The two acre venue is located at 7100 N 12th St. in Phoenix, between Northern and Glendale avenues. (Photo by Steve Shankman)
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Central Phoenix is about to get an exciting new addition to the dining scene. The Orchard PHX opens this May. The two acre venue is located at 7100 N 12th St. in Phoenix, between Northern and Glendale avenues.
The property was an old citrus farm in the early 1900s that owners Ken and Lucia Schnitzer and partner, Jerry Mansoor converted into an adaptive reuse property. A 30-foot water tower sits in the center of the property, surrounded by more than 80 citrus trees. The Schnitzers, with Mansoor, were approached by Venue Projects to develop a space that would embody the essence and feel of the surrounding community.
“There is truly nothing like The Orchard PHX here in the Valley,” said Mansoor. “We want people to feel they can come here with their kids, a group of friends or celebrate a special occasion.”
The space is divided into three major areas:
Pomelo is a full-service restaurant that will serve contemporary American food. The space encompasses a large courtyard with multiple patios and private dining options that will be available for reservations. Full-service catering is also available on site for special events. The kitchen features a pizza oven, imported from Italy. Pomelo will seat 179 people divided into several rooms—not including a basement that can be used for private events or business meetings. The building is the original homestead owned by the Wasser Family in the 1920s. The Schnitzers and Mansoor took great care in keeping many of the original fixtures while incorporating new elements. A private dining room includes a large table cut from a 100-year-old eucalyptus tree that had to be cleared from the property. Adjacent to this room sits the lounge area where two beautiful stain glass windows were made using glass pieces from Lucia’s great grandmother. The stain glass work continues into the main bar which is peppered with deep mahogany wood. Traditional pieces with hints of mid-century furniture extend into the main dining room.
Luci’s at The Orchard is the marketplace located on property. This building dates back to 1949 and is the old ranch home of Ralph Castro. Castro purchased the land from the Wasser family and transformed it into a citrus nursery. Many items sold inside Luci’s are sourced from local vendors. Unique gifts and specialty food items, hand-picked by the owners, will be available for purchase. The décor has an urban-European feel that is very simple and clean. Sandwiches, coffee and baked bread will also be available. Good news for those who don’t feel like parking! Call-in orders for food can be picked up at the drive through window. Drinks and ready to go items can be ordered as you drive up. A large lawn for picnics will offer a great low-key dining option during the cooler months. An additional dog-friendly patio, designated on the east side of the market only, will welcome four-legged friends who want a place to visit with their owners.
Splurge is an ice cream and candy shop. Located adjacent to the market, kids and families can indulge in sweet treats such as homemade cookies, soft serve, shakes and other ice cream novelties. Splurge will also have a service window on the outside that people can order from. The décor includes striped walls with beautiful white tile throughout. There will be gifts, candies and even adult shakes and popsicles available for those 21 and up to enjoy. There will also be a splash pad nearby for the little ones to cool off during a hot summer day.
“It’s really been a humbling project,” said Lucia. “The Orchard PHX is a celebration of Phoenix history and recognizing how agriculture has really shaped our state.”
The Orchard PHX will embody the five Cs that Arizona is known for: cotton, copper, citrus, cattle and climate.
“It’s really a nod to a state and city that we all love,” said Ken. “So many people in the community are as excited as we are for it to open.”