Writer Lara Piu
Photography courtesy The Park
Anew 21-and-over playground with food, music and drinks in an indoor, air conditioned park is elevating the meaning of “adulting.” That’s exactly what Bob Garland and Phil Richard had in mind when they opened The Park, a new indoor street food and beer garden venue in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
“We recognized the trend and popularity nationwide of street food truck food, and figured out a way to feature these festival dishes in a brick and mortar location,” Bob says. “It’s a great opportunity for the food truck operators themselves, to give them a more permanent home to showcase their products, increase their exposure, and grow their business, and it gives The Park customers and endless selection of gourmet offerings from these individual chef operations.”
Located near Talking Stick Resort Arena, Chase Field, and the downtown convention center, The Park features a 19-foot by 13-foot video wall and a huge stage where live music national acts like Rock Lobster, Neon, Elvis Before Noon, and Ashley Red appear.
The entrepreneurs say they’re glad they took their music-meets-food-meets-indoor playground concept into reality.
“Conceiving, designing and building this operation has been a very rewarding passion project for Phil and I,” Bob explains. “This fresh new concept in restaurants has been very well received by patrons from all over the Valley, as well as downtown dwellers.”
They designed the 11,000 square-feet venue to foster a sense of community. Traditional park elements like nature inspired dining spaces, communal tables, high-end lounge seating, green foliage, a tree-canopied garden and a nightlife playground facilitate interaction.
Food truck vendors such as Taste of New Mexico, Pedal Haus, and Frosted Frenzy Cupcakes rotate weekly offering appetizers, salads, soups, tacos, paninis, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, seafood, pasta and sweets. In The Park’s community kitchen, guest chefs like Jennifer Russo of The Market by Jennifer’s interpret street food menus for brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late-night happy hour.
“We choose the very best offerings from the highest quality food truck operators in the area, and they set up shop in our vast kitchen, and deliver their dishes to Park customers,” Bob adds. “Gourmet street food, prepared by the passionate owner/operators themselves.”
The Park’s permanent food resident, Loot ’n’ Booty BBQ, offers award-winning barbecue.
“Our house menu features Loot ’n’ Booty BBQ signature dishes, including the very best brisket sandwich and BBQ ribs you’ll find anywhere in town,” Bob says. “Sterling Smith, owner of Loot ’n’ Booty has been winning accolades and barbecue competitions all over the country.”
There’s also a self-serve wall with fine wines and more than 24 craft beers, including Pedal Haus Light Lager and Belgium Wheat, Hop Knot IPA, and Kilt Lifter.
“It has everyone talking,” Bob adds.
3 S. 2nd Street