Michael Lanier unfurls a vintage map as his loyal canine companion Bennie sits nearby. It’s two days before the February 4 soft opening for the second location of Lanier's plant shop, The Bosque, on the northeast corner of Pierce and 10th streets. “It’s a trial run,” Lanier says of opening for just one day before putting the finishing touches on his new venture.
He’s busy tidying up various parts of the shop's 750 square feet of indoor space and 700 square feet of outdoor space, which includes a 125-square-foot greenhouse filled with plants like succulents and ferns that need a bit more humidity. A giant aluminum tub sits at one corner of the back patio, where Lanier will create a pond for water plants.
The official opening happens Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular hours for the Garfield location will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
When visitors first walk into the new shop, they see a 14-foot Norfolk Island Pine tree, surrounded by potted exotic pink flowers that look like they might struggle in Arizona temperatures. But Lanier, a plant expert and natural history buff, is well versed in all the shop’s offerings and eagerly dispenses tips for caring for plants in a desert environment.
Lanier opened his first location of The Bosque inside the monOrchid building in the Roosevelt Row arts district during the First Friday art walk in July 2015. He’s planning to keep open both the original and the new location, experimenting with a different mix of offerings at each. The new location will feature some of his favorite plants, including carnivorous plants and several exotic varieties.
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The Bosque’s Garfield site is part of an adaptive reuse project by Chuckie Duff, whose other building rehabs include the onetime Chamber of Commerce building that’s now home to Cobra Arcade Bar. This new shop is one of several businesses bringing changes to this downtown Phoenix neighborhood, which is also home to Alwun House, an early player on the Phoenix arts scene.
In coming months, Welcome Diner and a second Gallo Blanco location will open at the same intersection as The Bosque’s new site.
Lanier says he’s excited to be part of bringing more life to the area. “Downtown Phoenix needs more than coffee shops and spas,” he says.