We’re looking for writers who can help us tell the story of downtown Phoenix: where we came from, where we are and where we’re going. We say “we” because at DPJ, we are more than just observers of downtown. We are active participants, engaged with the people and places that make it what it is and what it will be. We are invested in and excited about the future of this vibrant, fun and ever-evolving community. In short, we love downtown Phoenix. Do you?
If you would like to help tell the story of the people and places that make downtown Phoenix great, we invite you to apply to be a contributor to DPJ. You can find the application below.
We look forward to hearing from you!
A Little About Us . . .
“DPJ caters to residents who support our downtown and savvy visitors who want to Go Where the Locals Go. Whether it’s community news, food, shopping or sports, think of DPJ as that friend in the big city. Our site is filled with everything you need to know as it relates to the urban lifestyle. We offer a friendly, straightforward insider’s view of all things downtown, from world-class restaurants and museums to events to plan your day around. We’re here as you Explore Your Core™.”
Now A Little About You . . .
In recognition of National Independents Week, Local First Arizona will honor locally owned and independent businesses across the state from Saturday, June 27, through Sunday, July 5. The nationwide Independents Week campaign, coordinated by the American Independent Business Alliance and known as “Indie Week,” takes place during the week of Independence Day with the purpose of enlightening consumers to the importance of supporting local businesses.
“Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on what makes our state and country great,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona. “Arizona’s independent business community is the backbone of our local economy and the driving force behind what makes us proud to call Arizona home. Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when consumers choose an independent business over a national chain. Independents Week is our way of drawing attention to the important role independent businesses play in our daily lives.”
This year’s Independents Week will feature the return of the Golden Coupon, an Independents Week contest with great prizes, and fun events with local businesses in the Phoenix Metro area and across the state:
TAKE THE ‘BUY LOCAL’ PLEDGE
Arizonans are encouraged to take the pledge to ‘Buy Local’ and support Arizona’s independent businesses during Indie Week. Anyone can take the pledge by visiting http://localfirstaz.com/independents-week/ and filling out the simple form. Pledgers can choose to publicly have their names listed on the Local First Arizona website or remain anonymous. All pledgers will be entered in a raffle to win a Phoenix staycation package, which includes a one-night stay at the Clarendon Hotel, a $100 gift card to the Vig and admission for two to the Phoenix Art Museum.
THE GOLDEN COUPON RETURNS
The popular Golden Coupon, printed by Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions, is the ticket to saving 20% off purchases from hundreds of locally owned establishments including auto repairs, home furnishing stores, boutiques, florists, restaurants, yoga studios, nurseries, and more. Individuals can simply print out the Golden Coupon from the LFA website or download the coupon on their smart phone and use it at as many participating locations as they please throughout Independents Week. The Golden Coupons present the perfect opportunity for consumers to visit participating stores that they have wanted to try and to find new spots they may not have known about, all while spending locally and saving money.
INDEPENDENTS WEEK EVENTS
Independents Week is always accompanied by several events celebrating local businesses:
5th Somewhat Annual Phoenix Independents Bowl: Grab your friends (and a ringer or two) on Sunday, June 28, and set up your teams for this sometimes annual bowling tournament supporting Local First Arizona. Organized by Steve Chilton of Psyko Steve Presents & LFA, this is a fun get-together at locally owned Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix.
“Painted Skies” by Lisa Olson & Terry Pisel at Modified Arts: Lisa Olson and Terry Pisel invite you to join them in celebrating the striking beauty of Arizona. From the sprawling spectacle of the Grand Canyon to the gridded streets of Phoenix, Arizona holds a dramatic and ever-changing variety of landscapes. Native Arizonans, photographers, friends, and collaborators, Olson and Pisel use their photographic skills to showcase some of the unique features of our state set against its biggest asset—the sky. Using hand-transferred photographs altered using unconventional mediums, the artists portray a series of wide-ranging scenes: from cactus to pine tree, city to mountain, valley to mesa. Their wood panels feature interpretive regional landscapes giving homage to the forests, deserts and majesty of our home. Opening reception is Third Friday, June 19, at 6:00 p.m.
