PHOENIX Magazine Editors’ Picks for April/May
A look at April and May through the eyes of our sister publication.
Something to Do
Self-Guided Urban Wildlife Tour
Did you know Greater Phoenix is the only place in the world where the peach-faced lovebird lives in the wild, aside from its native Africa? Amazing, but true. The small, parrot-like creature is one of the stars of A Field Guide to Phoenix Wildlife in the March/April issue of PHOENIX magazine. Writer Amy Silverman gets up close and personal with many of the 20 kinds of mammals, 30 species of reptiles and 300 different types of birds that are native to the Valley—along with dozens of colorful beasts that aren’t—with illustrations by Nathalie Hall to help visualize our living urban menagerie, from cat-food-eating foxes to rascally raccoons. Read it and go on a safari in your own neighborhood. phoenixmag.com/a-field-guide-to-phoenix-wildlife
Someone to Know
Kim Haasarud, Trailblazing Mixologist
Since garnering national notoriety for her culinarian cocktail concepts in New York City in the late 1990s, James Beard-honored mixologist Kim Haasarud has worked with hundreds of liquor brands, restaurants and hotels to create one-of-a-kind cocktail programs across the globe. Now, she’s helming a homegrown “garden-to-glass” cocktail space aptly named Garden Bar right in the Roosevelt Row arts district. We chatted up Haasarud about her love of shrubs and return to the world of bar ownership.
We’re familiar with farm-to-table, but Garden Bar is “garden-to-glass.” Explain this concept and what patrons can expect from it.
It’s always been my philosophy in making drinks to celebrate the ingredients, much like chefs do. So, taking garden-fresh ingredients and making that a central focus in the cocktail program is what garden-to-glass is all about. I’ll be using tons of herbs, florals and seasonal fruits and veggies throughout the program.
You are especially excited about using honey in your creations. What drew you to this ingredient?
I’m a huge honey fan. I used to think of honey as just a sweetening ingredient. But when I began playing around with various honey varietals, that opened up Pandora’s box for me and I started to understand just how nuanced and complex honeys can be. They can range in flavor from floral— such as orange blossom—to grassy to chocolatey to funky. I plan on doing some honey tasting classes and incorporating it all over my menu.
What is one obstacle you’ve had to overcome when developing Garden Bar? How did you overcome it?
Going through this process has been a great lesson in local government and civics. We purchased this house several years ago not realizing the hoops and red tape we would have to go through in the permitting process. That’s been a big one, but one I’m grateful for because it’s allowed us to do more community outreach and ultimately become a local neighborhood bar.
Garden Bar is due to open in early May. 822 N. Sixth Ave., Phoenix, (602) 824-2385, gardenbarphx.com
Somewhere to Go
Dug into the rugged Apache Leap foothills about 30 miles east of Mesa, Superior was originally named Queen upon its founding in 1880, in homage to the profitable but short-lived Silver Queen mine nearby. The struggling township was handed a lifeline by industrialist William Boyce Thompson, who made a fortune in copper and bestowed his name on the 392-acre state park down the road. Though copper exploration continues in the surrounding mountains, Superior is slowly converting to a leisure economy, with that distinctly funky mixture of disuse and craftsman brio that we Arizonans love in our emerging art colonies.
3 Day-Trip Delights in Superior
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Thompson did more than make a mountain of money in Superior—he also endowed the town with its main tourism draw and one of Arizona’s most beloved state parks. Boasting more than 12,000 species of desert plants, this splendid oasis is the largest public garden in Arizona and a bonanza for photographers and nature-walkers.
37615 E. Arboretum Way, (520) 689-2723, btarboretum.org
The brainchild of Scottsdale horse breeder Miguel Sfeir, this converted 1913 drugstore in Superior’s resurgent downtown area is manna for hipsters. Lap up craft cocktails and small-plate snacks where miners used to get their strychnine prescriptions filled, and enjoy the café-light-strung patio.
101 Main St., (480) 636-6965
Bruzzi Vineyard Tasting Room
Pinal County finally has its own bona fide, winery-owned tasting room. Farmer-vintner James Bruzzi grows his grapes up the mountain in the town of Young but does most of his pours in this downtown Superior sipping spot, which opened in 2020.
20 N. Magma Ave., (928) 462-3314, bruzzivineyard.com
Something to Eat
Great news for Downtown dwellers and the avant-garde peeps who appreciate Grand Avenue for its quirky coolness. Rene Andrade, the Nogales-born chef who garnered a following at Ghost Ranch, opened his own Grand Avenue restaurant in late February in the tiny sunlit space that most recently housed Silvana Salcido Esparza’s Barrio Café Gran Reserva—and years before that, the historical Bragg’s Pie Factory and Bragg’s Pie Factory Diner. Andrade is calling his pie wedge-shaped place Bacanora, name-checking the little-known and underrated mezcal produced in the town of Bacanora in Sonora, Mexico. Andrade is intent on showcasing the simple, delicious food he grew up eating in Nogales, which means you can expect to find the basic, homey dishes of Mexico’s cattle-ranching breadbasket—an area that’s all about beef and flour. Think carne asada and pollo asado cooked on a traditional Santa Maria grill over olive, pecan and mesquite wood.
1301 Grand Ave., Phoenix,(602) 612-4018