Best Vintage Downtown Building to Poke Your Head Into Phoenix 2013 - Hanny's
When downtown Phoenix dwellers want a $5 martini and a good dose of history, the answer is simple — go to Hanny's. The former department store turned fire-testing facility turned Mad Men-style restaurant and cocktail lounge is the perfect example of developers' attempts to repurpose and resurface Phoenix's endangered historic buildings. Originally built and designed by architects Ryal Lescher and Leslie Mahoney in 1947, then later renovated by owner/developer Karl Kopp and commissioned by Janice Leonard, Hanny's holds a curious assortment of historic throwbacks and modern twists. There's the mezzanine floor, showcasing original signage from Hanny's dearly departed department store days, the upstairs level, which houses a cluster of former dressing rooms transformed into minimalist bathrooms, and, of course, there's the basement. Though the underground space is almost entirely gated off, unsuspecting visitors will be surprised to find a dimly lit table of baby dolls waiting for them just beyond the fence. Creepy? Maybe. Unexpected? You bet. But it's peculiar details like this that keep us coming back to Hanny's — well, that and the cocktails.