Most readers have heard of or been to AZ88, a local eatery of artistic and culinary ingenuity and reliability near Scottsdale City Hall. But during a recent visit it wasn’t either of those attributes that caught our attention. Instead, it was an observation by the restaurant’s long-time General Manager. When asked how business was going he said “terrific.”
Why? We queried as such.
Because “our crowd has completely changed”, he observed. AZ88’s crowd is no longer just older theater goers or a gay community that has and always will feel welcome at an ark of acceptance. Instead, it has become younger and wealthier, fueled by the proliferation of high-end apartments in the Old Town area surrounding AZ88. Imagine that: someone saying something nice about apartments. They can be a delicious recipe for small businesses, like AZ88 and many others.
The best downtowns have many residents and many businesses. Old Town Scottsdale has become a wonderful combination of both, and one component cannot thrive without the other. “Residents First” was a message proffered by successful Scottsdale City Council candidate and soon-to-be councilman Barry Graham. But how the best cities really work is not one dominating the other but instead a balance; a collaboration. Just ask AZ88.