Neighborhood hospitality group, Genuine Concepts, is about to bring a new, old-school vibe to Phoenix with The Downtown Deli Tavern opening Monday, December 18, 2017.
Imagine strolling the streets of Downtown Phoenix and curiously walking into a bar which reminds you of something from the past but also feels as current as your favorite pub filled with your best friends and soon to be best friends. Genuine Concepts would like for you to meet The Downtown Deli Tavern.
The Downtown Deli Tavern brings a different type of corner bar to Phoenix. Owner, Tucker Woodbury is a big believer and supporter of the downtown scene and wanted to bring a “warm, friendly corner bar that Phoenix doesn’t yet have.”
“It seemed to me that there has been a little bit of a land rush in downtown Phoenix and now that other companies and businesses are coming, we wanted to make sure that we put our stake in the ground and held onto a spot,” Woodbury states.
Genuine Concepts’ Woodbury and partner, Jim Riley, purchased the space on Monroe Street and Central Avenue nearly two years ago when The Downtown Deli closed its doors for good and have held onto the lease ever since. The original Deli opened in 1969 and through its 46 years in business, carried on as your typical deli, offering breakfast and lunch to the downtown crowd and closing early when the rush had ended.
While holding onto the roots of The Downtown Deli, Woodbury and Riley have created a new vibe and demeanor of what is now The Downtown Deli Tavern. A long, solid oak bar is the heart and center of the space greeting guests as they walk through the front doors off of the quaint patio. The interior is a take from big city corner bars with a checkered floor, lime green leather booths, wood and metal finishes, exposed brick walls and, of course, flamingo wallpaper which adds a quirky, yet classic feel.
Another notable charm of The Downtown Deli Tavern is its ode to local Phoenix celebrities. Phoenix Caricature artist, Jeremy Drysdale, was chosen to deck the walls with characters of downtown Phoenix who have been around including local celebrities and regulars. The idea is to cover the walls with the people who are a part of the fabric of downtown.
Genuine Concepts’ Executive Chef, Justin Woodard, has created an over-the-top American comfort fare menu of dishes which keep true to old time favorites including Mom’s Meatloaf, Omelet and Hash, Turkey Noodle Soup, an Egg Salad Sandwich and the Best Apple Pie. The menu has a variety of options for everyone with a handful of fresh salads, burgers, sandwiches, as well as, a few items sure to spark interest with the Fried PB&J and the Smothered Browns (and these are listed as just a starter if that gives you an idea of how “comfort” we’re talking). The full menu, including breakfast items, will be offered all day long, along with their signature fifty cent coffee. A daily brown bag special will be offered for grab n’ go customers and happy hour will include a list of 7 for $7 food items Monday through Saturday.
“The food we have created for The Downtown Deli Tavern should resinate with its over the top comfort food that we can all identify with,” says Woodard. “Food to me is all about the memories and this place has a menu that will leave a lasting impression on its guests. Food should be fun, not too fussy and simple. I think we’ve done a great job of creating a menu that reflects that.”
The Downtown Deli Tavern’s cocktail program includes the classics like the Deli Old Fashioned, White Russian, Salty Dog and the ever so Strong Island Iced Tea. There will be a full bar with 8 local draft beers, many others in cans, an array of spirits and a key-player wine list.
“With so many great cocktail bars in downtown Phoenix, our focus was simple; let’s build a bar that is brilliant at the basics,” says Genuine Concepts’ Beverage Director, Chris Hardin. “We wanted to tap into the amazing breweries in Arizona, and offer only local beer on draft. We took 6 classic cocktail’s and updated them with a modern twist. Emphasizing quality spirits, we offer everything from Japanese Whisky to locally made gin. We believe our bartenders, service and selection make The Downtown Deli Tavern a unique bar destination for anyone looking for a great drink or meal.”
“The Downtown Deli Tavern will be equal parts food and bar and we hope that people recognize that end even though its a little bit quirky, we love old buildings and we love old Phoenix and this project has been around for so long, why change things too much. We are going to let people figure it out for themselves when they visit,” says Woodbury. “It’s very classic rock. It has an approachable space, with friendly people and affordable pricing.” The corner of which the tavern resides embraces all of the big city feels of Phoenix. It has that city vibe with the light rail going by and the hustle and bustle of the surrounding businesses and regular events. The location feels very downtown and is undeniably relatable to bigger cities which is what Genuine Concepts wanted to take advantage of and celebrate with The Downtown Deli Tavern.
“There is a realness in downtown and we are embracing that and will keep it alive through this new endeavor.”
Downtown Deli Tavern is located at 130 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004 and will be open Monday-Wednesday 10:30am-11pm, Thursday 10:30am-12am, Friday 10:30am-2am, Saturday 3:00pm-2:00am & will be closed on Sunday. Please visit the website at DowntownDeliTavern.com.