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Latest News in Biltmore, AZ

Dialog, a '2.0 Version' of For The People and Kream Coffee, is Coming to Roosevelt Row

At an uptown Phoenix furniture store and cafe, customers sit for hours sipping coffee while they catch up with friends, read architectural books, work, develop a business plan, or chat with the barista.Soon, those customers will be able to visit For The People and Kream Coffee's sister concept on Roosevelt Row. It will offer the modern home design elements of the current location along with an expanded coffee bar and market.Calling it a “2.0 version” of their current store, partners Chad Campbell and Shawn Silberbla...

At an uptown Phoenix furniture store and cafe, customers sit for hours sipping coffee while they catch up with friends, read architectural books, work, develop a business plan, or chat with the barista.

Soon, those customers will be able to visit For The People and Kream Coffee's sister concept on Roosevelt Row. It will offer the modern home design elements of the current location along with an expanded coffee bar and market.

Calling it a “2.0 version” of their current store, partners Chad Campbell and Shawn Silberblatt plan to unveil Dialog in September.

The word “store” doesn’t quite convey what Silberblatt and Campbell have been doing or plan to do, however. The For The People and Kream Coffee dual concept is also a community space and they hope Dialog will offer the same — and more.

“We were very intentional with the name,” Campbell says. “We really want to create conversations.”

All of the products, including the coffee, will be individual at each space. But everything will have the same eye on aesthetics and quality, from the official Taschen library to Japanese preserves.

The new version will find its home in a prominent ground-floor corner suite at 1001 North Central Avenue. The eye-popping glass building also houses clothing stores Bunky Boutique and Now or Never, basement restaurant Rough Rider, and the upcoming bar and patio Teddy’s Preserve.

Acclaimed architect Wendell Burnette designed the space, which Campbell says will be “modular and simple, but beautiful and elegant.”

Dialog will have a U-shaped black coffee bar, gleaming white floors, and a minimalist interior that can transform from a “garden coffeeshop” during the day to an event space in the evening showcasing art, food, and drinks.

The cafe component will feature a wider selection of pastries than Kream has, along with a variety of roasters from all over the U.S. and Mexico.

“We only curate roasters that are doing that third wave movement, roasting coffee with the intention of bringing out the flavor of that particular crop,” Silberblatt says.

The house roaster at Kream Coffee is Sweet Bloom Coffee from the Denver area. Dialog will use Stereoscope Coffee out of Los Angeles.

“Other shops are using large blends of beans from various regions," Silberblatt adds. "They’re never going to give you that ability to talk about the harvest of the bean.”

Sweeteners are similarly refined, including organic vanilla and honey.

“We aren’t a coffee shop where you can order whipped cream,” Campbell says.

Dialog will also serve downtown workers and residents with a market selling “daily ritual” items including cooking utensils, fresh flowers, and soap, as well as takeaway food.

The lineup includes “anything from a small, curated grab-and-go lunch to building a charcuterie board,” Silberblatt explains. “Crackers, fresh breads, canned goods, preserves. Even some chocolates and candies, but curated in an awesome way.”

He adds, “We’ll have some of the best of the best from all over the world,” whether that’s olives from Italy or locally made hummus. A drinks cooler will hold kombucha, bottled water, and “sparkling beverages that are sophisticated enough to use as a mocktail,” Silberblatt says. Dialog won’t sell alcohol.

Campbell and Silberblatt are partners in life as well as business who, when they first met, used to collect vintage furniture. They eventually became part owners of a vintage store and then bought For The People when it was a 500-square-foot space at Biltmore Fashion Park.

At that time, Royal Coffee was next door. The owner, Hayes McNeil, is now the principal of Plus Minus Studio and the builder for Dialog. Silberblatt calls him and Burnette their “organic dream team.”

After moving For The People to its current location on Central Avenue, Campbell and Silberblatt added Kream Coffee. They noticed people would stay and linger with their morning caffeine, so the store morphed easily into a community space.

“One thing we have really learned by bringing a coffee shop into a retail store is the connection you have with customers,” Silberblatt says.

Campbell adds, “It’s so much more than food and beverage. It’s about relationships.”

Metro Phoenix's Things to Do This Weekend: Chris Rock, Hell City, IZW

Chris Rock’s Ego Death tour is due in the Valley this weekend, but the ticket prices are no laughing matter. The gig is technically sold out, but those who are willing to fork over some major cash on the secondary market (read: resellers) can get in.If you prefer cheaper thrills, particularly those of the lowbrow variety, the competitors of Impact Zone Wrestling will face off in the squared circle, and the Hell City Tattoo Festival will return after a three-year hiatus.There are other things to do around town from Friday,...

Chris Rock’s Ego Death tour is due in the Valley this weekend, but the ticket prices are no laughing matter. The gig is technically sold out, but those who are willing to fork over some major cash on the secondary market (read: resellers) can get in.

If you prefer cheaper thrills, particularly those of the lowbrow variety, the competitors of Impact Zone Wrestling will face off in the squared circle, and the Hell City Tattoo Festival will return after a three-year hiatus.

There are other things to do around town from Friday, August 26, to Sunday, August 28, but you’ll have to read on to find out more. Or hit up Phoenix New Timescalendar for more activities this weekend.

Hell City Tattoo Festival 2022

Thinking about getting some ink? Thousands of people will transform their skin into a living canvas during this year’s Hell City Tattoo Festival at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue. More than 200 artists from throughout the Valley and around the world will be on hand for the three-day event, which runs from Friday, August 26, to Sunday, August 26. This year’s festival will also feature competitions, art displays, live music and entertainment, a freak show, and more. Hours vary. Admission is $25 to $30 per day or $75 for the whole weekend. Visit the Hell City website for full details.

Hayao Miyazaki is a god among animated filmmakers. The oeuvre of the Japanese animator, director, screenwriter, producer, and co-founder of Studio Ghibli contains an unrivaled list of unqualified cinematic masterpieces, including Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. One of the best of the collective is 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, the charming and heartwarming tale of a pair of young sisters who find adventure with a gigantic chinchilla (the film’s namesake) and other spirits of the forest. Never seen it? Take an enchanted Catbus to the Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe, on Saturday, August 27, for an afternoon screening of the English dub of the film presented by local environmental education nonprofit Trees Matter. Tickets are $12 and the movie starts at 4 p.m.

IZW Psycho Circus

Long before burgeoning professional wrestlers can compete in WWE or AEW (a.k.a. the big leagues), they typically spend years honing their craft in regional indie promotions. Here in the Valley, that includes Impact Zone Wrestling, a long-running local company. At this weekend’s IZW Psycho Circus on Saturday, August 27, at Sun Studios of Arizona, 1425 West 14th Street in Tempe, more than 20 different competitors from the roster will face off in six different matches. Highlights of the card include: Evan Daniels challenging Thugnificent for the IZW world heavyweight championship: EJ Sparks going against Mr. Classic in an “anything goes” match; and Charles Cassus fighting Jakob Austin Young. Morgan, Lilith Grimm, Bryn Thorne, Gypsy Mac, and Miss Anna May will battle in the “Psycho Circus” match for the IZW women's world championship. Start time is 5 p.m. General admission is $20.

Chris Rock

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Yes, Chris Rock will be cracking wise about “the slap” during his current stand-up tour, which comes to Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Sunday, August 28. Months after being assaulted on worldwide television in March by actor Will Smith during this year’s Oscar telecast, Rock has turned the incident into a, um, punchline. Last month, for instance, he reportedly told a New Jersey crowd, “Yeah, that shit hurt, motherfucker. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.” He won’t spend every second of his 80-minute performance on the subject, though. His newest material will touch on cancel culture, America’s fascination with British royals, and the Kardashians, among other subjects. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are only available through resellers like StubHub and SeatGeek, but expect to drop at least a C-note.

Teens Create: Comic Book Workshop

Got an artsy teenager who loves superheroes and aspires to be the next Todd McFarlane or Joëlle Jones? Drag them to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 8034 North 19th Avenue, on Sunday, August 28, for the Teens Create: Comic Book Workshop. Attendees of the hourlong workshop can learn how to come up with plots, characters, storyboards, and other elements of the sequential art form. The event will be conducted by local creator Russ Kazmierczak of Amazing Arizona Comics. The event runs from 1 to 2 p.m. and it's free to participate, though you’re asked to RSVP beforehand by emailing phoenixevents@bookmans.com. More details are available here.

Inspired by a Taste of Home, Richie V's Chicago Eatery Opens in Chandler

Geri KoeppelRichie Vaia is a relative newcomer to the Valley, but he already knows one important truth: Like him, a lot of people here are from Chicago. And those people want a taste of home.“There are a lot of transplants here who miss the food,” Vaia says.That's the big reason he's launching Richie V's Chicago Eatery in Chandler on September 1. But his journey to becoming a restaurant owner hasn't been easy.Vaia&rsq...

Geri Koeppel

Richie Vaia is a relative newcomer to the Valley, but he already knows one important truth: Like him, a lot of people here are from Chicago. And those people want a taste of home.

“There are a lot of transplants here who miss the food,” Vaia says.

That's the big reason he's launching Richie V's Chicago Eatery in Chandler on September 1. But his journey to becoming a restaurant owner hasn't been easy.

Vaia’s connection to Arizona started when he began visiting friends in 1996. In December 2020, he scraped ice from his car's windows for the last time and decided to move to the desert.

His original foray into food here was with a hot dog cart at a gas station off Interstate 10 and Riggs Road. Eventually, he got a concessions trailer, and in May, took it on a cross-country journey on the historic Route 66 feeding people at shelters to raise awareness of mental health issues. He also went to Chicago and loaded up all his personal belongings that had been in storage.

On the way back, Vaia was hit by a semi-truck in Albuquerque and lost everything, including his truck and hot dog hut.

“Every piece of clothing, every shoe, every picture, every TV — gone in an instant,” he says. “I was left physically and financially distressed.” He also suffered neck and back injuries.

Despite the setback, Vaia was able to rebuild thanks to a GoFundMe account that raised over $13,000 coupled with donations from Vienna Beef and help from previous customers and supporters who saw the story on local media.

Jill Densch, who helps run a Facebook group called Chicago in the Valley, has never met Vaia, but did a separate fundraiser for him and is excited about Richie V’s opening.

“We just wanted to help our Chicago community,” Densch says. “As much of a blessing as it is that we have Portillo’s and Lou Malnati’s, those are funded by very large companies.” Vaia, she adds, “really busts his butt. So it’s really nice to see a small business owner rise to the top from where he’s come from.”

The timing of the restaurant's opening couldn't be better. The runaway hit FX series The Bear has caused the popularity of Italian beef sandwiches and other Windy City cuisine to soar.

Vaia knows the show well, having spent 35 years working in production on TV shows, films, concerts, and sporting events. The Bear "was one of the last mini-series I worked on,” he says, adding he worked with the star of the show, Jeremy Allen White, on Shameless as well.

During his time in the entertainment industry, he started a food truck serving Chicago dogs that he took to shoots, and he had a brick-and-mortar location in the Chicago suburbs in the 2000s.

Now, he hopes other Chicagoans will feel that Midwest vibe when they walk into Richie V's Chicago Eatery, connected to Hornacek's Golf on South Alma School Road at West Chandler Heights Road.

Fire engine red walls are accented with photo wallpaper of iconic Chicago venues, including Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, and the Chicago Theatre. Inside is a gleaming bar and five four-tops, while a patio seats 40. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The concise menu offers Chicago hot dogs, Italian beef, Italian sausage, homemade Italian ice, Supreme Tamales, “which is nothing like a tamale here,” Vaia warns, and skin-on fries. Beverages include fountain drinks, canned “pop,” and, once the liquor license comes through in October, beer, wine, seltzers, and frozen margaritas.

Originally, Chicago dogs were created by immigrants and became popular during the Depression as a working-class meal. Vienna beef hot dogs are served on a poppy seed bun and “dragged through the garden,” Vaia says, meaning they are topped with sport peppers, yellow mustard, a pickle spear, neon green relish, onion, tomato, and celery salt.

Italian beef has a similar story, with Italian immigrants using tougher cuts of meat and slow-roasting to make it tender. Vaia gets nearly all of his ingredients — including the hot dogs, bread, and raw beef — shipped twice a week from Chicago.

He makes the dogs exactly as they are back home, never committing heresy by grilling them or adding ketchup.

