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By Shanna Fujii

 Interviewing Golden Rule Tattoo co-owners John O’Hagan, David Maxwell, and Jason Anthony was much like sitting down with a group of friends and reminiscing over the good ol’ days—filled with stories of hilarious adventures, instances of defying standards, and visions of colorful hopes for the future. 

Golden Rule Tattoo currently has two Phoenix locations, with a brand-new location under construction. The new shop located on Roosevelt and 6th Street will eventually replace their current Roosevelt shop and is set to open late this year. The following interview is a compilation of all three owners’ responses, sprinkled with bits of sarcasm and humor, about the beginning of Golden Rule Tattoo to its present-day glory.

 

How did Golden Rule Tattoo come to be?

David: We officially opened July 3, 2009. John tricked me and Jason into starting a tattoo shop together [laughs].

 

Jason: I was running Golden Rule as a private studio out of a piercing shop in Mesa. John approached me and said, “My friend David has a keen business mind. We are cool. We should start something.” Then David came into the picture and I’d say that’s when things really started kicking off.

 

John: Jason was struggling to find a spot where he could do what he wanted to do in the spirit he wanted to do it. We had worked together previously at other tattoo shops around town before I left to pursue real estate. David and I were partners in real estate.

 

David: We also went to kindergarten together.

 

Shanna: Awww.

 

John: The business started like how most businesses are born. You experience working for somebody else and think you can do it better, so I brought in the dream team, which for me was Jason and David. So, at a Jerry’s on Thomas, we sat down and hashed out what “better” would look like and made it happen.

 

In the beginning, what was a value you guys decided was crucial to your business model?

David: We’re 10 years in now and sometimes we forget our beginnings, but when we started, we really asked ourselves, “What’s going to set us apart? How do three partners—of which only one of them tattoos (Jason)—make a tattoo shop world-famous and the best it can possibly be? And then we thought: What are people afraid of? They’re afraid of being judged, treated poorly,

 

Jason: —rude tattooers who think they’re cooler than everybody else.

 

David: Yeah, and they’re afraid they’ve got to be a certain way to get a tattoo. We wanted to shatter that from day one and make a place that was open and welcome for all. Hence, “Golden Rule” and its idea of “do unto others.” We wanted people to know we are friendly, clean, and professional. We also wanted longevity and staying power. A lot of businesses come and go downtown, but we decided we’re not leaving.

 

In what ways has Golden Rule grown and what would you say has been the best part about it?

David: We started in a 400 square foot unit with four or five tattoo artists, moved to a space that was 800 square feet, and just bought a building we’re renovating that will host our 16 artists. It’s funny, we just recently talked about how our artists are buying houses, getting married, having kids…they’re achieving their goals through stability. Sometimes I think we provide the stability, but they do the same for us. It’s a mutually symbiotic relationship.

 

John: I think, traditionally, tattooers and tattoo shops have this nomadic lifestyle. Artists go from shop to shop, tattoo shops open and close. Stability is not a super “sexy” thing, but when it’s there, you appreciate it. That’s kind of been our lowkey sales pitch: the lights are on, the doors are open, your appointments are booked, and we care about you as a person. You don’t have to worry about any of the logistics. You just get to come in and tattoo in a positive environment.

 

When you hire employees, what do you look for?

Jason: To get hired at Golden Rule as a tattoo artist, you’ve got to check off a lot of boxes. We’ve been honing the process and will continue to hone the process as we grow the shop. And the crew we have now is just spectacular.

 

John: We’re up to 16 artists and almost every single style is represented. We’ve got the top of the food chain at Golden Rule.

 

David: If we’re being honest, tattoos can hurt and they cost a little bit, but we want people to choose us. That’s why we look for employees (tattoo artists and administration) who make people feel comfortable, welcome, and ultimately give customers a killer tattoo that exceeds their expectations. We treat people well and people respond. We’ve won Best of Phoenix, Best of Arizona, and some other awards online. Jason has also won Best Tattoo Artist of the Year for the past seven out of eight years. The year he didn’t get it, Paulski, another artist that works in our Camelback shop, won the award.