Independents Week Pub Crawl: Local First Arizona is taking over Old Town Scottsdale on Friday, July 3, for our annual Independents Week Pub Crawl. Hit the streets with us as we trek around sipping libations in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Each local stop along the way will feature one $4 drink special exclusively for attendees. Attendees can participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the evening for the chance to win prizes. Pub Crawl stops include Brat Haus, Craft64, 5th and Wine, and Hula’s Modern Tiki. Free to attend, guests are responsible for purchasing their own beverages. Find more details on Independents Week at http://www.localfirstaz.com/independents-week/
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The Newton Showcases Local Food Makers at Indoor Artisan Food Fair
Featuring Local Fill-Your-Pantry Food Vendors Including PB Americano, Grass Fed Beef Crisps, Mama’s Cold Brew Coffee, and More
What: The Newton will be hosting a local food fair from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 7th, 2015, highlighting local packaged and “pantry” food items for summer. The fair will be located in The Commons, The Newton’s 2,000 square foot main event space. This event will spotlight a wide range of foods available from popular and new local food makers including:
- Brat Haus stone hearth baked pretzels
- Delighted by Hummus sweet (and trendy!) dips
- Dust seasonings and rubs
- Fire Lips hot sauces
- Fluff It Marshmallows
- Gilbert Olive Oil infused oils and vinegars
- Grass Fed Beef Crisps jerky
- Herbescent Organic Tea & Botanicals
- Mama’s Cold Brew coffee and handcrafted cremers
- No Glutes About It gluten-free baked treats
- PB Americano nut butters
- Pickled Perfection spicy pickles
- Portobello Foods pasta sauces and more
- The Proper Beast additive-free Arizona sausages
- Sprouted Kids organic superfood cookies
Who: The Newton is a mixed-use commercial space, currently home to the Phoenix location of Changing Hands Bookstore, Justin Beckett’s Southern Rail Restaurant, Southwest Gardener, and Christofolo Schermer Consulting. The Newton, which opened in Spring 2014, is an adaptive reuse project by Venue Projects, designed by John Douglas Architects, housed in what was formerly Phoenix’s iconic Beef Eaters restaurant.
When: Sunday, June 7th from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: The Newton, 300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85013
Images courtesy of The Newton.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Exhibition features more than 70 stilettos transformed into art
INSPIRED SOLES – A WELL-HEELED EXPERIENCE
The 4th Annual “Inspired Soles” art show and auction features the inspiration of local artists – using stilettos as their blank canvas – manifested into works of art. More than 70 participating artists and designers have volunteered thousands of hours in this annual event that has become an organic showcase of local soul.
The Arizona Republic photographers’ works are also incorporated into the show, featuring “Inspired Souls” they have captured over the years and favorite digital images. Photographers will be on site to capture images of event attendees at their photo booth for an online photo series, which will appear on AZCentral.com.
The one-of-a-kind pieces will be sold to the highest bidders in a silent auction that takes place Thursday, April 2. The shoes will remain on display First Friday, April 3.
Proceeds benefit Artlink Inc. a nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, businesses and the public to better understand, appreciate and promote a thriving arts community in central Phoenix.
Luhrs Tower City Center, 11 West Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix, 85003
Thursday, April 2 2015, 5 – 8 p.m.
Inspired Soles Silent Auction to benefit Artlink Inc.
Open to the public, but for serious buyers only! This is your opportunity to mix and mingle with artists who created this year’s Inspired Soles works of art, and bid on your favorite piece.
Refreshments and appetizers will be served
First Friday, April 2, 2015, 6 – 10 p.m.
Inspired Soles Exhibition
If you’re an art aficionado on a tight budget, this night is for you. You can look, without the temptation to buy. If you really want to buy, come on Thursday so you don’t miss out!
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT “INSPIRED SOLES”
“Inspired Soles” was the very first show hosted by 6th Avenue Gallery in downtown Phoenix.
Now in its 4th year, the show has outgrown the quaint, lower-level gallery and has moved to the space at Luhrs City Center to accommodate the growing number of participating artists and attendees. Over the last three years, the event has raised more than $6,000 for the organization. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.inspiredsolesaz.org and view updates on the 6th Avenue Gallery Facebook page.
Historic DeSoto Building reopens its doors as community marketplace on April 11th — DeSoto Central Market
The historic DeSoto Building located on Roosevelt and Central Avenue is getting a new lease on life when it reopens on April 11th as DeSoto Central Market. The nearly-90 year-old building has been reimagined and updated with food and socialization in mind. The 17,138 square foot property will retain its Deco-inspired roots housing several restaurants, a coffee shop, a local produce and artisanal market, bar, and a mezzanine level with event and meeting space.
The concept was dreamed up by food enthusiast and DeSoto manager, Shawn Connelly, who felt Downtown Phoenix’s time has come for this type of community gathering space, which has proven popular in other cities like San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), Los Angeles (Grand Central Market), and New York (Chelsea Market). According to Connelly, “Downtown Phoenix has seen tremendous growth recently in all sectors from housing to business, the Roosevelt Row Arts scene to ASU, but it still lacks a central food hub to get the basic grocery goods.” He envisions a spot where downtown dwellers can grab a bite, hold a meeting, relax with some music and attend community events — with plans for cooking classes, wine tastings, and much more.
