Monthly Archives: March 2014

Opening Day at Arizona Center

Opening Day at Arizona Center

Continuing our community building theme of Springing Into Action, let’s not forget about the group of fellas that bring 2 million people Downtown every year.

Arizona Center restaurants will be handing out free hot dogs beginning Monday at 2:30

Yup, spring also means the start of the Major League Baseball season and our future NL West champs will open their 17th season (!!!) in Downtown Phoenix on Monday against the division rival San Francisco Giants. Fans can rally behind their favorite team while celebrating this potential National Holiday in grand style by joining Arizona Center for a day-long tailgate.

Oh, did we mention free hot dogs?

That’s right, Arizona Center restaurants will be serving up a wide variety of the ballpark grub staple–from Sonoran style and Greek to the more traditional mustard and relish variety–to fans who can soak up the spring sunshine and play at the Pop-Up Park while counting down to the 6:40 p.m. first pitch at Chase Field. Here’s a timeline of Monday’s Opening Day fun:

11:30 – Pop-Up Park opens

2:30 Arizona Center restaurants begin hot dog service (while supplies last)

3:30 to Midnight FREE baseball fan parking in the Arizona Center garage

(This event is benefiting the 100 Club of Arizona so while you’re plowing through your second toppings heavy hot dog please don’t forget to make a donation that matches your appetite.)



Downtown Phoenix Will Be Super Bowl Central

Downtown Phoenix Will Be Super Bowl Central

super-bowl-announceIt’s official: Downtown Phoenix is Super Bowl Central for Arizona’s 2015 game! We’d like to say we’re surprised, but as we’ve seen over the last year, Downtown is THE place to be for major events.

Super Bowl Central – which includes all fan activities as well as the media center, NFL experience, NFL Headquarters and NFL House – will take over 12 city blocks in the heart of our city from Fifth Street to First Avenue, Jefferson to Monroe streets.

With two entertainment stages, beer and wine gardens, football fun, and cultural activities, you’re going to want to head straight for Downtown next February to be a part of the action.

Did we mention that the most iconic image for Super Bowl will be here too? You’re definitely going to want to snap a selfie next to the 30-foot tall Super Bowl XLIX Roman Numerals on Washington Street (you’ll also be able to see them as you go past on a Light Rail train).

Want to know what will go where? Read on for the breakdown:


Super Bowl Central

Twelve blocks of family-friendly fun. Look for two live performance stages featuring local and national acts, beer and wine gardens, and outdoor cultural- and football-themed activities (because it’ll be gorgeous in February). Super Bowl Central is a new addition from the last time we hosted the game in 2008, and one million people are expected to attend.

NFL Experience

Billed as the world’s largest interactive football theme park, this is the the big dog. It’ll take place at the Phoenix Convention Center and have everything from kid’s football clinics, interactive football games, free autograph sessions and so much more. Round up the kids and make this a priority!

NFL House

CityScape will play host to the VIP hospitality headquarters where the high-end business partners and VIPs will mingle.

NFL Media Center

Also in the Phoenix Convention Center, over 5,000 members of the media from 30 different countries will headquarter here for the week.



Play Urban Bingo To Win Free Tickets to MMMF

McDowell Mountain Music Festival returns to Downtown March 28-30. And, we have free tickets for you!

That is, if you can solve the new Downtown Urban Bingo and be the first to claim the tickets.

For your shot at a pair of tickets to the upcoming McDowell Mountain Music Festival, all you have to do is join us for a Twitter scavenger hunt through the streets of Downtown.



Here’s how it works:

1. Follow the Downtown Phoenix Partnership on Twitter.

2. On Wednesday, March 19 at 11 a.m., the first of five Urban Bingo clues will be called out.

3. Your job will be to solve each clue, take a selfie with the answer and tweet us your picture as proof.

4. Every 10 minutes we’ll announce another Urban Bingo clue for a total of five clues.

5. We have four prizes to give away. The first three people to solve all five clues and tweet us their selfies as proof will each win two passes to one of the three days of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival. The fourth person will win one three-day pass to the festival.



New Downtown Podcast Shines Lights On Urban Topics

New Downtown Podcast Shines Lights On Urban Topics

Downtown Phoenix Podcast

The Downtown Phoenix Podcast, which aims to spur action by connecting people and ideas, launched its first episode on Monday with a conversation about the future of Downtown.

Urban enthusiast and podcast managing editor, Edward Jensen, sat down with David Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix, Inc., (DPI) to discuss how DPI will shape the growth and future of Downtown Phoenix.

“If we’ve done one thing in the first eight or nine months of our operation,” Krietor says, it is to show that it’s an organization in which “everybody can work collaboratively on advancing the Downtown cause.”

One of the main talking points was Super Bowl XLIX and how DPI is partnering with the City of Phoenix and other organizations to prepare for the Valley-hosted game and festivities.

Overall, Krietor believes 2014 is going to be a big year for Downtown saying, “(It) is going to emerge as the most interesting, eclectic and vibrant element of the whole region.” He added, “It’s going to be an incredibly neat place, and it’s going to attract interesting people.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Editor’s note: This podcast is taped in the Downtown Phoenix Studios, an open community studio available to the public during business hours. If you are interested in taping your podcast in the community studio, please email

Top 5 Viral Videos Depicting Downtown

El Chullo Brings Peruvian Food to Downtown Phoenix

El Chullo

In Peruvian Spanish, “el chullo” refers to a special type of hat worn in the Andes to protect against harsh winter temperatures. While the term may not be familiar, most people would likely recognize these hats with their earflaps and tassels. This kind of headgear may not be required for any winter here in the Valley; however, this season has brought a restaurant by the same name to the Downtown food scene.

Located on the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue, El Chullo opened less than two months ago. Omar, a friendly and knowledgeable graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, runs the restaurant with his younger brother and parents, who recently moved up from Lima, Peru. Together, they combine excellent traditional Peruvian cooking, personable service and a casual atmosphere that stand out among a handful of notable eateries located nearby.

My previous experience with Peruvian food had been at a high-caliber restaurant in Portland, Ore. called Andina; the food was superb, the atmosphere was electric and the bill was expensive. As soon as I sat down in the warm glow of El Chullo’s yellow walls and dark wood accents, I quickly scanned the menu for its price range. Most entrees fall between $10 and $15, and the portion sizes are generous. My date night rounded out to about $35 after tip.

We sat at the bar and were immediately served a small bowl of fried corn kernels and sample of “chicha,” a purple drink produced by boiling purple corn with pineapple juice and cinnamon. We perused the menu (pun intended) as Jose, our waitor, recommended a couple of appetizers to get us started. We chose the Yuca frita and papa rellena. Later, we split the aji de gallina, a chicken dish from the entrée menu.

Simply put, each dish was delicious. “Yuca frita” means fried Yucca root; the lightly fried slices of the root are served with two different creamy sauces, huancaina and ocopa, both made from a combination of chiles. I tasted the Yuca frita and knew that every penny would be well spent. The papa rellena was a savory dumpling style dish made from potato dough and pork. As we snacked on our appetizers, we chatted with the brothers about their experiences in Phoenix so far and ingredients of the dishes. The Friday night dinner crowd slowly trickled into the restaurant, and we watched the brothers serve each customer with the same warm enthusiasm.

Finally, our entree was placed before us. The aji de gallina combines shredded chicken and a creamy cheddar sauce over a layer of potatoes with a side of pyramid-shaped rice. All in all, the dish was simple but satisfying. Each flavor and texture worked well to provide a dense, savory taste. By the time we finished the dish, my date and I were both very full and happy with our choice. We finished our meal with a shot of mango juice and patron, the Peruvian equivalent of tequila according to Jose.

Talking with Omar, I mentioned my previous experience with Peruvian food. He quickly recognized the name and knew the cook.

“They offer a fusion of traditional Peruvian ingredients with a Spanish tapas style presentation,” he said. “When we were planning our menu, we decided to serve Peruvian dishes but incorporate more contemporary plating.”

For a new restaurant, El Chullo has their act together. Each element of an enjoyable dining experience is there: authentic food thoughtfully prepared, inviting and knowledgeable staff, and a relaxed atmosphere. Of my restaurant experiences in Phoenix over the last eight months, El Chullo ranks among my favorites. Plan your next night out to go enjoy every aspect of what this restaurant has added to Downtown’s cuisine offerings.