“I’m getting a bell so if someone wants (ketchup), I’ll ring it and embarrass them,” he says. “If you’re five and under, you can have it. Kids don’t know better.”

Even though Vaia himself took up a vegetarian diet a year ago and eats faux meats, he won’t bend on this point, either.

“This is a Chicago joint,” he says. “No Chicago true hot dog joint would ever break the code. I can’t break the code.”

“There is nothing healthy here, just so you know," he adds.

As soon as his new venture is up and running, Vaia says, he’ll be back out to deliver food to those experiencing homelessness.

“I love to win people’s hearts through their stomach,” he says.

4975 South Alma School Road, Chandler 480-597-4134 www.richievschicagoeatery.com

Luxury retailer to open shop at Scottsdale shopping mall

Hermès International SA, a French luxury fashion designer and retailer, will debut its Arizona brick-and-mortar showroom at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall.Macerich, the owner of Scottsdale Fashion Square and many other of the Valley's malls and shopping centers, announced Monday that the Paris-based company will move into the mall in the summer of 2024.“Hermès is an iconic brand that is synonymous with quality and classic style, along with a distinctive personality that beautifully complements the curated co...

Hermès International SA, a French luxury fashion designer and retailer, will debut its Arizona brick-and-mortar showroom at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall.

Macerich, the owner of Scottsdale Fashion Square and many other of the Valley's malls and shopping centers, announced Monday that the Paris-based company will move into the mall in the summer of 2024.

“Hermès is an iconic brand that is synonymous with quality and classic style, along with a distinctive personality that beautifully complements the curated collection of luxury stores and experiences at Scottsdale Fashion Square,” said Michael Guerin, Macerich's executive vice president of leasing, in a statement. “As the heart of luxury in Arizona, Scottsdale Fashion Square is a magnificent destination for our guests to relax and enjoy incomparable shopping and entertainment, and Hermès enhances that experience.”

Hermès sells men's and women's clothing, shoes, jewelry, fragrances, make-up, home and outdoor decor and more, according to its website.

Guerin declined to disclose the terms of the lease that Hermès signed or where it will be located within Scottsdale Fashion Square. He called Hermès coming onboard to the mall a validation of the market and Scottsdale Fashion Square.

"[Scottsdale Fashion Square] offers the customer so many reasons to visit the center," Guerin said. "[The agreement with Hermès] is just validation and a testament that we are building and accumulating one of the best addresses in the U.S. to go and shop luxury brands and world-class luxury retailers. ... Ultimately, the customer wins."

Scottsdale Fashion Square, located on Camelback and Scottsdale roads, is anchored by retailers including Nordstrom, Apple, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and other high-end retailers. Last November, Life Time announced plans for an "athletic resort" adjacent to the entrance of the luxury wing. The fitness club expects to open at the mall in late 2022.

In addition to Scottsdale Fashion Square, Macerich owns and operates a number of the Valley’s most profitable malls and shopping centers including Kierland Commons, Biltmore Fashion Park and Arrowhead Towne Center. Earlier this month, Chicago-based custom furniture company Interior Define opened a showroom at Kierland Commons.

Early last year, Macerich sold the four parcels it owns at Paradise Valley Mall to a Delaware limited liability company PV Land SPE, which is a newly formed joint venture between Macerich and Phoenix-based Red Development. Red Development, now the majority owner of Paradise Valley Mall, is working to redevelop the property into a mix of apartments, offices, restaurants, retail shops and a high-end grocery store.

During the second quarter of 2022, the Valley’s retail sector saw its vacancy rate drop to 6.6% — the lowest it’s been since 2007, according to a research report from real estate firm Avison Young. Since 2006, the average vacancy rate in Phoenix has been 8.8%. The Valley’s average rental rate for retail space is $21.21 per square foot, but for newer, class A spaces it is at $26.19 per square foot, the Business Journal reported.

First Taste: Floral Cocktails and Fairy Tale Vibes Abound at The Rose Garden

Nikki Michelle Charnstrom When a new spot opens in town, we're eager to check it out, let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead, a peek inside restaurants that have just opened — an occasion to sample a few items and satisfy curiosities (both yours and ours). Amidst bustling construction work...

Nikki Michelle Charnstrom

When a new spot opens in town, we're eager to check it out, let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead, a peek inside restaurants that have just opened — an occasion to sample a few items and satisfy curiosities (both yours and ours).

Amidst bustling construction workers, scorching concrete, and well-dressed professionals waiting for the light rail is an enchanted oasis tucked away from the chaos of downtown Phoenix.

Downtown’s new fairy tale-like craft cocktail bar, The Rose Garden opened this summer inside the U.S. Bank building. The new concept comes from the owners of two popular Valley businesses, Sip Coffee & Beer and 36 Below.

We went one peaceful Tuesday evening to test The Rose Garden mantra, “Every drink is a feast for the eyes and a treat for the lips.”

Inside, the intimate space flourishes with lush greenery, florals, and soft lights in hues of blue and green, creating the tranquility often found in a garden, and a welcoming change to the harsh city just outside.

Round tables are surrounded by cloud-like velvet chairs. The Rose Garden’s colorful mascot, an ornate peacock named Penrose, perches above. The sound of delicate piano music spills out into the room, transporting customers to a simpler time.

A greeting from a waitress brings us back down to Earth for a moment. The nature-inspired names on the cocktail list are accompanied by ingredients and photos of each drink, as customers undoubtedly make selections based on both flavor profile and appearance at this aesthetic-focused bar.

Our first sips are of the fragrant and equally pretty Fleur de Paradis and the delightfully refreshing and velvety smooth Voodoo Lily. The Fleur de Paradis is a vibrant pink sparkling drink served in a wine glass speckled with a rainbow of dried flower petals. Fruity aromas invite you to sip on the blend of bubbles, hibiscus, tamarind, passionfruit, and citrus. An ideal cocktail for day drinking, this drink is undeniably refreshing.

Pro tip: Be careful to not touch the work of art on the outside of the glass or you may end up with sticky fingers. Honey adheres the dried florals to the glass.

The Voodoo Lily is a cucumber flavored drink with a pale melon tint and thin cucumber slices lining the inside of the glass. A waft of mint leaves readies your palate for the floral fusion of cucumber and mint-infused vodka, lychee, coconut water, lemon, and agave. It’s a bittersweet combination with a smooth, coconutty finish.

For fans of strawberry lemonade, try the Garden Pleasures. The refreshing summertime beverage is made with strawberry gin, rhubarb, basil, lemon, and demerara. An engraved ice cube features the letters “RG” etched into the top, completing a drink that is pretty, sophisticated, and downright tasty.

The Roses Thorn is a green tea cocktail that feels like it ought to be enjoyed during tea time on a Sunday afternoon. It’s made with green tea shochu, yuzu, guava, rose, lemon, and shiso bitters. You can order it as a single drink or a punch bowl to split between friends. A single serving arrives in a glass teacup and is garnished with flower petals.

Before ordering a bite to eat, we take advantage of the photo-worthy drinks and Instagrammable atmosphere. It's impossible to resist snapping a photo, cocktail in hand, beneath the vines drooping from the ceiling to the left of the bar.

The simple food menu has six options, and on our visit, the date and goat cheese tart was sold out. The beef and Manchego empanadas are small fried pockets of seasoned meat served scattered on a wooden board and sprinkled with shredded white cheese. A gold cup of green parsley and garlic chimichurri comes beside them. The shell is a little too hard and the inside slightly dry, but it's nothing more delicious chimichurri can't fix.

The Little Gem Caesar Salad is served on a peacock plate with a tower of lettuce, aged Manchego cheese, dried tomatoes, and toasted bread crumbs. Not overly drenched in dressing, the salad lacks flavor and it’s safe to say we could do without the hard dehydrated tomatoes. We picked those off, and decided to head elsewhere for dinner.

When the check arrives, the magic of The Rose Garden returns. The bill is hidden inside a box made to look like a book — a simple but unique touch.

This new cocktail bar is a sophisticated, mellow spot to grab a drink or two with your best gal pals or coworkers after a long day. The intimate, tranquil ambiance is a nice change of pace compared to the rowdier bars downtown. The cocktails are the real showstoppers, each beautifully crafted and thoughtfully poured into unique glassware garnished with fruit, flowers, or leaves.

This “secret garden” of sorts is a welcome addition to the Phoenix bar scene, bringing a little magic to downtown.

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