While his goals are lofty, they ultimately have the community in mind and the execution is quirky, humorous and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Signs on the windows tout the “charming staff” and encourages patrons with the tagline “a delightful place to read, meet or enjoy an old fashioned cocktail.”
Connelly has tapped Stephen Jones, former chef of Blue Hound Kitchen + Cocktails at the Palomar Hotel, to be the head chef of DCM burger bar, Walrus & the Pearl oyster bar and Tea + Toast Co. coffee bar, as well as his own concept, yard bird + the larder. He’ll also oversee the inclusion of new restaurants to the space and work toward the goal of creating what Jones envisions as “a community table” downtown.
The historic DeSoto Building’s 1930s Industrial-era flavor has been preserved and revitalized with a totally modern concept. The interior has been opened up and includes a new mezzanine level meant for group seating and event space. The large family and dog-friendly patio is equipped with lighting, shade cloth, and ample seating where patrons can sit with a cup of coffee or hang out for a game of corn hole or ping pong. Located in the heart of downtown in the Evans Churchill neighborhood, DeSoto is right off Central Avenue adjacent to the Roosevelt light rail stop making it easily accessible by car or public transportation. For the growing downtown population and Grid Bike users, bike parking is abundant.
The soon-to-open grocery will bring much needed fresh produce to downtown Phoenix from McClendon Select Farm, along with other local farmers and growers, and will eventually include artisanal vendors like a butcher, bakery, and cheese monger. The market will also feature artisanal products and pantry goods such as spices, local flour and grains, hot sauce, pickles, paper goods and more.
DeSoto Central Market is home to a diverse mix of eateries and bars catering to the casual diner as well as the hard-to-please foodie. Shawn Connelly conceptualized DeSoto Central Market as an incubator for new and upcoming culinary talent in the Valley. The idea: creating small, ready-to-go kitchens, so up-and-coming chefs have the opportunity to test their culinary ideas.
“It is a place that we developed in such a way that foodprenuers can come in and for a fraction of the cost to start-up somewhere else, can get their start on their dream”
The space will feature seven culinary choices ranging from burgers to more eclectic fare (think Mexican/Asian) that will cater to a variety of ages and palettes. Patrons can order inside, or at an outdoor walk-up window, and then dine at the bar, on the patio or on the mezzanine level.
- DCM – The DeSoto Central Market burger bar serves fancy egg burgers in the AM or a variety of artisan burgers thereafter. Also available: Craft beers, wine and cocktails.
- Tea & Toast Co. – Get your morning (or afternoon, or evening) coffee or specialty tea paired with pastries or an array of savory and sweet toasts.
- Walrus & the Pearl – This mostly-raw bar features fresh oysters — but also serves other seafood favorites like ceviche and poke.
- yard bird + the larder — Chef Stephen Jones (formerly chef at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar) reinvents some Southern and New American favorites; think fried chicken skin po-boy or black eyed peas and rice.
- Radish — Radish is a farm-to-table, fast- casual restaurant serving delicious salads and cold-pressed juices. Environmentally conscious and supportive of healthy lifestyles, Radish invites you EAT RAD + DRINK RAD + BE RAD.
- Adobo Dragon — Chef Allan Inicencia’s Latin/Asian fusion creations.
Opening Weekend Celebrations
The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening of DeSoto Central Market on April 11th (11am to 11pm) and 12th (11am to 8pm). Guests can expect the full market experience plus pop-up vendors, live music, cocktail tastings, chef demonstrations and specials throughout the 2-day event. A portion of proceeds from the weekend will go to Release The Fear, a non-profit that teaches Arizona’s youth the life skills needed to combat the effects of peer pressure, gang involvement, bullying, abuse, and violence and to make better life choices.
About DeSoto Central Market
Housed in the historic 1928 DeSoto Building on Central and Roosevelt Avenues, the new DeSoto Central Market combines seven diverse restaurant choices, an organic produce market, a deco coffee house and meeting mezzanine in one stylish and easily accessible location.
Creator Shawn Connelly, a 16-year veteran in the food industry, is taking his knowledge and experience of the big market concept to create what he hopes it will hark back to a time where central markets were at the heart of every city. To that end, DeSoto Central Market is a spot where downtown workers and dwellers can grab an egg sandwich or a coffee to-go, meet a friend for a drink on the extensive patio, or pick up some locally-grown tomatoes and a loaf of bread on the way home.
Address: 915 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Hours: 6:30am – 10pm, Monday – Thursday; 6:30am – 11pm, Friday and Saturday; 6:30am – 9pm, Sunday
Images courtesy of DeSoto Central Market.