 19th Avenue and Van Buren Street, has launched its own beach cruiser, the Barrio Bike, to sell.

Mayor Phil Gordon is one of the first people in line for a Barrio Bike.

Proceeds support the ministries, a Christian charity that offers services including health care, after-school programs and job training.

The charity has been largely dependent on individual donations. The ministries’ executive director, Kit Danley, said she hopes that Barrio Bike Shop and other businesses at the main campus, including a T-shirt silk screener, can enable its programs to become more self-sustaining.

Barrio Bike Shop is one of two parts of the Barrio Bikes program that work in tandem.

The shop sells used and refurbished bicycles for children and adults, while the other arm, Barrio Works, teaches repair and refurbishing skills to children, teens and adults.

Chris Williams, the Barrio Bikes coordinator who leads the bike-repair classes, said he is working with a New York bicycle manufacturer, Worksman Cycles, to get the Barrio beach cruiser business off the ground.

He has a particular group of customers that he’d like to reach this fall.

“It’d kind of be a beach-cruiser bike for the downtown college kids,” Williams, 29, said.

The beach cruiser is a heavy-duty bicycle that is recognized for its fat balloon tires and thick frame.

Williams wants to find a retail space near the downtown Phoenix campuses of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona medical school to sell Barrio Bikes, but he acknowledges resources for the charity-hosted bike shop are limited.

Orders can be placed with Williams at 602-889-1378 or

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Street food coming to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Michelle Laudig, Phoenix New Times Chow Bella[/caption]

Phoenix isn’t exactly on a roll — yet. But a mobile street food revolution is slowly taking shape here.

Photo courtesy of Torched Goodness via Phoenix New Times

Stringent laws in Valley cities have made it hard for food cart culture to flourish locally, but a new group that calls itself the Phoenix Street Food Coalition is working to change that. Yesterday, the group announced its involvement with a new weekly event coming to the Phoenix Public Market, aMobile Food Court that will open for lunch every Friday starting October 1.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty of inspiration. There’s a huge cluster of food carts in downtown Portland, offering everything from meatball subs to sopapillas to Thai noodles. And in Los Angeles, locals follow their favorite vendors on Twitter to see which neighborhood they’re parked in at the moment. The phenomenon even has its own Food Network series, The Great Food Truck Race.

Once the Mobile Food Court starts up, you’ll be able to sample an excellent crepe from Truckin’ Good Food, bite into a gourmet hot dog from Short Leash Dogs, indulge in some creme brulee from Torched Goodness, and snack on homemade treats from other coalition members, including La Vida Locavore, Puro Sabor, FruFru Pops, Udder Delights, What’s Your Grind, and MF Tasty.


The Mobile Food Court will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday at 14 E. Pierce St., beginning Friday, October 1st.

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Bliss and ReBar opening in downtown Phoenix


Photo courtesy of Bliss via

The handsomely restored bungalow at Roosevelt and Fourth Streets would seem to be one of downtown Phoenix’s premier restaurant spots, just a few blocks from the ASU campus and right in the middle of First Friday action.

But the last two occupants, Fate and Nine 05, failed to catch on. One potential explanation: According to owner Matt Carter, Nine 05 was “broken into 20 times” during its eight-month run.

Perhaps the third time will be the charm. At least that’s what the partners behind new Bliss, and its next-door watering hole, ReBar, are hoping. They’re opening Friday, Aug. 27.

Co-owner Mark Howard, whose other enterprise include Fez, promises “affordable, hip and comfortable dining,” with a “big-city feel.”

John Cook, who runs the kitchen at Fez, has put together a menu featuring “American classics with a twist.” Look for appetizers like braised beef nachos ($12), fried sausage ravioli ($8) and Swiss chard chicken lettuce wraps ($7).

Specialties include pot roast ($15), macaroni and cheese with chicken and bacon ($12), baked cod ($15) and double-cut pork chop ($15). You can finish up with a brownie hot fudge sundae ($6) or daily cobbler ($6).

The post-10 p.m. crowd, meanwhile, can graze on $5 nibbles like mini beef tacos, a “monster loaded” footlong and a trio of burger sliders. Weekend brunchers will find French toast ($9), omelets ($9) and a breakfast burrito ($9).

At ReBar, along with beer and wine, the emphasis is on modern cocktails, like the Absolut rubylicious martini ($9), cucumber martini ($9) and Ciroc redberry rapture ($8).


901 N. Fourth St., Phoenix, 602-795-1792.

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday; 10 a.m. to midnight, Sunday.

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Interested in checking it out?  Readers of DVC are invited to join Radiate Phoenix at this months gathering at ReBar. Come for a the happy hour and fun with fellow Downtown Phoenix friends!

Date: Tuesday, August 31
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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Phoenix Community Alliance Helps 26 Blocks Go Virtual

[Source: Phoenix Community Alliance]
PCA Helps 26 Blocks Go Virtual

26 Blocks was created by Joey Robert Parks, a local ghostwriter who was tired of the bad reputation Phoenix holds for many people inside and outside Arizona. Parks says comparing Phoenix to other big cities like Portland, Seattle or New York City, is like comparing your wife or girlfriend to another woman.

“You’d never tell your wife she’s beautiful, but not as pretty or exciting to be around as some other woman. A big part of 26 Blocks is showing people how awesome and unique Phoenix is in its own right,” says Parks.

