Have you ever wondered where you can find old-school candy or silly novelty gifts in Phoenix? What about TOMS shoes or Free People clothing? Well, look no further! Frances Vintage and Smeeks offers all of the above and much more.
Located just across the street from the Camelback Road and Central Avenue light rail stop are two stores that are definite go-to shopping destinations. Although Frances and Smeeks are sibling stores (owned by the same lovely Phoenix lady), they both offer very different things and also different atmospheres.
Frances Vintage sells men’s and women’s clothing, as well as accessories, stationery, clothing and toys for babies and tots. Frances carries beautiful clothing from Free People, Orla Kiely, Penguin, and other indie labels alike. They also carry a wide selection of TOMS shoes for women and men, and also various handmade items from local artists.
November 11, 2010 at 12:01 am
Not too far from the ASU Downtown campus is two of local restaurant owner Matt Pool’s greatest creations, Matt’s Big Breakfast and Giant Coffee.
Located on the corner of First and McKinley streets, Matt’s Big Breakfast offers breakfast and lunch in a tiny, retro-inspired diner. Menu items include plate-sized waffles, egg and meat plates, frosted flakes, daily specials, fresh-squeezed orange juice, honey lemonade, etc., and with lunch beginning at at 11 a.m., the menu opens up to offer egg salad sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, burgers, chili, daily specials and more. Everything that I have personally tried at Matt’s has been delicious, and definitely worth the walk or ride down to the area. However, if you plan on eating at Matt’s, don’t be in a rush. Usually Matt’s gets pretty busing in the mornings, and the wait can be up to an hour for a table (been there), but generally around lunch time, the crowd has died down and you can just walk in and take a seat.
Matt’s Big Breakfast is open Tuesday through Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
November 4, 2010 at 12:01 am
Has anyone else noticed the major vintage trend going around this fall? Well, if you have noticed and have been wondering where you can pick up some of the best vintage in town, my suggestion would be to head to Butter Toast Boutique in downtown Phoenix.
Butter Toast is a sweet vintage shop located off Sixth and Roosevelt streets that offers vintage clothing for women and men, as well as vintage and handmade accessories, and also the occasional houseware.
On a visit to Butter Toast Boutique, I spotted some beautiful vintage dresses, great vintage men’s shirts, and some cute vintage picture frames (perfect for a picture of your sweetie).
October 28, 2010 at 12:01 am
Athenian Express is that hidden gem of a restaurant that you’ve been looking for.
Located only a few blocks from the ASU Downtown campus on Central Avenue, Athenian Express appears to be a teeny, tiny restaurant. However, once you venture inside the tiny entrance, the room opens up into a large restaurant that offers inexpensive greek food to people on the go.
The first time I went into Athenian I was a little unsure. (I’m unsure of a lot restaurants — it’s the picky food person I am at heart showing through.) However, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the restaurant, the great deals, the student discount (aka free soft drink) and the tasty food.
October 21, 2010 at 12:01 am
A few days ago I had lunch at That’s a Wrap for the first time. That’s a Wrap is a veggie and meat friendly restaurant located off of Camelback Avenue and Seventh Street in Phoenix that serves salads, rice bowls, and top-notch wraps.
Recently, That’s a Wrap moved from their previously location, which was closer to the ASU Downtown campus off of Seventh Street and McDowell. Now, this may seem like a bad thing for all of us downtown students, but since the move TAW has gained a much needed larger parking lot. I remember wanting to go to TAW in the spring, but found the parking lot to be too hard to get into, and decided to avoid getting hit by cars behind me by not taking the halting stop needed to get into the parking lot and just keep driving.
On the upside however, TAW is now in a new awesome location and is serving tasty food daily.
That's a Wrap. Photo by Chelsea Brown.
October 14, 2010 at 12:01 am
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a birthday dinner for State Press Magazine‘s own assistant editor, Erica Rodriguez. When Erica told me a few weeks ago that her dinner would be at Hanny’s, I was really excited. Hanny’s is one of those downtown spots I have heard so much about, but just have never gone to check out.
