17 Black-Owned Businesses to Support in Downtown Phoenix

by Lauren Potter
Bars & Nightlife Business Development Food, Restaurants & Dining Lauren Potter August 28, 2020

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.

Onyx Sweet Shoppe

Vernon and Kathi Williams are the husband and wife team behind Onyx Sweet Shoppe. This family-owned and operated shop has a plethora of decadent yet healthful treats, including many vegan options. The Williams are just as sweet as their baked goods, and see want to be a source of support for small businesses and artists in the area. Standout treats include the vegan vanilla bean doughnut, the apple coffee cake. They’ve also got a vast drink menu including Dalgona coffee and frozen horchata. Order online, or better yet, stop in the meet them in person.
1348 West Roosevelt Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 480-205-1356

Grassrootz Books and Juice Bar

Ali Nervis of Grassrootz Bookstore. Photo: Grassootz Bookstore

Ali Nervis opened Grassrootz Books and Juice Bar in the Eastlake Park Neighborhood in 2019. According to a recent AZ Central article by Black-journalist Elizabeth Montgomery, popular titles in its catalog include “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap” and “Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.” While the store is currently closed to the public, it accepts online orders. When it reopens, Nervis plans to open the juice bar as well as create a coworking component within the space, too. Check out the online catalog.
1145 E. Washington St., Phoenix. AZ 85034

Black Theatre Troupe

Photo: Black Theatre Troupe

This year, the Black Theatre Troupe celebrates its 50th anniversary. Located in the East Lake Park Neighborhood, roots of the Black Theatre Troupe group date back to 1970s, when the Valley’s African American community needed an expressive outlet during times of racial tensions. Fun fact: During the 80s it became the first real artistic anchor of the Roosevelt Row Arts District. Performances are slated to resume in January 2021 including “Sistas: The Musical,” “Sunset Baby,” “Black Nativity,” “A Soldier’s Play,” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Virtual programming is also in the works. Donate online.

Bilbo Sportswear

Norma Bilbo (right) and her mother. Photo: Normal Bilbo

Founded in 1995 by Norma Bilbo, and based in the heart of Roosevelt Row, Bilbo Sportswear creates custom, high quality, handcrafted fitness apparel. Bilbo’s customers are amateur and professional athletes in the areas of bodybuilding, pageant swimwear, and wrestling to name a few. According to its website, Bilbo also carries a line of workout gear, photo shoot sports model tops and shorts, stage shoes, swimwear, jewelry, hoodies, and muscle tops for men. Norma has decades of experience, and brings a unique and sparkly flare to Roosevelt Row.
610 E Roosevelt St., Unit 149, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Paz Cantina

Photo: Paz Cantina

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.

330 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Archwood Exchange

Photo: Archwood Exchange / QuickFlicks Photography

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.

Hustle PHX

Oye and Crys Waddell of Hustle PHX. Photo: Hustle PHX

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.

The Larder + The Delta

Chef Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta is a recent semifinalist of the James Beard Awards. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

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.

200 W. Portland St., Ste. 101, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Andy’s Shoe Shine

Andy and Grace (pictured) have been serving the Downtown Phoenix community for more than 13 years. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

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.

114 W. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: 602-264-6592

Bicycle Nomad Cafe

Erick Cedeño of Bicycle Nomad Cafe (Photo: Lauren Potter)

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.

828 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles

Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles. Photo: Lauren Potter

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.

1220 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003

Monroe’s Hot Chicken

Larry “Lo-Lo” White of Monroe’s Hot Chicken. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

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.

45 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ 85003

Trapp Haus BBQ

Phil “The Grill” Johnson of Trapp Haus BBQ in Roosevelt Row. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

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.

511 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Alterations and Creations

TinaMarie Eaves, owner and operator of Alterations and Creations in the Roosevelt neighborhood. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

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.

214 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: 602-277-9952

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe 

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.

808 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ 85034

The Breadfruit & Rum Bar

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Caribbean 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.

108 E. Pierce St., Ste. 2051, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Concierge Bistro Bar

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.

1140 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85034

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