Valley restaurateurs embrace historic buildings


by Karen Brown

Bio | Email | Follow: @KarenBrown3TV

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 29 at 8:40 PM

PHOENIX -- There is a growing restaurant trend across the Valley and it's not about the food.

Some of Phoenix's hottest restaurants are in buildings that have been converted from doctor's offices, grain stores, and even banks.

Craig DeMarco, of Upward Projects, helped start the trend with the original Postino in Arcadia -- a 1950s-era post office turned restaurant and wine bar.

DeMarco also converted a 1950s First Federal Bank on Central Avenue into a gourmet pizza spot called Federal Pizza, and he is breaking ground on the fourth Postino location in a 1950s school house in Tempe. The building on College Avenue previously served as an art annex for Arizona State University.

DeMarco says Valley residents are drawn to buildings with history because Phoenix is such a young city.

Ron Pacioni, of Coup Des Tarte restaurant on 16th Street in Phoenix, is relocating his popular eatery to a 1920s brick duplex at Osborn Road and 17th street to capitalize on the growing repurposing trend.

Pacioni's project is one of 48 adaptive reuse projects under way in Phoenix alone.

He will receive $4,500 in incentives from the city to support the repurpose, which he says will be helpful because refurbishing the old building will be costly.

3TV's Karen Brown spoke to both restaurant owners and toured their new properties.