DPJ’s Bike Chic series, downtown bike devotee, Keith Mulvin scouts locals who not only ride their bikes but look dapper doing it.
Today we will meet Jeffrey Borup, a government lawyer and self-proclaimed urban enthusiast.
Jeff and I met up after work over a round of pool at the hottest new establishment to open up in Phoenix, aptly named the Valley Bar. From the makers of the Crescent Ballroom, the Stateside crew delivers another successful cultural icon in the heart of downtown Phoenix. They not only have great drinks and live music but everything else a young professional would want from a bar.
Jeff ordered “That’s a Ducey,” which is Makers Mark Whiskey, Sandemen Tawny Port, Lemon Juice & Cinnamon Syrup, while I picked “The Stanton” just because of the name.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxing as we racked the balls at one of their two pool tables. With Jeff impatiently waiting with cue in hand, I sensed he was ready to release some of the day’s stress.
With a quick stroke Jeff sinks the striped 11-ball into the corner pocket.
What makes the place great is not only is it original, but it feels genuine. Jeff whispered while aiming down the next victim. That’s what I love about Phoenix, in particular, its attitude. It’s authentic. And I’ve yet to feel this type of energy any other place I’ve been.
There is a sense of humility here, yet a profound hunger. People want to develop a brand of their own. It’s much like a blank canvas, and there is plenty of opportunity for growth for creative thinkers. They are the backbone of the city.
Keith: I love it! You work down here, but do you live down here as well?
Jeff: I live in the heart of the Central Avenue Corridor in Midtown, near the Clarendon Hotel.
Keith: So you must know this area quite well. What are some of your favorite places to go to?
Jeff: Hands down the Rum Bar. That’s my go to. They have the best drinks in the city, and they can pair anything with the perfect cigar you can enjoy right on their back patio. That goes a long way for me.
A close second, though, is Hanny’s. When I’m there, I feel like I’m at a classy airport bar with people from all over the world. And it’s different every night. Think the sixties. I imagine I’m enjoying a vintage cocktail at the airport, waiting for my Pan Am flight to Paris or LA.
Keith: You picked some great places. It sounds like you have good taste. How do you describe your style?
Jeff: Rugged yet, sophisticated. Trendy, yet classic. Frank Lloyd Wright meets Frank Gehry. Should I continue?
Keith: I think we get it.
Jeff: For me, attention to detail goes a long way. My watch, for instance, is an Omega Seamaster 300m, a timeless beauty, which also happens to be the preference of James Bond. And my prized cufflinks here are a family heirloom. I’m also wearing a white slim fit collared-shirt by Hugo Boss that I picked up at Last Chance, grey suit slacks from Zara, and a pair of brown Johnston & Murphy dress shoes to compliment my argyle socks.
Keith: Classy indeed. How about for biking, any bike fashion tips?
Jeff: Obviously, dress for warm weather. You need to be versatile. But sometimes I think the GRID bikes were made for me personally. Those bikes are suited for just about any outfit.
It is easy to use; there is no stress involved with hailing or losing your bike. And as a local, you know where all the stations are, so you can really plan your evening around the various locations that host the GIRD bike stations.
I feel like I’m part of the community when I ride them. I‘m not just thinking about the environment or the earth or convenience, I’m thinking about Phoenix.
Keith: Do you have any essentials while you’re riding?
Jeff: Just my Italian leather briefcase. I typically carry with me some legal memoranda, a picture of my lovely wife Rebecca with our dog Katie, and, of course, a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution – it’s my saving grace at times.
Keith: So you don’t even own a bike?
Jeff: Nope. There is literally a GRID station a 1-minute from my house, and it takes me about 20 to get to work.
I ride GRID because it makes me feel free. I am able to jack in and out of the Matrix at will, in a sense, with no second thoughts about theft, transport, upkeep, or maintenance. The purpose of a GRID is obvious – to have fun, be free, and never worry about the way home.
Keith: You’re about to win this game and I’m all out of questions. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Jeff: I find beauty in silence. And, to me, nothing is as healing as an early morning ride through the uninterrupted streets of downtown. It allows me to focus on what I do best.
Keith: Did you just drop your cue stick like it was a mic?
Photos by Keith Mulvin.