Daily Archives: September 13, 2010

Midtown Phoenix’s MacAlpines Soda Fountain

[Source: Chelsea Brown, State Press Magazine]

7th Street Wonders. Photo by Chelsea Brown.

7th Street Wonders. Photo by Chelsea Brown.

Recently I discovered my new favorite vintage shop in downtown PhoenixMacAlpines Soda Fountain. Now, I know you must be thinking, why is there a vintage store in a soda fountain shop? Well let me fill you in — MacAlpines was established in 1928, offering fresh home-cooked meals. Nowadays the shop not only offers those made-to-order meals, but also strives to keep the memory of the 1950s and 60s alive with their multitude of vintage goods, malt shop sense-of-mind (the waitresses wear sweet old-school inspired malt shop uniforms), and a 1952 jukebox.

I should let it be known that I have driven past MacAlpines for years now (it’s located off of 7th Street, just before Thomas Road), and have always thought that it looked like a neat place, but for some odd reason never stopped to check it out. About a week ago, I was driving to another location on my Downtown Dispatch list, Urban Cookies, and once again saw the large MacAlpines sign and felt compelled to pull over and explore. (Writing this blog has seriously made me want to go out there and find more neat places to tell all of you about.)

I am happy to report that I did pull into the side street parking and finally took the plunge of venturing into MacAlpines, so now I can offer you a personal experience, rather than just a “you should go here because I heard it was neat” story.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, MacAlpines is my new favorite place to shop for vintage goods, as they seem to have everything you could be looking for — clothes, furniture, cookware, jewelry, funky art pieces, etc. While there last, I swooned over a gorgeous restored bicycle (see the back room in the store if you want to have a peek at it yourself), and found myself wanting to buy a pretty vintage Black Hills Silver ring that looked like a flower and had a piece of turquoise in the middle. (My boyfriend ended up buying it for me as a present!)

If you’re into purchasing vintage goods and clothing (vintage goods make for cute dorm room decorations, and when you buy vintage clothing you are almost guaranteed that you will be the only kid in class with that dress or sweet western shirt on), or even just like looking around at funky pieces from the past, you will certainly like MacAlpines.

Also, while there don’t forget to take a seat in their retro diner area and try one of their famous milkshakes, and maybe even one of their veggie-friendly entrees.

MacAlpines is open seven days a week (Monday through Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and is located at 2303 N. 7th Street.

Until next time!

Downtown Dispatch is dedicated to all things downtown Phoenix. If you’re looking for a new place to eat, you’ve found your guide. If you’re looking for a new boutique to shop at, I’ve got what you’re looking for. If you just want to find that perfect cup of coffee, I can tell you where to go. Welcome to the blog of Chelsea Brown, a Journalism senior, caffeine addict and self-proclaimed foodie who loves blogging and taking photographs. Reach me at cebrown4@asu.edu.

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Ramada razing in downtown Phoenix begins

[Source: Emily Gersema, The Arizona Republic]

Image Credit: Blooming Rock on Facebook

The walls began tumbling down at the old Ramada Inn in downtown Phoenix last week, but some neighbors want to stop the city from turning the site into a parking lot.

Crews with contractor Johnson Carlier have been stripping materials from the hotel at Taylor and First streets where Marilyn Monroe stayed during the filming of the 1956 “Bus Stop.”

Members of the community organization Downtown Voices Coalition have tried to fight the demolition, arguing that the site has historical value, but the city recently won a temporary, five-year permit for a parking lot at the site.

The St. Croix Villas Homeowners Association on Thursday filed an appeal with the Phoenix Board of Adjustment to oppose the permit, said Sean Sweat, a treasurer for the HOA. The condo community is two blocks north of the site.

“Maybe someday the law school will go there,” Sweat said, “but in the interim, let’s not have another damn parking lot in (downtown) Phoenix.”

Sweat said residents would prefer to see some sort of civic space – such as a park – replace the building.

The board scheduled a hearing for the appeal at its Oct. 7 meeting.

The city sought the five-year parking designation to give Arizona State University more time to obtain the capital it needs to build a college of law.

The city bought the Ramada Inn property earlier this year for about $6 million, largely from bond funds, and has been working for weeks on stripping the building of doors and other recyclable materials, and asbestos removal. Johnson Carlier is handling the demolition for $742,000.

The parking lot will have 250 spaces. The Sheraton Hotel is expected to use the lot for overflow, and Channel 12 (KPNX) may work out a deal to park its TV satellite trucks there.

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Get Smart Breakfast Series restarts in downtown Phoenix

After a summer hiatus, the next program in the Get Smart Breakfast Series will be on Wednesday, September 15th from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Tom’s Restaurant and Tavern.

The program will feature presentations by Betsey Bayless, President and CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), and Bil Bruno, MISH Board Member, speaking on “An Overview of Maricopa Integrated Health System – Your Public Health Care System.”  RSVP if you are planning to attend.

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