Sneak peek of new spots in south Scottsdale

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Old vacant buildings on the south end of Scottsdale Road are being infused with new life just in time for high season.

“This used to be a shooting supply store and gun range,” said Dan Semenchuk of Creative Connect, pointing to the former Mandall’s store near the corner of Scottsdale and Osborn roads.

Semenchuk said the long vacant building will soon reopen as the Creative Center of Scottsdale, a coworking space for artists.

Semenchuk, nicknamed “Downtown Dan,” keeps tabs on everything downtown Scottsdale -- especially its revitalization.

Next door to the future Creative Center and the already established Brat Haus, a former knitting shop will transform into Sip Coffee and Beer House.

“We’re all about local, giving back to the community,” said owner Travis Radevski, who hopes to open by Feb. 17, in time for beer week.

“It's just about bringing people together with a good vibe and a good environment to come hang out, and tell some good stories and enjoy some good coffee and beer,” Radevski said.

Just a couple of blocks away, Spring Training landmark Pink Pony will reopen at the end of the month following a major renovation.

“It’s not the old Pink Pony and it couldn’t be the old Pink Pony, but it’s still going to be really good food and really good cocktails,” owner Mark Shugrue said.

Shugrue says all the memorabilia will be preserved, from the Scottsdale Stadium's original home plate to the caricatures on the walls.

“All that history that was the Pink Pony, we want to honor that and continue through the years to come,” General Manager Patrick Cawthorne added.

However, the Scottsdale Road landmark will have a different feel and brand new menu.

“We really pride ourselves in keeping things seasonal and keeping things local,” Executive Chef Donald Fawcett said.

He said everything from the bread to the cured meats will be made in-house.

“Everybody here is really passionate about what they do; you can taste that in the food,” Fawcett said.

The culinary scene on Scottsdale Road is also expanding with the new Hula’s Modern Tiki, the recently remodeled Salty Senorita, and the soon-to-be-opening Barrel House in the former Salty's location.

Locals, like Semenchuk, welcome the improvements and hope new spots attract new talent to the community.

"Old Town typically also means a place for tourists or a place to party," Semenchuk said. "A lot of us want to move beyond that and really create an urban community, and that's happening through creative people."