Grabbing an adult beverage while attending a typical First or Third Friday in downtown Phoenix is sometimes a frustrating endeavor. Nearby establishments such asThe Lost Leaf
are often jam-packed with bodies, while bartenders are usually swamped with drink orders.
Come this fall, however, Ira and Patricia Hayden will attempt to alleviate this logjam of libation-seekers when they reopen their art space, Celtica Gallery, as the Roosevelt Gallery and Bier House at 509 E. Roosevelt St.
According to the couple, the combination art gallery and drinkery will serve a variety of beer and wine from a granite-topped bar they're installing in the back of the property, which is near Roosevelt and Fifth streets. Currently, they're busy renovating the place and securing the necessary permits from City of Phoenix and Maricopa County officials in the coming month.
In May, the couple won a Series 7 license (which allows establishments to sell beer and wine) via a lottery held by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.
Whereas the Lost Leaf is a beer and wine bar that features art the couple says their establishment -- which has peddled paintings, sculptures, and other works for close to three decades -- the Roosevelt Gallery and Bier House be more akin to as a "gallery that serves beer and wine." While it might be a case of splitting hairs, Ira says visual art will still be "a big part" of the place.
"I've been down here running Gallery Celtica for a long time now and [it] has constantly evolved over they years," he says. "And we decided recently, since the whole area's become so much more festive, we decided to revamp the interior of the gallery and put in a bar."
Patricia says they hope to complete the conversion of Gallery Celtica into Roosevelt Gallery and Bier House and start pouring around mid-September, but admit it hinges on the city approving their permits and paperwork.
They've been too busy ripping down plaster from the walls to expose the brickwork underneath and creating more room inside the property -- which Ira has operated as an art space in one form or another since the early 1980s -- to decide on which beers or wines they will serve (or whether it will be available in either draft or bottle form).
Ira says his two sons, who are fanatical connoisseurs of both beer and wine, will assist them in determining what to stock at the bar. The couple is also hoping to serve a limited menu as well, although that too is still up in the air.
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Ira says in addition to opening up more room inside the property to accommodate drinkers, they'll also expand their hours and will be open multiple days a week (and not just First and Third Friday) like nearby beer and wine joint The Lost Leaf.
Ira, however, says their not aiming to put their neighbor out of business, but instead want to help make the popular intersection of Fifth and Roosevelt even better.
"We don't want to take anything away from what's already here, we're just trying to help improve what's already a unique area," he says. "We've had people come over from Lost Leaf because they didn't want to stand in line outside any longer and they knew we were building a bar. Unfortunately, we haven't been able sell them anything yet."