 

What was your first tattoo?

Jason: I got mine in South Carolina in the 90s before it was legal from a friend. He called me asking if I wanted a tattoo and of course I said yes. I didn’t know what I wanted, but he told me to bring $30. I wrote down directions to his house in my sketchbook (because it was the 90s) and grabbed 30 bucks. I walked into his garage that was converted into a tattoo shop and from a flashcard set that said Learn How To Write Chinese, chose to get the word “lucid” in Chinese on my leg.

 

John: The day I turned 18, I got three big X’s on my back. I’m currently getting it lasered off.

 

Jason: It’s huge. Like shoulder to shoulder. And it’s on fire!

 

John: Yeah, it’s got some flames on it…

 

David: Ironically with John’s flames, my first tattoo is of the Maltese cross. My background is a fire chief here in the Valley. I waited until I worked one year full-time at the fire department to get my tattoo.

 

For someone who has never been to Roosevelt Row, where is one place you think they should visit?

Jason: Fair Trade—that Jack in the Sant breakfast sandwich is just so good. They’ve been at that one spot forever and they’ve stayed consistent. I think there’s a very strong sense of community around that shop as well.

 

John: Jobot Coffee & Bar. To me, they’ve been emblematic of Roosevelt Row as far as starting really small, keeping that sense of community, and growing in a healthy manner not in the expense of anyone else. And they have the best coffee and food.

 

David: I’ve got to throw a plug for Carly’s Bistro. They have banging sandwiches, they’re open late, they have vegan options. They’ve been really great landlords to us through this transition and have been instrumental on so many levels.

 

Anything you wish to say to the Phoenix community?

David: We just want to say how much we appreciate all the warm reception from Phoenix and our clients over the past ten years. We take every tattoo seriously and want to make people’s dreams come true and tell their story.

 

You can find John, David, and Jason, along with their team of talented artists on social media at @goldenruletattoo or on their website at goldenruletattoo.com.

 

 

ABOUT AUTHOR SHANNA FUJII

Shanna Fujii is a colorful wordsmith published on GoDaddy, Arizona Foothills, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and more. When she’s not busy adding spice to copy for clients, she’s checking things off her bucket list, running her philanthropic streetwear brand,Honey & Misfits, or writing and producing short films. She’s a french fry connoisseur and will never be caught without a pair of worn-in Converse. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

Roosevelt Row Maker Cities Project

It’s Official!

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been selected by Etsy as one of five 2019 Maker Cities!

In partnership with the Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, Etsy has selected five recipients whose efforts are focused on fostering diverse and inclusive creative communities in their local areas. This grant is part of their Maker Cities initiative to support creative businesses in their communities.

Each grantee is receiving $40,000 from Etsy in direct program support, along with customized training and a year-long learning community provided by Recast City, to help foster a diverse and inclusive creative communities in their respective cities.

We are humbled and proud to receive this significant investment. This grant will further our ongoing events and programs to advocate for the continuing presence and role of the arts, particularly individual artists, and supporting small businesses in downtown Phoenix.

Our Maker Cities project

Our project will focus on developing the Roosevelt Row Academy, providing opportunities for diverse artists and makers through a co-op pop up shop. This unique shop is an artist-designed and artist-led program. As part of the Roosevelt Row Academy program, the shop will connect diverse communities with a focus on underserved artists and makers to build participants’ entrepreneurial skills.

 

About the Maker Cities initiative

Etsy Maker Cities champion a new model for economic prosperity, one that puts people at the center of commerce, promotes sustainable production, and empowers people to build creative businesses on their own terms. Etsy’s ongoing commitment is to use the power of business to strengthen and empower communities, and to support inclusive creative communities that build stronger local economies for everyone.

 

Read the full announcement here!

By Shanna Fujii

 Roosevelt Row is known for its elaborate and expressive art. Something else it’s known for? Its warm and heightened sense of community. In this interview series, the highlighted businesses are not chosen because of their physical location in Roosevelt Row, but because they positively impact or help develop the community. 850zip is one of these businesses. 

Kathey Wagner founded 850zip in November of 2016. 850zip, a hyper-local loyalty program designed to reward community members for supporting local businesses, was born to create stronger neighborhoods and communities by magnifying the importance every individual makes on the economic vitality and social infrastructure of society.

There are currently over 150 businesses that have joined the 850zip movement and in a few months, the program will hit 1,000 community members. We interviewed Wagner to learn more about 850zip and how it aims to grow the Phoenix community.  

 

How does 850zip work?

850zip is a hyper-local loyalty program for people who work, live, and play in the downtown area of Phoenix. It’s aimed towards promoting locally owned businesses and getting people to know about businesses that help the community and encourage them to help the community themselves. Business members can join 850zip for free and community members pay $20 per year to unlock exclusive loyalty rewards and VIP services.

 

Is there a criteria 850zip uses to approve business members?

Business members need to be located in the Phoenix area and needs to be locally and independently owned. We are open to all types of businesses. We have restaurants, bars, boutique shops, and professional services such as attorneys, consultants, and accountants that have all elected to become a part of 850zip.

 

How do the loyalty rewards work for community members?

Each business has a unique offering for our community members that give them recognition for being community-minded. This offering can be anything from a discount on an item or it could be a specialty product or VIP service. Community members can show their 850zip chip or online account to these businesses in order to receive their loyalty rewards or discounts.

 

Why did you start 850zip?

We are a B Corporation.* There are less than 12 in the state of Arizona. We have a triple bottom line focused on people, planet, and profit. We reinvest our profits in selected local non-profits and increased marketing for our business members. In 2018, 850zip was awarded Best for The World Honoree as a B Corporation. We really want to build a legacy and help promote local businesses. I tell people 850zip is how I do my giving and I produce my living by being a business strategist.

 

*“Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, supplies, community, and the environment.”

 

Why do you think building a legacy is so important?

I’ve lived in downtown for 20 years. I’ve seen the growth in Phoenix and have also seen what happens to businesses when they don’t have sustainable marketing or a presence in the marketplace.

850zip helps local businesses understand the power of sustainable marketing and provides them with a bigger voice among corporate entities or large conglomerates. We want to help families fulfill their dream of owning a business, as well as, helping people who are moving to Phoenix feel more connected to the community.

 

What is one way 850zip helps people feel more connected to their community?

If you look at our logo, you’ll see the word “volunteer.” We want people to put their hands and hearts within the community through volunteering. Not everyone knows where to find volunteer opportunities they’re passionate about. They want to feel more connected to the people they live with or live by, but there aren’t a lot of mechanisms for people to do that. So, we create (or promote or sponsor) events and provide opportunities for people to get involved and get to know the people around them.

Today, there’s so much distraction. People are busy, but they’re not really involved. But if you give them a little taste of what that feels like to be a part of something, they’re more apt to be engaged. It creates stronger neighborhoods and stronger communities.

 

How would you describe Phoenix’s community?

The thing about Phoenix is that it is very neighborhood driven. We are still a big city of small neighborhoods. If you go to each one of those communities, there is a distinct feel to each one.

Roosevelt has always been, in my mind, one of the top communities in downtown Phoenix. It has changed a lot in the past couple of years. It used to be primarily art galleries, but today, it’s become more of an art gathering. It’s very vibrant and there’s more of an infrastructure of places for people to gather.

 

For someone who has never been to Roosevelt Row, where is one place you think they should visit?

Ben’s Bells. Ben’s Bells is a non-profit and a member of 850zip. They have a herd of volunteers who make and hand paint these amazing bells in memory of their son Ben. They hang throughout the city and people will find them at random. When you find one, you can either take it or you can leave it for someone else to find. It brings so much joy to people and I love that! It’s definitely a place I recommend people to visit.

