REDUCE, RECYCLE, REFUEL?

(Originally published on March 14 2011 | Scoop Factory)

With yesterday’s opening of the Garage Public House in Ahwatukee, two of the Valley’s tastiest trends have finally collided. Yes, between all the gastropubs popping up all over town, and the popularity of transforming old industrial spaces into restaurants, it was only a matter of time before we ended up at garage-chic. So let’s take a moment to track this trend as we spin through some of our fav horsepower hangouts.

As usual in this town, you can trace this most recent restaurant revolution back to the La Grand Orange/Postino empire. Hard as it may be to imagine, but 11 years ago when restaurateur Bob Lynn bought the brick-lined beauty that is the Postino building (aka the old Arcadia Post Office) he had only one image in mind: a gas station. Yes, those famed roll-away window walls and the rugged steel shade structure that we all know and love were actually based on this garage-like home.

Next, buckle up as we motor across town to Copper Star Coffeein Central Phoenix. Housed inside an actual former gas station originally built in 1933, this hipster haven still features a few nods to its grease monkey past, including a vintage cash register and a couple (non-functioning) gas pumps parked out front. However, the real charm here is the friendly staff, from-scratch pastries and cozy atmosphere. Bonus points for the live Blues Sundays and the pet-friendly patio, but boo for not actually opening up the garage door more often.

Then there’s the Garage Restaurant & Bar in the up-and-comingculinary corner of 16th St & Bethany Home. Not to be confused with the Garage Public House, or even the cutesy kid boutique,Garage Body Shop (as those punsters over at EATERAZpreviously pointed out). However, our word-count gauge is officially overheating. And we haven’t even mentioned the hot mess that is the Vatra Grillhouse/Kitchen56 in Arcadia. Why don’t we pull over for a pit stop and we’ll hammer out this automobile-themed pileup in tomorrow’s Scoop.

Image via Yelp Phoenix