Like the 26 alphabet blocks a child uses to stack or build words at playtime, Parks chose 26 city blocks as the foundation of the exhibit. 26 Blocks features 26 of the most celebrated photographers in Phoenix, 26 of the most talented writers in Phoenix and one of the best sculptor/painters in Phoenix.

Read More

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The changing face of downtown Phoenix

[Source: Salvador Rodriguez, Downtown Devil]

The Devil's Den. Photo credit: Downtown Devil

A new lounge for Taylor Place residents is the first in a series of recent additions to downtown Phoenix this semester.

Devil’s Den, located on the first floor of Taylor Place along East Taylor Street, includes a pool and ping-pong table, large screen televisions and game consoles and is open until 1 a.m. every day.

With the development of the remaining retail space on the first floor of Taylor Place, the addition of CityScape and various other changes throughout downtown Phoenix, new restaurants and other businesses will begin offering their services to students downtown.

“The college experience is not just limited to getting an education, making new friends or joining a club,” said Georgeana Montoya, downtown campus dean of students, in a statement. “I believe the college experience means trying everything that life has to offer, which includes exploring your surroundings, opening yourself up to new ideas and opportunities and getting a taste of the local culture.”

Along with the new businesses opening this semester—which include the now open Nobuo at Teeter House, an Asian-style teahouse on North Sixth and East Monroe streets, and Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, set to open this Friday in CityScape—the existing restaurants El Portal and Hsin have begun accepting Maroon and Gold Dollars this semester.

The large investments made in the area over the past years—the Downtown campus, light rail, Sheraton hotel and others—have made downtown Phoenix an opportune market for businesses, said David Roderique, president of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

“Even with the economy being as bad as it is … all these things have created a much stronger market down there,” Roderique said. “That’s attracted the interest of a lot of folks that want to take advantage of that.”

Over the summer, however, the Downtown campus lost the Sbarro pizzeria on the first floor of the Walter Cronkite School and the Uno Chicago Grill located in the Arizona Center—though plans are already set for Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar to take its spot.

“Even in good times, there is a pretty significant turnover in restaurants—it just happens,” Roderique said. “What we’re happy about is that in general the places that have closed have been replaced pretty quickly.”

Marcus Jones, a nonprofit leadership and management sophomore and staff member of the Devil’s Den, said he thinks the influx of businesses will benefit students by providing job opportunities and making the downtown Phoenix area livelier.

“It’s just more places for us to go hang out,” he said. “There’s always something going on here. It’s a great campus to be on now.”

Contact the reporter at

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A Little History of the Phoenix Museum of History

[Source: Boy Meets Blog]

The phone number to the building is disconnected and the website no longer exists. The glass doors are locked to the public and the exhibits removed because the Phoenix Museum of History no longer exists. Most of the artifacts once on display that link Phoenix to its early Wild West history and farther back to its ancient history are inaccessible to the public now that the city’s oldest museum of history is closed. Only a small portion of the exhibits will be back on display in 2011.

The Maricopa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recognized the need for a history museum as early as 1919, only 7 years after Arizona became a state. They established the Arizona Museum of History in 1923 as a private, non-profit organization and by 1927 the museum moved into its first building on 10th Ave and Van Buren where it remained until 1996. In 1988 the people of Phoenix approved the issuance of more that $1 billion in bonds allocating money for among other things, the construction of a new building for the museum of history. The Arizona Museum of History became the Phoenix Museum of History in 1995 and a year later it moved into the new bond-funded building in Heritage Square.

In 2009 during the throes of the Great Recession the City of Phoenix voted to eliminate the $100,000 annual donation to the museum, the final financial blow that forced the museum to close for the first time since 1923. The bond-financed building was gobbled up by the nearby Arizona Science Center who now leases the museum building from the city and uses it for educational purposes and office space. The museums assets were transferred to the science center as well.

But what are the long term plans? Will the museum be open again before the Arizona centennial? What happened to the exhibits?

Kristin Priscella, Senior Director of Communications at the Arizona Science Center, said that as part of the agreement with the City of Phoenix, the science center agreed to dedicate 5,400 square feet of space to showcase Phoenix and Arizona history downtown, but you’ll have to buy a ticket to the science center to see it. Priscella said the science center has until the end of this calendar year to assess the artifacts and determine a plan for the collections. However, January 1st 2011, something will be on display. Where the rest of the artifacts end up at this point is anybody’s guess.

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Modified Arts energizes downtown Phoenix

[Source: Sarah Spencer, Phoenix Arts and Crafts Examiner]

Modified Arts on Roosevelt Row in Phoenix is rooted in the indie spirit of Downtown Phoenix. It calls attention to the community through art shows and musical performances from all over the world. The new directors, husband-and-wife team Kim Larkin and Adam Murray, bring a fresh approach to art and performance in the downtown area.

Larkin and Murray took over Modified Arts in late 2009 from Kimber Lanning. Larkin earned an art history degree from the University of Utah and has experience running art galleries, while Murray supports the audio end of Modified with his audio engineering degree and passion for new music and media.

The freshly remodeled space opened in January 2010, and now hosts national and international art and musical shows. In order to preserve the history in the making, a new website archives past performances and interviews. Current exhibition information can also be found online:

The space will continue to shape the downtown Phoenix art scene. Says Larkin, “We want to make Modified a sophisticated contemporary arts experience with visual art, performance, and music that fits well in the space, while not taking away that raw DIY energy that exists on Roosevelt Row.”

Visit Modified Arts: 407 E. Roosevelt St. Phoenix, AZ 85004 (map) or at

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