Arts district bar aims to open beer garden

The Lost Leaf celebrated its fifth anniversary last weekend with a temporary beer garden, a feature the business owners hope to install permanently in the backyard. (Corey Malecka/DD)
The Lost Leaf Bar and Gallery is in the early planning stages of extending outdoors, with plans for a beer garden and performance stage in its backyard.

“(We’re) not quite there yet but it’s definitely in the planning stage,” said Jeff Wolford, the “right-hand man” of Lost Leaf owner Eric Dahl who has worked with the city of Phoenix to get the necessary permits.

Dahl said the beer garden could cost about $30,000.

The bar, located on Fifth Street just south of Roosevelt Street, opened a temporary beer garden on May 4 for the First Friday art walk, and again Friday through Sunday to celebrate the Lost Leaf’s fifth anniversary.

Wolford said the Lost Leaf obtained two temporary permits for the temporary beer garden: one to open the garden and another to sell beer and wine outside.

Now, the Lost Leaf is in the early stages of planning for a permanent garden.

“We’re all getting ready to put the design together,” Wolford said. “We’re not sure exactly when it will be, but it’s something we envision to have maybe a restaurant and permanent bathrooms back there . . . (and) maybe a bar.”

They have to complete the design with property owner Mike Elliott before they can contact an architect, Wolford said.

The beer garden “has been in the back of our mind for the last five years but road blocks” got in the way, Dahl said.

“Lost Leaf has been a center of a developing scene,” said Johnny Kongos, accordion and pianist for Kongos, a local band that played at the Lost Leaf’s anniversary event.

Chris Gordon, who has been a regular for 3 years, said the Lost Leaf’s longevity is a testament to what it offers to the community.

The Lost Leaf’s fifth anniversary “shows staying power, and that is rare for downtown Phoenix,” Gordon said.

Contact the reporter at cmalecka@asu.edu