Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information about Saint Pasta’s ownership. Also, Saint Pasta updated its cocktail menu and hours of operation.
Downtown Phoenix’s outdoor entertainment hub, Pemberton, has become one of the most popular hangout spots on Roosevelt Row. The venue houses local food and retail businesses on the grounds of the historic Sarah H. Pemberton House, a 1920s mansion surrounded by paved paths and greenery.
The space has seen many food and drink vendors rotate in and out. Recently, Dino’s Napoletana and FilmBar said farewell, but new food businesses were waiting in the wings to take their spots. Joining the lineup are a Thai street food vendor, a wine and charcuterie shop, and a place to kick back with a boilermaker.
Here’s what’s new and coming soon to the Pemberton:
Newly opened at the Pemberton
Strada Street Cuisine
Nick Balsamo, with business partner and sous chef Ting Chen, launched an homage to dai pai dong, the open-air food stalls found in Hong Kong. Balsamo lived in Hong Kong and opened a restaurant there before returning to the U.S. He and Chen, who’s Taiwanese, started Strada Street Cuisine in San Diego before opening the Phoenix outpost.
Menu items include baozi with confit duck or pork char siu fillings. The buns are steamed, then pan-seared for a flaky bottom. Strada Street Cuisine also serves sandwiches served on handmade brioche buns, like eggplant katsu topped with shredded cabbage, scallions, Japanese mayonnaise and hoisin sauce.
Coming soon to the Pemberton
The Boiler Room
Earlier this year, Jobot coffee shop owner John Sagasta teamed up with mixologists Colton Brock and Tyka Chheng to open Baby Boy, an Air Stream bar serving colorful cocktails at the Pemberton. The boys will soon be opening a new project — The Boiler Room — a craft beer trailer featuring a rotating selection of beers on draft, as well as bottles and cans from independent breweries. People can find some international beers too, including one from Brauerei Weihenstephan, one of the oldest breweries in the world, Sagasta said. As the name would indicate, people will be able to pair their brew with a shot of bourbon to make a boilermaker.
The Boiler Room is scheduled to open Friday, Aug. 27.
May-Ling Tang wants to serve the kind of food she makes at home or that she has found on the streets of Bangkok, where her mother is from. At Nam Pik, an upcoming food truck supported by the team behind Baby Boy, she says to expect the kind of dishes people in Thailand eat at parties or snack on with their beers, like nua kem (Thai beef jerky), satay gai (chicken skewers), moo krob (pork chips) and pla goong (shrimp salad). Many of the recipes come from Tang’s mother. She’ll also be making her own version of the namesake condiment, nam pik kapi, a Thai chile sauce made with fermented shrimp paste.
For drinks there will be Singha beers and a playful take on a Thai whiskey drinking custom — a cup of shaved ice topped with mini whiskey bottle and served with a side of soda water.
NamPik is scheduled to open in late October 2021 with a pop-up event earlier in the month.
Sommelier Kristin Humphrey and her friend Grace Perry, owner of Gracie’s Tax Bar in Phoenix, have combined powers to open a wine trailer inspired by cafes hidden on the backstreets of Paris. Moiselle will have a romantic-looking trailer outfitted with an awning and patio tables. The menu will offer a rotation of French wines like Cabernet Franc from Chinon and unoaked Chardonnay.
Guests will have the option of ordering red, white or sparkling wine by the glass, or select a higher-end bottle from the list. Food options will include charcuterie boards with mostly European cheeses and local bread, such as demi baguettes and croissants from Noble Bread.
Moiselle is scheduled to open early November 2021 with pop-up events earlier in the fall.
Food and drink vendors at the Pemberton
Since opening in early 2021, this collective has welcomed and parted ways with several food and drink vendors. These are the current occupants. For updates on pop-ups and events, check the Pemberton’s social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
Italian-American food company Saint Pasta gained a cult-like following after opening in 2019. Now parked at the Pemberton, vodka sauce fans can order East Coast Italian dishes like pomodoro made with tomato and basil and vodka sauce served with snow peas, along with chicken cutlets, available to add to any pasta dish on the menu. The trailer serves classic, Italian cocktails.
Details: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; saintpasta.com.
Read more about Saint Pasta:Everything to know about the truck’s move to downtown Phoenix
Baja Fish Tacos & More
The name says it all. The Tolleson taqueria opened a second taco truck at the Pemberton slinging Baja fish tacos and tacos de camarones. Wash them down with an agua fresca or Tecate.
Abnormal Beer Co.
This tap room housed in a vintage Airstream trailer is the first Phoenix outpost of the San Diego-based craft brewery that features gluten-reduced beers.
Valley beverage experts Colton Brock, Tyka Chheng and John Sagasta teamed up to open this cocktail bar in an Airstream built in the 1970s. Offering a variety of drinks including banana daiquiris, blue Hawaiians and Mexican rum mojitos, Brock describes the whole thing as a little bit kitschy: “I’m thinking big citrusy cocktails, bright red cherries, umbrellas, a little bit tropical, not tiki, but those drinks that you remember from the ’90s.”
Details: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday to Thursday; 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; Closed Monday and Tuesday; drinkbbyboy.com.
Read more about the men behind Baby Boy:What to expect at this Airstream cocktail bar
Melt Ice Cream
This inventive ice cream stand offers locally made ice cream and sorbets in rotating flavors like vegan pistachio almond, peach habañero cobbler and Guinness.
Details: Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday; instagram.com/meltphx.
Strada Street Cuisine
An homage to dai pai dong, the open-air food stalls found in Hong Kong menu items at this cart include baozi with confit duck or pork char siu fillings and sandwiches like eggplant katsu topped with shredded cabbage, scallions, Japanese mayoinaise and hoisin sauce served on handmade brioche buns.
You can find a list of all the businesses at the Pemberton, located at 1121 N. Second St., on pembertonphx.com.
Where: 1121 N. Second St., Phoenix.
Hours: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday.
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