Convenience turns local at URBO

Xavie Dunk pulls espresso shots at Urban Bodega, located on the ground floor of Alta Fillmore. (Brittany Mattox/DD)

Downtown residents sick of Circle K now have a more local option for a convenience store.

“Urban Bodega” or “URBO,” opened its doors in January, and brings both convenience and sweet eats to the downtown community.

Located in the bottom floor of the Alta Fillmore apartments on Fillmore Street and Seventh Avenue, URBO doubles as a convenience store and coffee shop and is open to both residents and the public.

Shawn Connelly, the owner of DeSoto Central Market, partnered with Allison DeVane, founder of Teaspressa to bring the mini-market to life.

Connelly saw that the area needed a quick and convenient mini-mart, but wanted to go beyond the limits of a generic convenience store, thus the Urban Bodega was born.

URBO provides staples such as eggs and toilet paper while also offering refreshments like waffles, tea and coffee. Patrons can soon expect beer and wine to be added to the menu, once the location acquires its liquor license.

Trendy patio seating is available when the nights begin to cool off and guests wish to take their gatherings outside. A clever to-go patio window assures that orders will never go unnoticed.

Though Alta Fillmore is only at about 50 percent capacity, Connelly says that as the community grows, URBO plans to grow with it.

“Once the area picks up a little bit, we’ll feature some grab and go stuff. We’ll make some sandwiches fresh over at DeSoto every day and bring them over to URBO,” Connelly said.

Offering more than just convenience, the shop will soon feature eats from DeSoto Central Market, as opposed to typical pre-packaged food.

“It’s not just coming out of a factory, we’ll be hand making it,” Connelly said.

URBO plans to make both brand name and local products available to customers, in an effort to support local farmers and businesses.

Aside from commerce and convenience, the spot can act as a place for local residents to at a true community market.

URBO employee, Xavie Dunk, recently moved from Atlanta and said working at URBO has helped him find his footing in his new city and make friendly connections with Phoenix locals.

“Being new to city, I’ve met a lot of people and it’s always fun meeting people,” Dunk said. “Especially in environments that are interesting like this.”

Christian Weber, part of the management team at Alta Fillmore, said residents enjoy having such a convenient place to shop when they need something small, or a place to go when they want to grab a bite with friends.

“They love it, it’s been a huge hit,” Weber said.

Connelly hopes both residents and the community enjoy the benefits that URBO brings.

“It’s all about convenience for the residents at Alta, but to the surrounding neighborhood as well,” Connelly said.

URBO is opened Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and weekends 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Contact the reporter bnmattox@asu.edu.