Downtown Phoenix has an array of Black-owned businesses, many of which are institutions in Phoenix’s cultural fabric. Here are 21 you can support:
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(Photo: Amanda Clark)
Hats off to these awesome Phoenicians. Straw and Wool’s mission is to bring a sense of style and pride to Downtown Phoenix and beyond, while providing the best shopping experience and a variety of quality headwear and accessories. The business is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Feb. 2021 and recently moved to Roosevelt Row.
610 E. Roosevelt St., Ste 144, Phoenix, AZ
Owner and chef Nik Fields is opening a brand new brick-and-mortar restaurant and market concept called Chic Chef the first part of 2021. It will be located on the ground floor of the Muse apartment building. (Photo: Chic Chef Co.)
Across from the Heard Museum, Chic Chef Co. specializes in gourmet olive oils, specialty spice blends, vinegars, sauces, chef boxes and more. The brain child of Chef Nik Fields, every product is 100 percent organic and gluten free. You can order products online, or check out the new shop just north of McDowell Road on Central Avenue. Follow the Chic Chef Instagram page for opening date details.
2302 N. Central Ave., Ste. #3, Phoenix, AZ
Gizette Knight of the Shining Light Foundation (left) and Andrea Nabors (right), co-owner or Nanny’s, pose next to a mural painted by artist Debra Jones on the side of Nanny’s Fried Chicken on Ninth Street – one of 28 murals painted for the Black History Mural Project, now in its second year. (Photo: Elizabeth Montgomery)
For years Andrea Nebors and her husband traveled across the Valley in their popular food truck serving hot fried fish, chicken shrimp and more. The couple has recently opened Nanny’s their first restaurant Downtown. Currently, Nanny’s is offering dine-in and carryout with online ordering.
Vernon and Kathi Williams are the husband and wife team behind Onyx Sweet Shoppe. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
This family-owned and operated shop has a plethora of decadent yet healthful treats, including many vegan options. Vernon and Kathi 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.
Ali Nervis of Grassrootz Bookstore. (Photo: Grassootz Bookstore)
Ali Nervis and Tremikus Muhammad opened Grassrootz Books and Juice Bar in the Eastlake Park Neighborhood in 2019. Since then the store has received national attention including a nod on Oprah Daily. Filled with shelves and shelves of books by Black authors and on the Black experience, it’s also home to a juice bar and coworking space where community members can host meetings and events. The store has reopened with new titles and has recently added a selection of comic books. There is something here for everyone.
A performance at Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, home of the Black Theatre Troupe. (Photo: Black Theatre Troupe)
Celebrating more than 50 years in the Eastlake Park neighborhood, the origins of the Black Theatre Troupe date back to ‘70s, when the Valley’s African-American community needed a creative and artistic space during times of racial tension. Fun fact: During the ‘80s it became the first real artistic anchor of the Roosevelt Row Arts District. Shows will be tentatively returning in May with “Sistas the Musical.” You can purchase tickets or make a donation online.
Stardust & Sage crystal shop is located in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. (Photo: Facebook)
This crystal shop is located in the Roosevelt Row Arts District offers oracle readings, divination, guided meditation, sound baths, herbal baths, remedies and more. Owned by Havana Hunt, the store also carries a variety of crystals, candles, smoke cleansing sticks and spiritual colognes.
The Buy Black Marketplace hosted by Archwood Exchange happens the first Saturday of every month. (Photo: Archwood Exchange / QuickFlicks Photography)
Since 2016, the local collective Archwood Exchange has hosted the bi-weekly Buy Black Marketplace to support Phoenix-based Black businesses. Founded by the owners of Grassrootz Bookstore and Straw & Wool, the marketplace takes place on the first and third Saturday of every month in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The Marketplace features many products from Black-owned businesses in Phoenix, including art, jewelry, clothing, beauty products, food and more. Learn more about Archwood Exchange.
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.
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
Brownstone Spas is owned by licensed esthetician, Stacy Best-Nervis. (Photo: Facebook)
In need for some self-care? Brownstone Spa is the spot to escape your everyday stresses and emerge with rejuvenated skin. Owned by licensed esthetician, Stacy Best-Nervis, Brownstone Spa focuses on customized skincare services for the face and body including hyperpigmentation, chemical peels, micro & hydro dermabrasion, and customized facials.
610 E Roosevelt Rd Unit 136 Second Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004
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
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
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
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
Whether it’s time for a workout or a cocktail, head to the DeSoto Building at Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street. The 12,000-square-foot building houses Tru Ultra Lounge bar and the gym, Track Club
co-owned by Pasquale “Pat” Brocco and Que Quinn. Brocco opened Track Club after losing more than 300 pounds and sharing his fitness journey with “Ellen,” “Good Morning America” and other media outlets.
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
Known for its Southern comfort food staples, Mrs. White’s Golden Rule has been a downtown dining staple since 1964. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
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. Now 97 years old, Mrs. Elizabeth White has the help of her granddaughter, Kiana White, who manages the restaurant, but the focus is the same: quality, taste and consistency. 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 the menu, written on an old-school chalkboard.
808 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ 85034
Loc’d Art Hair Lounge (Photo: Facebook)
This member-based upscale natural hair salon specializes in loc cultivation and care services. Located in the Roosevelt’s Arts District the salon was founded by Braxton Keith whose mission is to create a community helping individuals to stay “Loc’d” — committed and dedicated — to their personal hair care journeys.
Located in the Desert Sun Plaza, Iced Up is a boutique convenience store offering ice cream, authentic Philadelphia water ice, snacks and an assortment of candy.
Norma Bilbo (right) and her mother. (Photo: Norma 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. Bilbo also carries a line of workout gear, photoshoot 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.