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Downtown Phoenix has an array of Black-owned and -operated businesses, many of which are institutions in Phoenix’s cultural fabric. Here are 17 you can support:
*Originally published February 28, 2020, this blog was updated August 28, 2020. Please check with individual businesses for current hours of operation.
Spend your next Taco Tuesday swimming in tacos. Located in the heart of Roosevelt Row, Paz Cantina offers 10 tacos for $25 (including rice and beans). For 20 percent off the whole menu, use code PAZ20. Paz provides all the ingredients for DIY taco kits at home, and you can upgrade to barbacoa, carne asada, shrimp or mahi mahi for a marginal fee. Add an award-winning 64-ounce margarita to complete your order. Order online or call 602-281-2930.
Founded in 2016, Archwood Exchange is an online marketplace to support Phoenix-based Black businesses, and the community that supports them. According to its Facebook page, Archwood exchange hosts its Buy Black Marketplace the first Saturday of every month. It use to be held at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, but in-person events have been postponed due to COVID. Archwood’s online marketplace features many products from Black-owned businesses in Phoenix, including hats, cologne, books, candles and more. Learn more about Archwood Exchange.
Founded by husband and wife team, Oye and Crys Waddell in 2013, Hustle Phoenix describes itself as a “faith-inspired nonprofit focused on counseling and promoting Phoenix entrepreneurs who may be outside the mainstream lines of support that many others rely on in launching their businesses.” It’s funded mainly through charitable donations, support from foundations, a small fee-based income for some of their services, churches, banks and city partnerships. Learn more about Hustle PHX.
Frequently lauded as one of the best restaurants in Phoenix, The Larder + The Delta is a spot you shouldn’t miss. Chef Stephen Jones, the whiz behind the biz, grew up on Southern cooking and puts his signature sophisticated twist on dishes like fried chicken, Hoppin’ John, crispy pigs ears, fish and chips, and more. If you’re a locavore, you’ll love that most of his ingredients are sourced from local producers and purveyors. Jones was recently named a finalist of the James Beard Awards — they’re like the Oscars of the dining industry.
Located on the ground floor of the Orpheum Lofts, Andy’s Shoe Shine has been in operation in Downtown Phoenix for over 13 years. Whether you need your shoes shined, a stiletto repaired, or your shoes re-soled, Andy and Grace can help you out, and they always do it with a smile.
Coffee and bikes. It’s what fuels urbanists. If you’re an urbanist, bicyclist, coffee addict or are aspiring for all three, you’ll love Bicycle Nomad Cafe. Owner Erick Cedeño opened his cafe in October 2015 inside The Velo bike shop. Cedeño has traveled all over the world on his bike, documenting his adventures as @bicycle_nomad. After landing in Downtown Phoenix, he wanted to create a place where riders could recharge with a locally roasted coffee, tea, a cocospresso or a healthy snack. Hence, Bicycle Nomad Cafe was born.
Fried chicken and fluffy waffles. What’s not to love? Lo-Lo’s has been a staple in the Phoenix food scene for more than 22 years. Named after Lo-Lo (Larry) White, grandson of the same Mrs. White with the Golden Rule Cafe. Take a seat inside the original location of the down-home restaurant, and drink Kool-Aid from a jar as you satiate yourself with some good old fashioned soul food. Order online.
Downtown Phoenix may be 1,635 miles away from Nashville, but you don’t have to travel far to sink your teeth into Music City’s signature spicy dish. Monroe’s Hot Chicken — the latest concept by Larry “Lo-Lo” White (of Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles) — spiced up the Downtown Phoenix food scene with his Nashville-style hot chicken when it opened in February 2019. Located on the ground floor of the Luhrs building, Monroe’s is the brainchild of Larry “Lo-Lo” White, the namesake and owner behind the famous Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles.
If you’re looking for fall-off-the-bone ribs, we’ve got your spot. Trapp Haus, the brainchild of Phil “The Grill” Johnson, is the first barbecue spot to open in Downtown Phoenix. Frequently lauded for its killer traditional American BBQ meats and savory sides, Trapp Haus is located just east of Fifth Street on Roosevelt. Stop into this cozy, rustic hangout for amazing ribs, Philly ‘crack’ wings, hickory smoked brisket, hand pulled pork, cured pastrami and more.
Whether you need a dress altered, a suit dry cleaned or some custom tailoring, TinaMarie has you covered. She has been at the helm of this Downtown Phoenix business since opening in 2001. The space also serves as a small retail boutique with clothing, accessories and stunning African wrap skirts designed by TinaMarie herself.
Feed your soul with some of the best Southern comfort food this side of the Mississippi. A low-key Phoenix institution, Mrs. White’s has served down-home classics since 1964. Fried catfish, fried chicken, smothered pork chops, and savory sides like black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens are just some of the items on the menu. While the space is modest, it has plenty of character with the handwritten notes from its guests on the walls, numerous newspaper clippings and menu written on an old school chalkboard.
Carribean food, rum cocktails and cigars. Have we got your attention yet? Take a trip to a tropical paradise right here in Downtown Phoenix by dining at The Breadfruit & Rum Bar. The restaurant side was opened in 2008 by Dwayne Allen and his partner Chef Danielle Leoni who was recently named as a semifinalist in the James Beards Awards. Then in 2010, the pair opened the adjoining Rum Bar.
The restaurant helped pave the way for the downtown food scene, and its award-winning menu features sustainable Caribbean seafood like curried white fish, pepper shrimp and sweet clam, as well as Jamaican jerk chicken, pork and more. Coupled with daring rum cocktails, fine cigars and an unmatched ambiance, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar is one of those businesses you’ve got to visit to experience Phoenix at its finest.
It’s a vibe for sure. Located just a mile east of downtown in the Eastlake Park neighborhood, this cozy lounge is known for its live music, affordable cocktails and satisfying food menu. If you’re looking for a late-night hangout, you can get down to some Soul, R&B, Neosoul and Funk at Concierge from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.