Blog Archives

Downtown Phoenix’s First Pop Up Restaurant Coming Soon

[Source: Justin Lee, Downtown Phoenix Journal]

Mystery Solved: ‘Cycle’ Debuts April 1

DSC01045 Eat My Words | Mystery Solved: Cycle Debuts April 1

Now you see it, now you don’t.

After much guesswork, Phoenix’s first official pop-up restaurant is now on a certain path to life. Murmurs of the “mystery restaurant” have generated momentum since first officially reported here last week. Confirmed to the public this past weekend at the Devoured Culinary Classic, the puzzle is finally connecting.

Accurately labeled as Cycle, referring to both the temporary nature of the restaurant, as well as its planned, continuous rotation of notable guest chefs and bartenders, it will exist inside the Lexington Hotel’s current dining and bar space, at Central Avenue and Portland Street.

Inside the cavernous physical space exists an underestimated front-row seat to the spine of Central Phoenix and Downtown: Central Avenue. Wedged between the Downtown core and Midtown, just south of Deck Park and directly across the street from the Roosevelt light rail station, optimal geography and traffic — pedestrian, bicycle, rail and car — will be paramount to maintaining Cycle’s intended pulse.

Set to debut April 1, and “expire” (as playfully described) this July, as ambiguous as Cycle will arrive into the world, it will leave equally so.

Cycle will be an entirely new, almost improvisational concept to Phoenix. Unlike other, similar dining trends circulating (namely underground dinner clubs), pop-up restaurants are fully functioning enterprises that are anchored in one location, are completely open to the public and advertise predetermined shelf lives. Talented chefs, established and up-and-coming, will be allowed to flex their culinary skill and inspiration instantaneously to the public, with little restriction to creative whims.

Currently being fine-tuned, the space’s inaugural chef and concept will be announced in the coming week. In the meantime, the makeshift facelift of the physical space is already underway.

Cycle will operate at the hotel’s interim restaurant space through mid-summer, when the entire property — Cycle included — will shutter, heading into renovation hibernation. Under recent, ambitious new ownership, the Lexington Hotel is set for a dramatic, modern transformation. The new boutique hotel and its accompanying, permanent restaurant concept (unrelated to Cycle) will open subsequently sometime next year.

Cycle will be located at 1100 N. Central Ave.

Downtown Phoenix Journal Weekly Recap

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — I’ve been thinking about seeing beloved members of the Downtown community leave town recently, and it had me realizing the bonds that we create in our daily lives in Downtown Phoenix, whether they be direct or indirect. This weekend we celebrated Natalie Morris‘ departure at the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar with a food and wine affair that would make any neighborhood envious. While there, I realized how many of us see each other regularly in these parts, and it’s always disheartening when one of the flock leaves the nest.

The same was almost the case in this week’s Suns Spot post.  As trivial as it may seem, Suns fans have been entertained at US Airways Center by Amar’e Stoudemire for seven years.  When intense trade rumors reached a boiling point last week (despite 11th hour discussions, Stoudemire remained a Sun, to the delight of most Suns fans), Chris Coffel examined the mark Stoudemire’s entrepreneurship has impacted Phoenix and how it would change (with some hilarious would-be results). Luckily, we won’t be seeing Taylor Griffin’s OK BBQ anytime soon.

Downtown Voices Coalition reviews its past, looks to the future

On Saturday, January 16, over 75 individuals interested and involved in downtown Phoenix participated in the Downtown Voices Coalition “Moving Forward” strategic planning session at the historic A.E. England Building.  The information and ideas garnered from the group will help Downtown Voices update its August 2004 report, “Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown,” and prioritize issues and projects for the future.  The information will also be useful for others (individually or organizationally) to review and use in their own efforts to improve downtown Phoenix.  Stay tuned for details.  At any time, you’re welcome to communicate your questions, comments, concerns, and ideas via e-mail, or by attending Downtown Voices’ monthly meetings.

The Downtown Voices Steering Committee sincerely thanks the following individuals and organizations for sponsoring this event.

  • Arizona Preservation Foundation
  • Arizona State University
  • Butler Housing/Roosevelt Commons
  • Candid Landscapes
  • City of Phoenix
  • Downtown Phoenix Journal
  • Fair Trade Coffee
  • Fresh Gourmet to Go
  • Get Consensus, LLC
  • Habitat Metro
  • Impact Printing
  • Kooky Krafts Shop
  • Local First Arizona
  • John Saccoman
  • Matthew Tomb

Thanks also to Suad Mahmuljin for taking photos of the day’s activities.

Downtown Phoenix Journal Recap (2/4/10)

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — Researching my ongoing blog series, From the Arizona Room, takes a solid chunk of time, but the payoff is twofold — I’m helping to educate neighbors and visitors alike about historic structures littered throughout Downtown’s landscape, and I’m gaining an unwavering appreciation for carefully conducted historic reuse projects.  It’s really baffling how many historic structures there are throughout the grid, though most could be given some TLC and a dab of nice landscaping out front.  I bring this up as DPJ debuts Lyle Plocher’s weekly Downtown real estate blog, City Dwelling.  Yes, Lyle is a real estate agent who lives, works, and plays Downtown.  But, he also has an undeniable knack for spotting and scouting properties all of our readers would be interested in. Whether it’s a modern high rise or a historic bungalow in Garfield, City Dwelling highlights some of the Valley’s truly unique architecture, and that’s something that is often overlooked.  As you journey about this week, I urge you to take a moment to appreciate some of the great structures in our city. They’re part of our character, they’re part of our skyline and they’re part of what makes our city great.

