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Jul 5, 2010 01:54 PM

Need a recommendation for downtown Phoenix, a Restaurant and a Lounge/Bar

I am organizing a networking event in Downtown Phoenix (near the SHERATON PHOENIX DOWNTOWN HOTEL 340 N. 3rd St. Phoenix, AZ 85004).

I have spent a good amount of time researching and not getting as far as I would like. I am looking for two different venues close to each other for a dinner and the networking event.

The restaurant should be high end, able to accommodate around 12-15 people, and not to exotic.

Here is an example of a restaurant we have used in Toronto:

After this dinner I am organizing a networking event for a group of around 100-150 people. I would again like somewhere high end and sleek with a nice bar, good finger food and hopefully a patio. We would need the event to be in a private area or we would consider taking over the whole space.

Here is an example of a venue we have used in Denver:

For the lounge space I have been looking into the following: MercBar (a bit far), BarSmith, 1130 and a few of the famous sports bars (to casual).

Anyways, any suggestions would be appreciated.


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  1. Believe it or not, the Sheraton's own restaurant, District, may work for either event.

    I'm not sure if I'd call it "high end," but District is far better than almost any restaurant I've ever encountered in a Sheraton -- except of course Kai, which is at another Sheraton on the fringes of the Phoenix Metro Area. The emphasis is on American cuisine with local ingredients, and the lounge is a popular draw among young Downtown workers and residents. My college alumni group holds quarterly events at District and we're always treated well. I believe there's also a patio bar on the second floor available for private events.

    As for your other choices, I think 1130 has the right space, but the food I've had there has been ho-hum. I'm not as familiar with Merc or BarSmith, but neither is really known for its food. Both are thought of more as bars.

    Some other ideas for your smaller event:

    PastaBAR -- handcrafted pastas within walking distance of the Sheraton. High quality local ingredients.

    St. Francis -- American cuisine with emphasis on oven-roasted items. Your group could take light rail up to Central/Camelback and walk two blocks over to the restaurant.

    For your larger event:

    Hanny's -- an upscale lounge and restaurant a few blocks from the Sheraton. Emphasis on classic cocktails and wines by the glass. Food is sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, etc. The second floor space might be able to accommodate your group.

    1. You might consider holding both events at the District.

      Re: the networking event. In the heat of the Phoenix summer I'm not sure a patio would be all that enticing, even wth those annoying misters. The District has a private room that can easily hold up to 150 people, and can provide happy-hour type fare, incld. some very good sliders and crab cakes. And the bar at the District can easily supply the alcohol and any other types of drink requests for your guests.

      Good luck.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I actually asked District. They were unable to accommodate.

        I like the look of Hanny's. I will contact them. To bad they do not have a contact email. Any other recommendations for the larger event are still welcome.

        I will check out the restaurants too.

        Oh and while I am at it, what should I check out while I am visiting in my spare time? I read about a Cajun place that sounded good. I am game for the best cheap eats.

        1. re: smudgebee

          Also, check out the Roosevelt for your smaller event. Not sure how many they can accomodate but its a great downtown location for an event.

          1. re: avandelay

            Seems like good option. I was thinking about Society or Canvas. Society has way better reviews. Any input?


            1. re: smudgebee

              I've never neard of Society.

              Canvas is a place that has occasionally hosted various special events, but I don't think it has ever opened as a business with regular hours.

              1. re: exit2lef

                I don't think that Canvas is really an option. I think that their occupancy permits expired some time ago.

        1. Maybe give Coach and Willies a call and see if they can accomodate your networking event.

          1. You could try Kincaid's Chop House for the dinner, a chain, but high end with good service and decent food, great bar actually. It is also right above Stoudemire's, a larger lounge bar which is closed weeknights, but will open for private events especially for 100+. Might conflict with sporting events however, as they draw the pre-game bunch. Food used to be pretty good with a menu by local celeb chef Eddie Matney, but that was a while ago. Marjeles Sports bar also has a back room they do for events, but it might be small for a group over 100.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kmarg

              The owners of Stoudemire's (same as BarSmith, I believe) recently changed the restaurant's name to the highly imaginative "Downtown Sports Grill."

              1. re: exit2lef

                One little trade to NY and they rename the place. I wonder if he sold his interest in the restaraunt that quickly. Anyway, the place is big enough for the OP's event and has decent appetizers.