 

To join the powerful movement 850zip has created, visit https://www.850zip.com/

 

ABOUT AUTHOR SHANNA FUJII

Shanna Fujii is a colorful wordsmith published on GoDaddy, Arizona Foothills, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and more. When she’s not busy adding spice to copy for clients, she’s checking things off her bucket list, running her philanthropic streetwear brand,Honey & Misfits, or writing and producing short films. She’s a french fry connoisseur and will never be caught without a pair of worn-in Converse. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

By Shanna Fujii

Downtown Phoenix is chock-full of things to do. You can easily find tasty bites at local restaurants, specialty cocktails during happy hour, or colorful murals that scale building walls scattered throughout the area. But, when it comes to having a truly one-of-a-kind experience? Lacuna Kava Bar is the front runner.

As you step into Lacuna Kava Bar, you’re transported into a tropical paradise in the desert.. The plant wall, natural wood, calming colors, and range of music – from island to pop – all add to the unique vibe, but it’s truly the culture of kava – and the people who gather here – that make for a matchless experience.

As the first kava bar in Phoenix, owner Chase Brendle feels it is his responsibility to educate the public about kava and its benefits, as well as creating a positive and healthy environment for the community. We sat with Brendle and talked over a cup of kratom to learn all about kava, from its culture to how it’s making its mark in the heart of the arts district.

 

How did you come up with the name Lacuna Kava Bar?

“Lacuna” by definition means a space, gap, or hiatus. I think that really speaks to the context of what a kava bar is. We take that part of the day where you would normally take a hiatus and use it to create a community where people come together and connect. It’s one of the few places where you’ll find people actually talk to people they don’t know at the bar.

 

This is my first time hearing about kava and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Can you explain what kava is?

Kava is an ancient and exotic ceremonial tea. It’s been used for over 3,000 years in South Pacific island tribes like Fiji and Hawaii. You might make a big bowl of kava for everyone to share and commune during ceremonial rituals or welcoming a guest or traveler into your home.

Kava itself is from the pepper plant piper methisticum which means “enchanting or intoxicating pepper.” It will give you a very relaxed or euphoric feeling through your whole body and has been called “nature’s Xanax.” We also serve kratom, which is an evergreen tree from the coffee plant family. Kratom is from places like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia and will give you a more energetic or uplifting experience.

 

How is kava and kratom prepared?

All of our products are laboratory tested with a certificate of analysis telling us they’re free from any contaminants. We also receive an alkaloid profile telling us how strong it is so we can brew it accordingly.

To make the traditional tea, kava is strained using purified water. Depending on where it’s from, there are different strains or varieties. Tongan kava offers a socializing and talkative effect, Fijian kava has a euphoric headiness to it, whereas Vanuatu kava has a heavier, peppery taste that is more sedative. For kratom, we steep it using purified water. There are also different strains. There’s red which is relaxing, green which is in between, white is for flight or energy, and yellow is for a more euphoric feeling.

Naturally, kava has an earthy taste and kratom’s natural leaf is very bitter. A lot of places serve it the traditional way. We do as well, but we also offer mocktails that mix kava or kratom with other ingredients like fresh fruit juice, coconut milk, or organic syrups.

 

What is the culture behind kava like?

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the local kalapus or Fijian, Samoan, and Tongan mixing clubs. I think it’s important to respect and honor the different cultures and traditions of kava. For example, you can’t cross your arms when you’re pouring kava because it’s bad luck. In Tongan or Samoan culture, if you hear two loud claps, that’s the signal to serve up another shell of kava.

The Polynesian community has a very tight-knit structure where everybody takes care of each other. I’m not an islander, but they’ve been very accepting because they see I want to learn about the culture and properly respect and share what they’ve created.

 

For you personally, what has been your best kava bar experience?

Before I moved to Arizona, I owned a crossfit gym in Florida. It was my first business and I had spent more time with those people than I had with my own family over the past five years. The day I sold it was an emotional one. After I signed the papers, I went to my friend’s kava bar really questioning if I did the right thing. My friend saw the look on my face when I came in. He walked over with a coconut shell full of kava and said, “Here. This one’s on me. You look like you need it.” You don’t get relationships like that too often. It really goes to show you that the people you meet in places like this become your tribe.

 

How would you describe the people of Roosevelt Row?

It’s a very creative, open, and accepting community. The amount of support we’ve received from people has been incredible. From our performing artists to our social media…people see what we’re doing, appreciate the experience, and want to share and support so other people get a chance to feel and experience what they do when they come here.

 

For someone who has never been to Roosevelt Row, where is one place you think they should visit?

Do I have to say one place? Honestly, the experience of walking around here is what I’d recommend. There are so many good places from The Churchill to the sandwiches at Jobot Coffee & Bar. There are so many amazing things to try and see. I don’t recommend having a single destination in mind when you arrive. From the murals, to the different restaurants, to the art galleries…there is a lot of life down here to be experienced.

 

Author’s Note:
After the interview, I got to try kava and kratom for myself. The experience was so unique that I’ve brought multiple groups of people back to Lacuna Kava Bar so they can have their own experience. I can say with confidence that what Brendle said is true; you can sit at the bar and talk with people you don’t know. After bringing a friend to Lacuna for the first time, we sat next to someone with a Fijian background and conversed for the rest of the night. If you’ve never tried kava or kratom or are just looking for a unique experience in downtown Phoenix, I’d definitely recommend giving Lacuna Kava Bar a shot.  

 

 

 

ABOUT LACUNA KAVA BAR 

Your urban oasis located in the heart of downtown Phoenix and the Roosevelt Row Arts District, Lacuna Kava Bar is one of a kind and the only place to get real, freshly brewed kava, kratom, and CBD tea in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit lacunakavabar.com to learn more

 

ABOUT AUTHOR SHANNA FUJII

Shanna Fujii is a colorful wordsmith published on GoDaddy, Arizona Foothills, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and more. When she’s not busy adding spice to copy for clients, she’s checking things off her bucket list, running her philanthropic streetwear brand,Honey & Misfits, or writing and producing short films. She’s a french fry connoisseur and will never be caught without a pair of worn-in Converse. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

By Shanna Fujii

Contrary to popular belief, owners Keith and Patty Shanks didn’t name Rott n’ Grapes after the fermenting process for wine or “rotten grapes.” Instead, the owners took their two favorite things—Rottweilers and wine—and created the name for their business.

Rott n’ Grapes has two locations in Phoenix, the newest location housed on Roosevelt Row in the Gold Spot Building. Rott n’ Grapes RoRo, as it is officially addressed, has an industrial chic interior complete with brick and plaster walls, slanted gold ornate mirrors, and larger-than-life artwork of their dogs. The inspiration? Their affinity of Italy and its romantic, rich culture and the artistic aesthetic embedded in all that is Roosevelt Row.

We sat down with Keith to talk about his interest in Italy, why he chose Roosevelt Row as his second location, and how Rott n’ Grapes is so much more than a restaurant.

 

How would you describe Rott n’ Grapes to someone who has never been?

Sometimes there’s a misconception that our name is after “rotten grapes.” They think we’re only a wine bar and are limited in what they can get, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. For me, the best way to describe this space is that we are a multi-use concept. You can come here for a casual night with friends, you can have fine-dining romantic evening, or you can have a late night in our speakeasy, The Onyx.

In addition to that, our space can be used for events or private parties, we cater, and we have a convenient bottle shop where you can buy individual beer or wine, or can create a to-go six pack. We want people to see Rott n’ Grapes as more than just a restaurant.

 

When did you first start Rott n’ Grapes?

About nine years ago, we were in Italy touring around. There was something about that wine element we loved so much. We’ve had this long-standing business plan over the last several years to open up a wine bistro of some sort, and in 2006, we founded Rott n’ Grapes.

 

What was it about that Italy trip that inspired you to start Rott n’ Grapes?

What really captured the elegance of Italy for us were the local restaurants. In Italy, wine was produced thousands of years ahead of the United States, so their palates are very mature. When you go to Italy, you don’t drink wine from the bottle—you drink house wine or table wine wherever you go. A tourist would typically think, “I want a bottle of wine,” but for the locals, it’s all about the house wine. What they’re telling you is that the house wine is the best wine out there. It’s such a rich culture and we wanted to bring that element here.

 

Do you have your own house wine at Rott n’ Grapes?

We do. We have five to seven different varietals of wine and you can find a house wine for every varietal (house pinot grigio, house pinot noir, house cabernet…etc).

 

For someone who doesn’t know anything about wine, how do you recommend a wine
suggestion?

We ask, “What do you like?” If they don’t know the answer to that, we’ll typically ask them questions like, “Do you like something on the light side, do you like something on the medium- body side or do you like full body? Do you like something that’s more fruitful or do you like something that’s drier on the backend?” We really want to understand what your palate is like. After understanding your preferences, we’ll find the right wine for you.

 

What’s your personal favorite at the moment?

Right now, my personal favorite is the Loscano Malbec. It’s a medium body, has some dryness on the back, along with some pepper elements to it. I can eat it with any meal on our menu which is what makes it so versatile.

 

Let’s go back to Italy. What was the atmosphere of the local restaurants in Italy like?

So casual and romantic. It’s educational in many ways because of the history of the streets you’re on. It has this element of history and ancestry that almost bleeds through the pores of the streets themselves. You can tell the buildings have been around for too many years to count. Whether we were in Florence, Venice, or Rome, you can tell they’re not stuck somewhere, they just appreciate where they’ve always been.

 

Roosevelt Row has a rich history to it as well. Do you think that’s part of the reason why you were interested in opening your second location in Roosevelt Row?

It is. My wife is an artist, so we’ve always been attracted to Roosevelt Row. Downtown Phoenix is up and coming. It’s inviting; people want to be here and walk the streets.

Phoenix is a big city, but it still feels so small. I think Phoenicians have this inner connection with each other, and they keep it that way. They refuse to be so big and so separated. They really want to know each other and be a part of something.

We’ve even had quite a few politicians come through. One of them being Mayor Kate Gallego, who is now a good friend. Not many organizations can say they have a connection to the mayor the city. I grew up in the Dallas area. Back there, I wouldn’t have a blink-of-an-eye interaction with the city council, let alone the mayor of Dallas, but here in Phoenix, I do. That’s because of Phoenicians. That’s just how we are.

 

In what ways are you incorporating more of a community aspect in your business?

We’ve only been open for eight months, but we want to incorporate more of the local art feel of Roosevelt Row into Rott n’ Grapes. We have some paintings from local artists down in the speakeasy and feature some artwork in the main space. We’re interested in hanging up art and selling it for artists as opposed to buying it simply because we want to showcase local artists in rotation. We’re actually looking for mural artist to create something for the back wall in the restaurant, so we can display even more local talent.

 

For someone who has never been to Roosevelt Row, where is one place you think they
should visit besides Rott n’ Grapes?

You have to come down to the Hance Park area. There is this comfort about Hance Park and how spacious it is. But right across from Hance Park is the Hance Dog Park. We take our dogs there all the time and think it’s the best park for dog owners. Even the dogs themselves are disciplined and fun to be around, which makes it really enjoyable to walk around.

 

 

ABOUT ROTT N’ GRAPES

Rott n’ Grapes RoRo is located on Roosevelt and 3 rd Ave. If you’re in the area, pop in for happy hour at the bar, a phenomenal meal on the mezzanine, or have an intimate conversation in The Onyx. As active owners and operators, chances are, you’ll see Keith and Patty running the show and if you do, make sure to say hi. Learn more about Rott n’ Grapes at www.rottngrapes.com or on social media at @rottngrapes.

