While Phoenix, Arizona, might seem like a sleepy Southwest city, it’s actually a bustling meetings destination with a vibrant arts district and downtown area. When attending an event at the 900,000-square-foot Phoenix Convention Center, delegates are within walking distance of nearly 200 restaurants and bars, plus nearly endless entertainment options.
“Convention-goers are taking advantage of the variety of entertainment and dining options that have brought a new level of energy to our urban core,” Lorne Edwards, vice president of sales and services, tells PCMA. “They’re exploring our eclectic ‘microhoods,’ while mixing and mingling with locals to experience the true flavor of our city. Attendees will discover immersive experiences that only add to why they’re here in the first place.”
Here are five districts in and nearby downtown Phoenix.
Located one block east of the Phoenix Convention Center North Building, Heritage Square is home to local restaurants like Pizzeria Bianco, helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco, and Nobuo at Teeter House, owned by another James Beard Award winner, Nobuo Fukuda. If attendees are looking to network and unwind, they can grab a cocktail at Bar Bianco, or an espresso at the Royal Coffee Bar and Roasting Co. Entertainment options include the Arizona Science Center, which doubles as a unique off-site venue, and the Rosson House Museum, a fully-restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house museum which interprets the history of Phoenix.
Two blocks west of the Phoenix Convention Center North Building, attendees can sample local cuisine at CityScape, a dining and entertainment complex that’s home to restaurants like Chico Malo, blending Mexican and South American fare; Squid Ink Sushi Bar; Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails; and The Arrogant Butcher. For fun offsite events, there’s Stand Up Live, Gypsy Bar, and Lucky Strike. Block 23 @ CityScape – a mixed-use development that will house Fry’s Food Store – is scheduled to be completed in 2019. Across the street is Luhrs City Center, home to Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, Serafina Coffee Bar, and La Madeleine.
Established in the Roosevelt Art District of downtown Phoenix, The Churchill, a community-driven dining and entertainment complex, is home to local restaurants like Freak Brothers Pizza, Foxy Fruit Acai Bowls & Smoothies, and Provecho Comida De Mi Tierra. It also houses a vibrant bar scene and variety of retail options. In addition, The Churchill provides opportunities for community members and visitors to get involved with those in need. It hosts weekly service outings, non-profit fundraisers, and tenants participate in community service hours each month. The unique venue is also available for events. Just seven blocks north of the convention center, attendees can get there by walking or via pedicab. Other local favorites including Angel’s Trumpet Ale House, Cobra Arcade Bar, and FilmBar are just as short walk from The Churchill.
Uptown, near Central Avenue and Camelback, is 4.5 miles north of downtown Phoenix and accessible via Uber, Lyft, and light rail. Uptown Plaza, a restored mid-century shopping center, is home to a variety of dining and shopping options. Attendees can have fresh avocado toast at Flower Child or grab a sandwich at Zookz. Shopping includes West Elm, Urban Silo Market, Muse Apparel, and Local Nomad. Just north of Uptown Plaza is a collection of dining options by local restaurant group Upward Projects: Windsor, Churn, Federal Pizza, Joyride Taco House, and Postino.
The stretch of 7th street between Missouri Ave. and Bethany Home Road, known as “Restaurant Row,” is a mecca for dining and bar options. It’s five miles north of downtown Phoenix and accessible via Uber and Lyft. Delegates can grab a beer and play some games at The Yard, enjoy homemade pasta at Mora Italian, or have a nightcap at The Womack Cocktail Lounge. Or they can feast on rib-eye steak at Stock & Stable, try seasonal, organic fare from Farm & Craft, or sample craft beers at Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen.