Each July 3rd, as part of our National Independents Week celebrations, localists pledge to make an impact on their economy by doing as their forefathers did - drink and drink well. This year we decided to devise our Indie Pub Crawl route around Roosevelt Row Arts District, where our amazing Indie Week mural could be included in our fun 'challenges', including: Singing the National Anthem in public, Posing with a giant teddy bear (Beary White), petting albino deer (don't worry, they are wooden). All afternoon before our pub crawl began, LFA staff was abuzz about weather alerts they were receiving. Now, there were some ominous clouds lurking in, but with the heat and humidity we were certain it would pass over us like always. Boy were we mistaken.
First stop was Phoenix Public Market, the über casual, local hangout dedicating all its efforts to making great food and delicious beverages. The Pub Crawl drink special was Market Mint Lemonade with Vodka, which to say is delicious would be an understatement. Packing tightly inside, everyone was busy ordering drinks when, suddenly, the skies erupted into a massive storm! So ferocious was this storm it even caused a brief blackout, though our crawlers couldn't have been more enthralled as they let out a synchronized, "Woo-hoo!"
You know that old idiom 'no pain, no gain'? This was more like 'no rain, no grain'.
Outside, the rain slowed to a drizzle as we hopped over puddle after puddle heading to FilmBar for a good cold brew straight from the tap. FilmBar has cultivated a sort of, "if you build it, they will come" success. They've brought in cult classics and independent movies and now have a fandom of Phoenix filmgoers daily. Stepping inside you see amazing murals decorating nearly every wall, a bar equipped with local beers on tap, plus an industrial popcorn machine. We could have stayed forever, but we were on a schedule; off to stop three!
Short Leash Hot Dogs started as a food truck and has expanded into a full restaurant, but what remains the same here is that delicious creativity is bun-size. Crawlers were sipping Raspberry Cobblers, playing foosball and gushing over the adorable dog photos lining the back hallway. Alas, Short Leash had to close, so it was off to stop four, Carly's Bistro.
Carly's Bistro is just a few doors down from Short Leash serving up mouthwatering favorites and enough beer, wine and cocktail choices that you can try something new every time! Carly's drink specials included mojitos and Four Peaks Kiltlifter, both classic and quenching. Once, again, we couldn't help but fill up the place, even grabbing a seat and enjoying the life acoustic entertainment for a bit.
It was on to stop five that we passed the wooden deer, one of our many challenges. Some of the deer had fallen over in the storm, so a few pub crawlers had fun 'resuscitating' them back to life. Don't miss the photos! Check out #IndieWeek hashtag on Instagram and relive the moments.
Our next stop was the new hot spot, The Local, serving up enticing dishes like Merquez Stuffed Quail, Summer Veggie Tortellini, and Roasted Bone Marrow. For their drink special, The Local was shaking up Peach Collins, a must-have! Dancing to the rhythmic DJ beats, it was hard to leave this spot, but we were nearing the end, and so we had to move on.
We finally arrived at our last stop of the night, Bliss/reBAR, to get one last indulgence of RazPutin cocktails, Oak Creek Hefeweizens and Lumberyard Raspberry Ales. It was a great night, and despite the weather, we had lots of fun and five final teams went home with great prizes from Bookmans, FilmBar and more.
We would like to thank all of our participating restaurants and bars as well as their amazing staff members who made it all look so easy. We would also like to thank our participants for making this event such a great success and we look forward to next year!