Located near the corner of First and Adams streets downtown, Hanny’s is a swanky bar and restaurant that caters to people of all ages. Hanny’s carries an extensive alcohol menu, but also offers a large food menu that would make most other bars in the area green with envy. Some of Hanny’s food options include tasty salads, plate-size thin-crust pizza and mouth-watering sandwiches.
While at Hanny’s I tasted the Rocket Salad and the margherita pizza, both of which I can say were excellent and very filling.
September 30, 2010 at 12:00 am
While driving around Phoenix last week, and after making a pit-stop at Urban Cookies for one of their caramel apple cupcakes, my boyfriend and I decided to finally venture out to Hollywood Regency, a vintage clothing store in Phoenix that is said to be closing sometime next January.
After finishing up our cupcakes, and putting 724 W. Indian School Rd. into Google Maps, we were on our way. Now I have to say that finding this shop was harder than I thought it would be, as it is slightly hidden. The storefront of Hollywood Regency is off the corner of Indian School Road and 7th Avenue, but the entrance and parking lot for Hollywood Regency is behind the building, where you actually enter through Zinnias at Melrose, a large warehouse style antique mall that features tons of different booths filled with vintage goods.
Anyway, after parking and finally making it into the building, it was too hard to pass up going in and out each aisle in Zinnias first, as there is so much good (and affordable) vintage eye-candy. While there I spotted two beautiful typewriters I desperately wanted to buy, and also a few sweet vintage cameras that I just know can still work.
September 23, 2010 at 12:04 am
Let’s face it, life in downtown Phoenix can be stressful at times. With being a commuter and a college student, I am faced with traffic, the fear of being late for class, overwhelming amounts of homework and the occasional coffee spilled down the front of my shirt (when your mind is elsewhere things can happen). However, I believe that stress should be matched with a reward — ya know, something to make you feel better after you’ve finished learning about the art of writing headlines in detail for the last hour.
Rewards are actually one of my favorite things, and have made my college experience a little more enjoyable. (Getting homework done = more time to browse the sale sections at some of my favorite stores.) Recently, I discovered my new favorite way of rewarding myself: a trip to Urban Cookies!
Urban Cookies is a retro-style cookie and cupcake shop on 7th street (between Indian School Road and Camelback Road) that sells a variety of hand sized cookies, extra thick cupcakes (via OllieCake) and cookie ice-cream sandwiches. With each cookie and cupcake on display in cute jars and cupcake stands, it’s hard to resist not getting one of everything. However, with Urban Cookies’s reasonable prices ($1.79 for a cookie, $1.99 for a cupcake and around $4.99 for a cookie ice cream sandwich), purchasing a cookie (or two) and a cupcake (or three) is no big deal.
September 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm
Recently I discovered my new favorite vintage shop in downtown Phoenix, MacAlpines Soda Fountain. Now, I know you must be thinking, why is there a vintage store in a soda fountain shop? Well let me fill you in — MacAlpines was established in 1928, offering fresh home-cooked meals. Nowadays the shop not only offers those made-to-order meals, but also strives to keep the memory of the 1950s and 60s alive with their multitude of vintage goods, malt shop sense-of-mind (the waitresses wear sweet old-school inspired malt shop uniforms), and a 1952 jukebox.
I should let it be known that I have driven past MacAlpines for years now (it’s located off of 7th Street, just before Thomas Road), and have always thought that it looked like a neat place, but for some odd reason never stopped to check it out. About a week ago, I was driving to another location on my Downtown Dispatch list, Urban Cookies, and once again saw the large MacAlpines sign and felt compelled to pull over and explore. (Writing this blog has seriously made me want to go out there and find more neat places to tell all of you about.)
I am happy to report that I did pull into the side street parking and finally took the plunge of venturing into MacAlpines, so now I can offer you a personal experience, rather than just a “you should go here because I heard it was neat” story.
September 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm