What’s New In Downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Arts District

Photo Credit: KJZZ

A Roosevelt Row Revival

If you’ve been to downtown Phoenix lately, whether for work or play, you may have noticed the recent bustle of Roosevelt Row. The 100-plus-year-old Roosevelt Arts District has evolved into one of the most popular neighborhoods, in not only metro Phoenix, but the country.

In fact, this summer, downtown Phoenix opened a “more walkable” area along First Street just south of Roosevelt Street, with widened sidewalks and 125 shade trees. They also narrowed First Street from two lanes each way to one lane from McKinley to Moreland Streets. The long-term goal of course is to make downtown Phoenix a more walkable, community and transient-friendly area. And, it seems to be working.

Over the last year, Roosevelt Row has opened several new restaurants and retail shops, boosted long-standing establishments and brought a renewed sense of energy to First Fridays.

What’s New

In the last 12 months, several restaurants have opened their doors along RoRo (Roosevelt Row) and we’re breaking them down for you here.

Taco Chelo: the restaurant, a collaboration from chef Suny Santana, artist Gennaro Garcia and restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin, has quickly become a favorite throughout town. The restaurant serves tacos, salads and other Mexican staples.
Paz Cantina: The Valley staple has reopened after closing three years ago. The new space offers a restaurant, coffee shop, bar and music venue all in one.
Rott n’ Grapes RoRo: the recently opened restaurant features wine, beer, pizzas, bruschettas, salads and more. They are open for lunch, through happy hour and late night, a perfect addition to the Row.
The Churchill: the much anticipated “shipping container district” opened its doors late this summer. It features four restaurants and three bars, as well as local eclectic shops and back yard games.
Genuwine: The self-serve wine bar features 24 different varieties, allowing guests to fill their glass half way, or all the way … we prefer the latter of course!

RoRo also boasts several establishments that have remained neighborhood pillars – even when it appeared everyone was leaving the Row for other burgeoning downtown areas. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention these downtown favorites: monOrchid gallery, Carly’s Bistro, Lola Coffee, Bliss Rebar, Songbird Coffee and Tea House and SoSoBa to name a few.

In addition to the new hotspots, and community favorites, the bustle of RoRo has also brought a much-needed boost to First Friday – making it a much bigger affair.

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, we highly recommend the art walk 6-10 p.m. the first Friday of each month. There are several art galleries to peruse, fun and eclectic local vendors to shop with and of course restaurants and bars to enjoy some amazing local eats. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, so we recommend taking the light rail and trolleys if available.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. What is your favorite thing about RoRo? We’d love to know. Let us know in the comments below!

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