Chow Bella

PHX Bux Take Off as Downtown Currency

PHX Bux have been getting a lot of love lately (with occasional misinformed haters trailing behind, too) and it's easy to see why. The discount art tokens have taken off as a viable experiment in citizen-based currency with a grand total of 2000 in circulation, and are accepted at over 25 local businesses -- including various downtown eateries. (The PHX Bux website features a list of the initial 23 businesses that hopped aboard the mini-treasure train.)

Since the July 4th weekend launch, the alt-cash has become a hot commodity with some folks fashioning necklaces with them and some folks offering to pay businesses for tokens outright. PHX Bux participants, though, have stuck to their guns, making sure to only cough up the sweet, Chadwick-and-Rueling-designed piece as change.  When used as payment, a single PHX Buck (one per transaction) discounts the price of anything purchased by $1.

A quick jaunt last night to Conspire, the just-off-Roosevelt-Row coffeehouse, boutique, and community gathering place, yielded a run in with Joey Grether, one of the co-creators of PHX Bux.

Commenting on all the media coverage and hubbub, Grether joked, "Yeah -- we've gone corporate!"

He also mentioned that the publicity continues with a segment on tonight's KTVK-3 news broadcast at 9 p.m. (Update: Here's the video, courtesy of

For anyone doubting Grether's commitment to keeping it real in the face of newly minted popularity, the downtown denizen will be appearing at the Beer & Revolution gathering at Boulders on Broadway, a Tempe neighborhood pub and grub spot, on Sunday at 9 p.m., discussing autonomous culture, art, and PHX Bux.

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Jose Gonzalez