The changing face of downtown Phoenix

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Devil's includes pool, ping pong and foosball tables, large screen TVs, game consoles and a Blu-ray DVD player. Devil's Den is exclusive to Taylor Place residents and their guests. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

A new lounge for Taylor Place residents is the first in a series of recent additions to downtown Phoenix this semester.

Devil’s Den, located on the first floor of Taylor Place along East Taylor Street, includes a pool and ping-pong table, large screen televisions and game consoles and is open until 1 a.m. every day.

With the development of the remaining retail space on the first floor of Taylor Place, the addition of CityScape and various other changes throughout downtown Phoenix, new restaurants and other businesses will begin offering their services to students downtown.

“The college experience is not just limited to getting an education, making new friends or joining a club,” said Georgeana Montoya, downtown campus dean of students, in a statement. “I believe the college experience means trying everything that life has to offer, which includes exploring your surroundings, opening yourself up to new ideas and opportunities and getting a taste of the local culture.”

Along with the new businesses opening this semester—which include the now open Nobuo at Teeter House, an Asian-style teahouse on North Sixth and East Monroe streets, and Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, set to open this Friday in CityScape—the existing restaurants El Portal and Hsin have begun accepting Maroon and Gold Dollars this semester.

The large investments made in the area over the past years—the Downtown campus, light rail, Sheraton hotel and others—have made downtown Phoenix an opportune market for businesses, said David Roderique, president of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

“Even with the economy being as bad as it is … all these things have created a much stronger market down there,” Roderique said. “That’s attracted the interest of a lot of folks that want to take advantage of that.”

Over the summer, however, the Downtown campus lost the Sbarro pizzeria on the first floor of the Walter Cronkite School and the Uno Chicago Grill located in the Arizona Center—though plans are already set for Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar to take its spot.

“Even in good times, there is a pretty significant turnover in restaurants—it just happens,” Roderique said. “What we’re happy about is that in general the places that have closed have been replaced pretty quickly.”

Marcus Jones, a nonprofit leadership and management sophomore and staff member of the Devil’s Den, said he thinks the influx of businesses will benefit students by providing job opportunities and making the downtown Phoenix area livelier.

“It’s just more places for us to go hang out,” he said. “There’s always something going on here. It’s a great campus to be on now.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. You should really highlight Verde, Matts Big Breakfast, Lola Coffee, Royal and the Market, Cartel, Blue Fin, Hob Nobs… I could go on and on about amazing places to dine in the core.

    Also, with the mention of the loss of Sbarro there is a great pizza place not too far from UCENT. Zpizza — they even have a happy hour!

  2. Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs have a lot of potential. I’m glad there is some attention being paid to re-development in an organized way. I’ve seen cities of some size take a unplanned, unorganized approach and the result is about what you would expect – a mess. Phoenix is too good for that.

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