Booming business looking to change the face of North Central Phoenix


by Carey Peña

Posted on February 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 7:38 PM

PHOENIX -- Restauranteur Sam Fox is looking to change the face of North Central Phoenix.

“This is such a large outdoor space.  I like to create unique spaces – this being outdoors, I wanted to have more of an indoor feel,” Fox told us when we visited his ambitious new business venture, The Yard.

Located on 7th Street just south of Montebello Avenue, the Yard includes a number of new restaurants as well as a large open space that features games and live music.

It is housed in a 50,000 square foot former motorcycle garage and dealership

Fox gave 3TV an exclusive tour before he opened the doors to the public.

“There is a big indoor, outdoor bar so you can sit and watch TV and we’ll have all of the sports on as well,” Fox said while guiding us through the massive space.

In the kitchen of one of the eateries, Culinary Dropout, they are cooking up comfort food as described by the head chef Andrew Ashmore, who said his favorite item on the menu is the fried chicken.

When asked what excites him most about this project, Fox said he is excited to be in North Central Phoenix with a new demographic that his restaurant group has not yet reached out to.

And it seems this is the place to be.

The latest addition to North Central is a new Z Tejas going up at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road – a corner that is bustling with coffee houses, restaurants and a popular sports bar. On most nights, the places in this area are all packed.

While Arizona slowly climbs out of this economic downturn and people are once again out spending money, Fox said he isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I think people today really know when they get that check after they’ve eaten or drank in your restaurant or bar -- they really know how your restaurant was. Was it a real experience or did they get ripped off or was it really worth the money that they spent.”