Finding local treasures can often be like a scavenger hunt. Local favorites are often tucked away in little corners and alleys only known by uber-hip residents who whisper their secrets to those deemed worthy. But now with the opening of Union at Biltmore Fashion Park you don't have to search or wait for a tip from those holding the secrets of Phoenix’s local treasures .
Union is a new concept that houses an eclectic mix of 18 small, distinct boutiques – many of which already have a loyal following of those in-the-know Phoenicians. There’s also a casual eatery, Trattoria del Piero brought to Central Phoenix by the Queen Creek Olive Mill that operates the same concept at in Queen Creek.
Right now at Union you’ll find:
Bonafide Goods brought to Union by the folks behind The Clotherie. Bonafide Goods offers a modern interpretation of classic American men’s clothing, hats and accessories, and will also house Phoenix’s first micro-haberdashery.
Citrine Natural Beauty Bar offers discerning beauty and makeup buffs all-natural, organic skincare, beauty products and custom fragrances for those who love to pamper their skin naturally without harsh chemicals or parabens.
Customatic.com brings together years of experience designing and building great architecture, furniture and interior items to create custom pieces for the modern home.
Oils and Olives by Queen Creek Olive Mill is the Central Phoenix outlet of its popular branded products. Customers can explore the vast selection of signature extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, stuffed olives, and tapenades along with bath and body products made with extra virgin olive oil, daily fresh baked breads and a unique selection of other local treasures.
For the People is a modern gift and home accessories store with a focus on functional design. Featuring brands such as Alessi, the store gives customers access to great lifestyle design products and gives talented local designers an exciting venue to show and sell their work.
Frances, owned by local entrepreneur Georganne Bryant, is the second location of the popular boutique that carries women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, books, paper goods, novelty items and art.
Frances & Charlie Newsstand has hand-selected gifts including jewelry, candles, paper goods and books, as well as a variety of magazines, newspapers and specialty publications featuring fashion, design, art, living and global news.
Lilly is a vintage-inspired women's boutique offering the latest fashion apparel, celebrity jewelry lines, chic and unique housewares, distinctive gifts, handbags, accessories and much more.
British Bicycle Company carries a wide assortment beautiful, unique high-quality bicycles and accessories from England.
Me Myself & Eye, a sunglass boutique pushes the boundaries of expectation, self expression and individuality by offering the highest quality of fashion-forward sunglasses, readers and accessories. Operated by the owners of Sassy Glasses Optical Boutique, Me Myself & Eye offers the same superior customer service as its parent store with a focus on unique sunglasses and readers.
Paris Envy relocated their 7th Avenue shop to Union at the Biltmore. They offer a collection of handcrafted vintage-inspired home furnishings and home decor along with jewelry, candles, gifts and exclusive lines for baby and child. French industrial chic may best describe pieces such as zinc-topped dining tables and hand-strung crystal chandeliers.
R & R Surplus carries women's active wear that can be worn on the street or in the studio. These relaxed yet fashionable clothes are from the creators of Fitigues.
Royal Coffee opened their second location at Union at the Biltmore, brewing their popular roasts alongside a selection of fresh pastries.
Smeeks relocated to Union and brought along their assortment of sweet treats and toys, offering the best old-time favorites – from handcrafted lollipops, toffee, caramels and marshmallows to yo-yos and shrinky-dinks.
Trattoria del Piero brings the dedication and passion for good food found at del Piero at the Mill in Queen Creek. Featuring all new simple and delicious sandwiches and salads, the menu will include the famous Kalamata sandwich as well as signature cocktails. Using family recipes, handcrafted extra virgin olive oils and the best local and seasonal ingredients, del Piero has garnered both local and national acclaim and was featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” in 2010. The menu exemplifies a dedication to delicious, healthy and uncomplicated food. Trattoria del Piero serves breakfast, lunch and has a full service restaurant for the evenings complimented by a full bar.
White House Flowers is an appealing, one-of-a-kind florist offering home accessories, gifts and repurposed and renewed treasures with a casual urban look, as well as traditional European-style furnishings.
Whoopie Baking Company brings their signature whoopie pies in assorted flavors such as Spicy Pumpkin, Mimosa, Sweet & Salty and Peanut Butter Cup to Union, as well as sell the specialty ingredients related to the sweet treats including salted caramel and marshmallow fluff. Dog lovers can pick up a special treat – woofie pies for their beloved canine companions.
The Willows Home and Garden offers simple yet sophisticated home décor items along with apparel and in-home design services. They carry antique objects and a beautiful selection of exclusive lines including: Bella Notte Linens, Italian Vietri table top dishes, Michael Stars t-shirts, CP Shade apparel and a variety of unusual jewelry.
Union is located at the Arizona Biltmore Fashion Park at 2502 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix.
“This will be the most epic veggie sandwich you have ever had.”
This is what the chef at Cartel Coffee Lab said to me as he handed me my order. It seemed like a bold claim. I had watched him roast the veggies and carefully construct my sandwich while I stood in the tiny coffee shop waiting for my order. It sure smelled good. When I got back into my office, I bit into my sandwich. Yep, epic. It had a variety of roasted veggies; zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, potato and cheese. The fresh fruit was a nice accompaniment. Normally a fruit side means a standard melon mix with maybe a grape or two, but fresh apples and strawberries came with my sandwich from Cartel. A refreshing change.
Cartel Coffee Lab has two locations in Phoenix. One is located downtown, walkable from most downtown hotels and the Phoenix Convention Center. The other is located in Tempe. The downtown location (which is where I visited for this blog post) is currently expanding in the space next door and will eventually serve a larger breakfast and lunch menu. For now they do serve a few breakfast items, lunch and coffee, of course. If you stop in after 12:30 all of their baked goods are 50% off, sweet!
Cartel Coffee Lab in downtown Phoenix is located at 1 N. 1st Street.
There's a new coffee shop on the block in downtown Phoenix. Songbird Coffee & Tea House is located in the MonOrchid Building near Roosevelt and Third streets. Owned by husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Erin Carroll, Songbird serves local foods, including burritos (regular and vegetarian) from Fusion Latin Foods, coffee from Cortez Coffee Roasters, tea from Maya Tea and baked goods from Bertha's Cafe, Smart Cookie and Treehouse Bakery (vegan).
I recently stopped in for a scone and to check out the new digs. I loved the menu above the counter that uses scrabble letters to spell out your choices and the industrial mid-century feel to the space. My scone was pretty delicious too.
Songbird Coffee & Tea House is located at 214 E. Roosevelt in Phoenix and offers free wi-fi to customers.
Everyone loves a secret, right? Many CityScape tenants offer great deals and unique experiences, but many aren’t heavily promoted. Here’s an insider look at all the secrets so you can take advantage of the specials and offers to enjoy the very best of CityScape.
A cup of coffee shouldn't break the bank - Chloe’s Corner serves up 50 cent cups of coffee all day, every day.
Work a little action into your workday lunch hour and challenge your co-workers to a round of bowling. Buy lunch for $9.95 and get a FREE game of bowling with your meal on Monday – Friday, 11am-3pm.
Many shoppers don’t realize that the CityScape location has a large selection of sale merchandise, but it’s hidden upstairs. You can take advantage of major deals just by heading to the second level.
Rather than getting your primping and pampering done after work or on the weekends, head to Par Exsalonce during your lunch hour instead. During weekdays between 11am and 2pm, you’ll receive up to 50 percent off select services. That translates to $10 brow waxes, $20 blow outs haircuts, $15 manicures and more.
$5 Event Parking
Heading to a ball game, the symphony or a concert and don’t want to worry about searching for parking and overpaying? No matter the event, if you show a same-day ticket stub you’ll receive parking for only $5. Parking at CityScape also makes it easy to meet up with friends for a meal or drink before or after the event.
Want someone else to park your car? Pull up to the curb on First and Washington streets (outside The Arrogant Butcher) and take advantage of all day, every day $5 valet parking.
Pop Up Water Park
Just add water! CityScape’s popular weekday Pop Up Park will be extended through summer and run 7 days a week from 11am-1pm. The water fountains are a fun place for kids to splash, play and cool off while everyone enjoys the fresh air and takes advantage of fun and free activities. You can borrow board games, cornhole, books and magazines, lawn chairs, beach balls, sunscreen, blankets, frisbees and a basketball hoop. There is also live music by DJs William Reed and Sean Watson.
Did you know there isn’t a bad seat in the house at Stand Up Live? The venue was designed to optimize a perfect view to the stage from every seat. That means no need to arrive early, wait in line and fight for a good spot.
Happy hour deals Monday – Friday, 4-7pm
Over 60 beers on tap
$1 beer shots, $3 domestic and local pints, $4 craft and import drafts, $5 call cocktails,$6 specialty drinks.
$3-$6 select menu items
Happy hour deals Monday – Saturday, 3-6pm
$4 well drinks, wines and select specialty cocktails.
$2 to $4 12 oz. draft beer specials, $6 shot and beer specials.
$4-$8 select appetizers
Happy hour deals Monday – Friday, 3-6pm
$3 well drinks,$3 14oz domestic drafts, $5 vodka Red Bull $5 Jack Daniels.
$5 select appetizers
Lux Central is that place, the neighborhood go-to spot where you can get breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks in a place that feels like home - a really fun home where all the cool kids hang out. I recently visited for the first time and loved it! The place was buzzing with activity. People were typing away on computers (ironically, good ol' fashioned typewriters are central to the decor), chatting it up with friends and listening to music.
We were on a mission to get a late breakfast, so we jumped right into the order line. They serve such fresh food that two of the breakfast items had already been marked off the day's menu. Luckily for us, they still had the Eggs with Veggie Hash and the Egg Sandwich. Yum on both counts. And the orange juice is f-r-e-s-h.
So, the next time you want to get out and about and really feel like you're a part of the community, head to Lux Central. It's highly likely that you'll run into someone you know. We did.
Check our more Lux Central photos on Flickr.
4402 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85016
The Downtown Phoenix Partnership was kind enough to invite me to their annual blogger lunch and launch of their 2011 Downtown Dining Guide. During the lunch, I was able to try small dishes from six downtown restaurants and was given some exciting news about new restaurants opening at CityScape this fall/winter.
First up, we were given a choice of an iced vanilla latte or cinnamon spice ice tea from One Coffee Company. Since it was later in the day, I went with the cinnamon spice ice tea. What a surprise! If you are a cinnamon fan, you must try this tea. It almost tastes like someone dropped a few red hot candies into a cold refreshing glass of iced tea. It was a refreshing and interesting mix. The owner spoke to us for a few minutes about his passion for coffee and downtown Phoenix. He said he wanted to create a space where not only those who work downtown stop in to for their daily coffee, but where those that live downtown can come and hang out.
Next, Brick Pizzeria & Wine Bar served their house-made hummus with vegetables, feta and olives; and an also homemade virgin margarita. Yum! What a perfect combination for a hot day. The ingredients were so fresh and the owner stressed that they make everything from scratch. I really enjoyed both of these items, and since my office is in the same complex as Brick, I will be stopping in for lunch and happy hour!
I have to admit, when I walked into the room I was star struck to see James Beard Award winner, Chef Nobuo Fukuda. I have been to his one-year-old restaurant, Nobuo at Teeter House, and was blown away then, so I was very excited to see what he had in store for us to taste. He didn’t disappoint. Chef Fukuda prepared a tasting trio to be eaten in order. First, a melon salad with goat cheese and mint to cleanse the palate; then, yellowtail sashimi with avocado; and to finish, tomatoes with honey and pepper. Wow. Fresh, flavorful, unique. Chef Fukuda impresses again.
Province, located inside The Westin Phoenix Downtown, also served a tasting trio with a chicken Cuban bocadillo; a goat cheese tortellini with vegetables in broth; a squash muffin with molasses frosting; and a cucumber, basil, ginger, and Serrano chile aqua fresca served with chopped strawberries. The aqua fresca was refreshing and sweet with a slow burn from the Serrano chile in the finish. It definitely inspired me to try some interesting aqua fresca combinations at home.
For some reason, I always forget that downtown Phoenix has a rotating restaurant, The Compass Arizona Grill at the Hyatt. I was glad that they participated in this event to remind me! I really enjoyed their Ancho Chorizo Shrimp and raspberry lemonade infused with rosemary. The chef also announced that the restaurant has a reverse happy hour everyday of the week, from 9-11pm with $5 desserts, $5 house wine, $5 well drinks, and a $7 cocktail special.
So maybe you are like me, or maybe not, but every once in awhile I get a mad craving for cobbler. It’s not like cobbler is an easy thing to find either, and no pie is a good enough substitute when this craving hits. So imagine my delight to learn that there is a restaurant called Karim’s Cobbler Shop & Deli right in downtown Phoenix! Karim’s not only specializes in cobbler, but southern-style soul food like fried catfish, fried chicken and more. So cobbler cravers unite, we have found our mecca.
Ok, so now you’ve made it all the way through this blog post and are probably starving so I’ll make this quick. At the end of the lunch we were given the inside scoop on what’s next for CityScape. Jimmy Carlin of Maven Hospitality Group is working on two new concepts, a fast casual Italian restaurant called The Strand (get it, like a strand of spaghetti?) and an Asian chop house and sushi lounge called Silk. The Strand is scheduled for an October 1st opening and Silk is to follow in December. Good stuff!