Downtown Phoenix Journal Weekly Recap (01-25-2010)

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — This past weekend, ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was the hub of the first CenPhoCamp, an “unconference” aimed at uniting Valley residents with Central Phoenix businesses using this thing called the Internet.  Several of DPJ’s braintrust, writers, and photographers were scattered about the building, all hoping to learn how we as a community can be better.  It got me thinking about how DPJ spreads the word about what’s happening in Phoenix.  Earlier in the week, the Main Ingredient Ale House opened in the former Lisa G bungalow.  In the months leading up to the grand opening, the new owners were busy scribbling on their Facebook wall and posting construction updates. When the opening night rolled around, they had a packed house, and several people inside had never even visited Lisa G. That’s making a connection.  Also last week, the Insecure Critic gave some of his sincere praise for the roadways.  Silly as it seems to be discussing streets in Phoenix compared to the suburbs, it was the association he made that makes the city his own.  In sharing these seemingly insignificant observations, we can connect better as a community.  DPJ is here to help as a community resource, and the site is meant to link Downtown Phoenix residents and visitors alike to the people, places and happenings of the city.  Please let us know how we can better help serve our readers — these connections matter!

Downtown Phoenix Journal weekly recap

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — The beauty of our Downtown is that it’s always evolving.  There was no greater evidence of this than the grand reopening of an old favorite, Modified Arts, this past Friday.  Packed to the brim, beautifully touched up and deliciously catered, this opening weekend was a perfect reaffirmation that there is a great sense of community in the city core.   On the other side of Downtown Phoenix, another familiar gallery, .anti_space, is planning its own grand reopening later this year.  DPJ got a sneak peek at the expansive space, and it may just change the face of the Phoenix arts scene.  Speaking of changes, now is the perfect time to visit Grand Avenue on First or Third Friday, as the Insecure Critic claims it’s Downtown’s new hip spot.  And, if you haven’t made the move Downtown just yet, now is the right time.  There are plenty of bank-owned condos with soaring views of Downtown, but they won’t last for long.

Downtown Phoenix Journal weekly recap

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — Ah, the holidays.  Here at DPJ, we’ve featured a number of exciting December events, as well as some interesting things popping up around Downtown Phoenix.  On First Friday, we battled the crowds and explored the opening of the Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center and took in a play chronicling Sheriff Joe’s afterlife.  Throughout the month we highlighted a number of development topics: the growth of the corner of 7th Avenue and McDowell, the city’s Adaptive Reuse Program, and the upstart eco-friendly builders at Upcycle Living.  DPJ also shared the important initiatives happening with Valley Forward and the Phoenix Community Alliance.  And, just in time for the holidays, we ventured to Melrose to take in some of the more unique boutiques on this funky stretch of 7th Avenue.

Downtown Phoenix Journal weekly recap

[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — Last week was a busy one for Downtown Phoenix, with the Green Streets Festival and Day for Downtown wrapping up a very successful Greenbuild International Conference and Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center.  On Friday, a DPJ staffer took to the streets with people from all over the world, exploring Downtown Phoenix’s greenest buildings, and proving that the Valley of the Sun is becoming a player in the national green-living scene. On less serious notes, DPJ visited an adults-only presentation at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater and tried some tasty brews at Communitas’ Phoenix Brew Party in Coronado.  We also couldn’t stop eating, as we visited Urban Cookies to learn about its journey toward home-baked success and visited the Welcome Diner and Matt’s Big Breakfast for some seriously tasty eats.

Downtown Phoenix Journal weekly recap

Downtown Phoenix Journal logo[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — It’s the Monday after First Friday, but DPJ is still reliving the good times we had this past weekend.  Shutting down Roosevelt Street from Central Avenue to 7th Street simply accommodated the ever-growing First Friday attendance last week.  But, Saturday and Sunday proved to draw the crowds to Central Phoenix as well.  DPJ was at the “When in AZ” benefit concert on Saturday and the CenPho.TV benefit concert on Sunday, and we have the tunes to prove it.  While we were at Stinkweeds, we snuck into some of our favorite boutiques.  You should check ’em out, too.  Need more of a call to action?  “The Bearded Truth” is searching for literary genius in Phoenix… perhaps we have the next Kerouac lurking somewhere Downtown?

Downtown Phoenix Journal weekly recap

DPJ_artwork_crop[Source: Si Robins, Downtown Phoenix Journal] — As autumn (ahem… cooler temperatures) rolls in, Downtown Phoenix is gearing up for some great events over the next few weeks.  Coming up this weekend is Local First Arizona’s Certified Local Fall Festival, and with 60+ great local businesses representing the 602 (plus live music, food and all kinds of fun!), it’s a great way to discover something you may not have heard of, or rediscover one of your old favorites.  Speaking of discovering some cool local businesses, the folks at Haus Modern Living are putting together the first-ever TwitterHunt, set for November 12.  With 12 of our favorite places tweeting away clues for prizes, DPJ couldn’t be more excited.  Still want to discover more? We talked with local painter Kyle Jordre about his unlikely entry into the art world (and Downtown Phoenix, for that matter) and visited the Link, one of the hubs for the upcoming GreenBuild Expo festivities.  If you think we should be covering any aspect of living in Downtown Phoenix, let us know by sending an e-mail to