Tag Archives: aj’s fine foods

Photo by Vintage Partners

Uptown Plaza welcomes Muse Apparel as their first new tenant

Uptown Plaza, the landmark shopping center at the intersection of Central Ave. & Camelback Rd., has announced the grand opening of its first new tenant, Muse Apparel, since kicking off a wall-to-wall renovation in mid-2014. Opening just in time to celebrate Uptown Plaza’s 60th Anniversary tomorrow, August 25, 2015, this popular 10-year-old local women’s clothing boutique recently relocated from its original location at 7th St. & Glendale Ave. into a stylish, custom-designed storefront adjacent to AJ’s Fine Foods. Led by Vintage Partners, the Arizona-based commercial real estate development and investment company, the opening of Muse Apparel is only the latest development in their efforts to revitalize this historic midcentury modern property, as well as restore Uptown Plaza’s original mix of local, regional and national tenants in the heart of North Central Phoenix.

In fact, it was Uptown Plaza’s deep roots in north-central Phoenix that first attracted Muse Apparel’s owner, Victoria Lindley. “When I decided to open Muse in 2005, I knew north-central Phoenix was an underserved area with lots of shoppers but not a lot of shopping. And while I enjoyed our original location, I always imagined Muse being part of a more village-like atmosphere, surrounded by restaurants and other boutiques, so when I saw the remodeling efforts at Uptown Plaza I knew it was the perfect fit.” Best of all, Lindley says, throughout the remodeling process she had customers coming in and sharing memories of dinners at long lost restaurants such as Navarre’s, or working at the former flower shop. “What really makes this neighborhood unique is it spans generations, people have grown up here and stayed to raise their kids here, so it feels like a small town where everybody knows each other, and they take pride in supporting local businesses like Uptown Plaza.”

All of which explains why in 1955 the iconic developer Del E. Webb (creator of Sun City and former NY Yankees owner) originally choose this once-distant neighborhood as the home of the first large-scale shopping center located outside of the downtown Phoenix. Long considered one of the Valley premier shopping destinations, this sleek, brick-lined center is now in the capable hands of Vintage Partners, with the charge to “carefully renovate and re-merchandize this landmark property and restore Uptown Plaza as one of the Valley’s most desirable retail destinations,” says Vintage Partners Principal, David Scholl. Along with the grand opening of Muse Apparal, Uptown Plaza also recently announced upcoming tenants such as second Arizona location of the famed NYC-based, Shake Shack restaurant, and the third location of Phoenix’s own, Fox Restaurant Concepts’ Flower Child.

Scheduled for completion in fall 2015, with additional tenants to be announced later this summer, Phase 1 of the Uptown Plaza restoration is well underway. Starting with peeling away decades of stucco and clutter, during the delicate demolition process the design team has already uncovered 50’s-era details such as original hand-painted signage on the red brick storefronts. “We’re working to ensure that Uptown Plaza will once again be a neighborhood landmark that will thrive for generations to come,” Scholl says.

Scottsdale, Regional Wineries

Regional And Scottsdale Wineries 101: Learn All About Your Favorites

We all know that Scottsdale is full of fabulous eats, but there is also much to be said for the growing portfolio of fine wines popping up at your friendly, neighborhood resorts, bistros, bars and even breweries.

Why not take some time to learn more about some of the up-and-comers to the area? Below, we will take a look as both some local, Scottsdale wineries and regional classics.

First up – Napa’s Etude Winery:

How did the winery make its mark?

Founded in 1982 by Tony Soter, his philosophy was, “Winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Inspired grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in superior wines that are grown, not made.”

Jon Priest, current winemaker and general manager, maintains this approach and continues to build on the Etude legacy. Etude specializes in two classic red varietals — Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Where is it currently available in Scottsdale?

Etude wines are available in fine wine shops and many fine dining restaurants in and around town.

What is your favorite Valley foodie event?

Etude is involved in many wine-maker dinners as well as Phoenix Cooks.

And now, a local favorite – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards.

How did the winery make its mark?

The year was 2002. Eric Glomski was making wine at Echo Canyon Vineyard & Winery near Sedona; he was hard at work when a mysterious black Range Rover pulled up to the remote vineyard in the Arizona high desert.

“I thought, ‘These folks must be lost,’ ” remembers Glomski.

In fact, driver Maynard James Keenan knew exactly where he was. Popularly known as the iconoclastic lead singer of Tool, he was also a passionate wine-lover who wanted to plant grape vines on his property in the nearby artist colony of Jerome.

Over the next few years, Glomski and Keenan each founded private wine labels. Glomski purchased a creek-side estate in the nearby town of Cornville and started Page Springs Cellars, a sustainable winery and bottling house. Keenan, in the meantime, learned the art of winemaking from Glomski and started two labels: Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards.

Meanwhile, the two friends developed a parallel obsession: Launching Arizona wines into the consciousness of wine-lovers everywhere, which they partnered to do together.

Where is it currently available in Scottsdale?

AJ’s Fine Foods, Whole Foods, Fry’s, Total Wine, 32 Shea and more than 100 restaurants in Scottsdale.

What is the best Scottsdale-area event the winery has participated in?

Stronghold has participated in some great events over the years, but the Scottsdale Culinary Festival Best of Fest and The First Press Weekend of Wine definitely stand out.

How would you describe some of your best-selling varietals?

DAYDEN (Dry Rosé ): Dayden is all about subtlety and finesse. This alluring pink wine is dry and fruity, not sweet.

TAZI (Aromatic White blend): Slightly chilled, Tazi restrains itself offering notes of lemon, green peppercorns, fresh herbs and almond biscotti.

DALA (Cabernet Sauvignon): The newest release from ASV, this Cabernet Sauvignon has power and subtlety with a solid bouquet of black currant, cassis, spice cake, fennel and graphite.

MANGUS (Tuscan blend): This is a medium-bodied Sangiovese based blend, displaying fragrances of dusty spice, dried orange peel, tart raspberry, flowers, graphite and rustic dried herbs.

NACHISE (Rhone blend): This award-winning wine has beautiful aromas of concentrated dark fruits, mocha, tar, sweet cigar smoke, hints of black tea, star anise and pumpkin pie spice.

And finally, a Paso Robles gem – L’Aventure Winery.

How did the winery make its mark?

Owner and winemaker Stephan Asseo came to Paso Robles in 1998 after making wine at his family’s three properties in Bordeaux, France for 17 years.

How would you describe some of your best-selling varietals?

Asseo’s intent when he launched the winery was to find a region where he would have the freedom to craft his own avant-garde Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blends, which are now known as Optimus and Estate Cuvee. At the time, this was not permitted in the Bordeaux area. He found such a place on the west side of Paso Robles, where the chalk soils, rolling topography and maritime influence combine to make a world-class growing area. They remain the best-sellers today.

Where is it currently available in Scottsdale?

Less than a decade after launching his label the region, Asseo made his way into Scottsdale with a vengeance. He began selling in the area in 2005 with AZ Wine Company and Arcadia Fine Wine being two of his top local retail outlets.