 

ABOUT SHANNA FUJII

Shanna Fujii is a colorful wordsmith published on GoDaddy, Arizona Foothills, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and more. When she’s not busy adding spice to copy for clients, she’s checking things off her bucket list, running her philanthropic streetwear brand,Honey & Misfits, or writing and producing short films. She’s a french fry connoisseur and will never be caught without a pair of worn-in Converse. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

From humble beginnings to a now nationally-recognized community, Roosevelt Row is a unique arts district that attracts creatives, visionaries, entrepreneurs and individuals who celebrate the arts.

To celebrate the inspiring people who are anchors in this growing community, we are debuting a new series of inspiring stories. Through the words of the local artists and business owners in Roosevelt Row, you will discover a special glimpse into the lives of those who make this vibrant community a place you have come to know and love. 

Look for forthcoming stories including:

  • Golden Rule Tattoo
  • MonOrchid
  • Lacuna Kava Bar
  • Rott n’ Grapes RoRo
  • BrandLoyal
  • True North Studio
  • 850zip

 

Here’s to the next chapter!

 

ABOUT SHANNA FUJII

Shanna Fujii is a colorful wordsmith published on GoDaddy, Arizona Foothills, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and more. When she’s not busy adding spice to copy for clients, she’s checking things off her bucket list, running her philanthropic streetwear brand, Honey & Misfits, or writing and producing short films. She’s a french fry connoisseur and will never be caught without a pair of worn-in Converse. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

PHOENIX, AZ (June 20, 2019) Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) will soon be programming 918 North 2nd Street, debuting new temporary activation in the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District. Roosevelt Row CDC will program the building previously operated by Revolver Records, who left the location earlier this year to launch Mojave Coffee + Records at 4747 East Thomas Road. Roosevelt Row CDC will utilize the now vacant building to provide new arts-driven activities in the downtown Phoenix neighborhood.

“Since 2007, Roosevelt Row CDC has provided creative activation in the neighborhood, offering opportunities for artists to share and sell their work,” said Vermon Pierre, Board President of Roosevelt Row CDC and pastor of Roosevelt Church on 1st Street and Roosevelt. “We’re excited to embark on continued programming in a venue where more artists can connect and share their work with our community.”

The opportunity is being made possible through Arizona Public Service (APS) who recently acquired the property and who has been a long-time advocate of the arts and local nonprofits in Arizona and has offered a short-term lease to operate the space.

“Roosevelt Row CDC plays a pivotal role in sustaining and expanding the presence of the arts in downtown Phoenix,” said Kendra Lee, Roosevelt Row advisory board member and Area Manager at APS. “We are proud to support this organization that supports artists and fosters a vibrant and creative community in which to live, work, visit and play.”

Along with many changes taking place in the Roosevelt Row area, this move provides a physical location for the organization to operate its on-going activities, annual events and offer new services including Roosevelt Row Academy, a program supported in part through the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

“I am so excited for our organization to have this additional physical presence in the heart of Roosevelt Row,” said Amy Otto, Programs Manager at Roosevelt Row CDC. “This new location will allow us to offer more programs where more people can connect and create together.”

Roosevelt Row CDC currently offers space to over 100 artists every First Friday to promote their own artwork. Since its inception more than thirty years ago, the monthly First Fridays event has been a driving force to connect arts to community through many collaborators working in partnership with Artlink Phoenix, Inc. One such nonprofit, XICO inc., has recently been presenting in the Roosevelt Row pop-up shipping container galleries. XICO will continue to program the container galleries following relocation to their next temporary location at 2nd Street and Roosevelt.  

“Having an on-going presence in Roosevelt Row has been invaluable for XICO and the artists we support,” said Donna Valdés, Executive Director of XICO inc. “The shipping container art gallery spaces have provided our Latinx and Indigenous artists access to new audiences, allowing them to further develop their creative practice. We are thrilled to continue to cultivate awareness and appreciation for the incredible creative work these artists produce and exhibit.”

To further support artists in the area, Roosevelt Row CDC will host their annual Solstice 2019 fundraiser tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the MonOrchid. The event is open to the public, with proceeds benefiting the Roosevelt Row Academy which pays artists to teach classes and workshops free to the public.

Tickets are available online at http://bitly.com/rrsolstice2019 or at the door.

There are many incredible small businesses that call Roosevelt Row home. Take Bicycle Nomad Café for example.

Bicycle Nomad was created by Erick Cedeño’s goal to bring together and inspire dreamers and riders. Bicycle Nomad Café recently celebrated their Re-Opening last Friday and is now open seven days a week from 8:00am-4:00pm (located at 2nd Street and Garfield Street).

Their offerings vary from vegan friendly sandwiches and burgers, smoothies and specialty coffee beverages. Stop in, say hello to some friendly faces and grab a coffee – or Your Morning Umbrella Drink!

Shelbe Hunsaker is a Phoenix-based freelance photographer with Roosevelt Row, who helps tell the visual creative story of the growing arts district.

Her vision is to show the unique personalities, beauty, and spirit of people through captured moments while
connecting them with their lives and the beauty of the Southwest.

Originally from a tiny town at the northeast corner of California, Shelbe was surrounded by the open spaces of
the high desert terrain where she cultivated a love for landscape photography. Her love for the art deepened was during frequent family visits to the Oregon coast where she would “borrow” her dad’s 35mm camera and take photos of the beached sea lions. As her passion for captured moments
grew, so did her subjects.

After graduating with a Public Relations and Mass Communication degree from a small liberal arts school in Missouri and a few months of intense job searching, Shelbe found herself packing up her little Kia Rio and heading out to Phoenix, Arizona… in the middle of July. After surviving her first Arizona summer and experiencing what she believed is the perfect winter season, Shelbe couldn’t help falling in love with the city.

As a fast-growing urban environment coupled with beautiful scenic views of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix was the perfect place to reignite and cultivate her  love for photography. With a style that varies from the fast-paced movement of downtown to the slow, peaceful beauty of the desert landscape, Shelbe’s
work aims to capture the diversity of the Southwest and the desert dwellers that reside here.

 

Visit Shelbe’s website (www.shelbelynnphoto.com) to learn more about her work or follow @shelbehunsaker on Instagram.

The Wandering Tortoise in the Biltmore area, The Sleepy Whale in downtown Chandler, and now, the craft beer bar team will be opening The Theodore. The spot will occupy 110 East Roosevelt Street — next to The Nash — and start operations in mid to late summer of 2019.

The Theodore is named for 26th president and ultimate outdoorsman Teddy Roosevelt — who also happens to be the street’s namesake.

“We plan on drawing a lot of inspiration from Theodore in the build-out,” owner Justin Evans says.

He will be operating The Theodore along with Tony Fatica and Ryan Kemmet. Evans also owns The Wandering Tortoise and Hops On Birch in Flagstaff, as well as The Sleepy Whale, which opened on May 2. Yeah, only about four weeks ago.

“I wanted to be in the southeast Valley and downtown Phoenix, specifically Roosevelt Row,” Evans says. “Both opportunities presented themselves back to back, and with the time spent building the brand at Wandering Tortoise, we felt confident in doing two new concepts so close together.”

And much like the other establishments, The Theodore will keep the beer list tight. It’ll continue to source the best product with a big focus on the retail selection — as Evans puts it.

Another trending trait, The Theodore will be BYOF, or bring your own food.

“We are fortunate to have a lot of awesome local food spots around us — especially the chicken sandwich from Wilderness,” Evans says, referring to the also recently opened downtown Phoenix location pf Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., and its AZ Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich.

One last fun thing. This team will be promoting The Theodore’s opening like a political campaign, using logos from Saywells Design in Tucson — and just in time for 2020.

For more information, follow the hashtag #voteforteddy.

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Lauren Cusimano, Phoenix New Times, PhoenixNewTimes.com, May 29th, 2019

(Original Post)