You are reading: Tempe-Based Carvana Abruptly Lays Off 2,500 Employees in Phoenix

Updated on 2022-06-01 20:55:37

2022-05-10

After a preemptive and overzealous six-month hiring spree, Carvana quietly laid off thousands of employees at its Tempe headquarters on Tuesday morning.

Tempe-based online used car retailer Carvana Co., the fastest-growing American used car dealer known for its towering, multi-story glass car vending machines, abruptly terminated thousands of its employees in metro Phoenix on Tuesday morning.


A company spokesperson confirmed the mass layoffs with Phoenix New Times.


The unanticipated decision to let 2,500 employees go is already rocking the workplace.


Davis Brown, an underwriter for Carvana in Tempe, clocked into work Tuesday morning ready for another day of crunching financial numbers for the automotive giant — just as he has done every day since October.


Instead, Brown was greeted with a company-wide email containing unexpected news. His employer was terminating 12 percent of the company’s more than 20,000 workers.


“Carvana just announced massive layoffs, but no one knows who yet,” Brown said. “We're being expected to work as if nothing is going on and told not to talk about it in Slack.”


Brown claims his coworkers were threatened and censored on Slack, a workplace messaging application, after voicing opposition to the large-scale layoffs.


As the hectic morning unfolded, Brown learned he was spared from sudden unemployment.


“I’m pissed for everyone who needs their jobs,” he said.


That was the outcome for thousands of his colleagues.


“It was horrible,” Bridget Conrad, a trainer who was laid off on Tuesday, told New Times. “I am just numb right now. It was thrown on us with no notice.”


Conrad, who has worked at Carvana’s Tempe headquarters since 2020, didn’t hear chatter about the mass layoffs until Monday night, when she was told Tuesday would be a work-from-home day for her. She helped train some of the people who were laid off.


She planned to work her entire career and retire with Carvana.


Her employer had other plans.


“Carvana has made the incredibly difficult decision to separate from certain teammates primarily in our operational groups in connection with recent macroeconomic factors that are significantly impacting automotive retail and our previously announced plans to better align staffing and expense levels with current sales volumes,” Carvana spokesperson Veronica Cardenas said in an email to New Times.


Brown and others wonder if the action has anything to do with other big news from Carvana on Tuesday morning.


Just hours before officially downsizing its staff, Carvana announced its intention to pay .2 billion for Adesa U.S., the wholesale vehicle auction unit of Carmel, Indiana-based KAR Auction Services Inc.


“It’s profits over people,” Conrad said.


A company spokesperson did not confirm any connection between the two events.


“We aim to carry out this difficult decision in a transparent and thoughtful manner while providing meaningful assistance, resources, and support to impacted team members,” Cardenas said. “We believe these decisions, while extremely difficult, will result in Carvana restoring a better balance between its sales volumes and staffing levels and facilitate the company returning to efficient growth on its mission to change the way people buy and sell cars.”


Affected workers, believing their employer was overzealous in recruiting a small army of new personnel last year, claim the company is simply trying to cover for its mistake.


Brown was brought on board six months ago as part of a large hiring initiative that saw more than 100 new employees start work every week. Hiring just halted in April.


“They massively overhired,” Brown told New Times. “Calling it ‘bullshit’ in Slack is being met with threats of being sent home for the day and any threads about it are being instantly deleted.”


Brown first leaked the company-wide email on the social discussion website Reddit.


He plans to quit next week.


“They said they were preparing for tax season and to be ready for mandatory overtime,” Brown said. “Come tax season, there was no overtime and we were being offered unlimited unpaid time off.”


Conrad even worked reduced hours — just 35 hours per week — during what was supposedly the busiest time of the year early this spring.


Carvana, which generated nearly billion in gross revenues last year, according to filings in February with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, promised each affected employee four weeks of pay plus one week for every year of service with the company.


Leadership promised that the “door will be open for rehire once we start growing again.”


The online car seller said acquiring Adesa will give it "significant flexibility" to grow in the future.


“Our team is bigger than we need and we can’t be certain growth will rebound quickly enough to bring us all back to balance,” Carvana co-founder Ernie Garcia wrote in his Tuesday morning email to the company, which was leaked to New Times. “I want to tell you I am sorry. I know that doesn’t go very far to change what this means for you and your family. Regardless, it is true and it needs to be said.”


Spurned workers like Conrad are left hoping Carvana will be true to its word and consider rehiring ex-employees after anticipated internal growth.


In the meantime, she’s checking the classifieds.


“Now, I’m scrambling,” Conrad said. “I don’t know where to go or what to do.”


Best Thing I Ate All Week: A Badass Green Chile Tuna Melt

26-04-2018 · After trying Chula Seafood's version, you realize the tuna melt you know is no tuna melt. It is a pretender, a pale imitation, some basic union of …

26-04-2018
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I can make a good tuna melt. You can make a good tuna melt. My 1-year-old son can probably make a good tuna melt. The components are so simple, so easy to put together. You melt cheese that's on tuna that's on bread. Add spices or citrus, maybe, if you want. A joke to make, right? And yet, after trying Chula Seafood's tuna melt, you quickly realize something: You, me, my son, your friends, my friends — on the subject of the tuna melt, we really don't know shit. After trying Chula Seafood's version, you realize the tuna melt you know is no tuna melt. It is a pretender, a pale imitation, some basic union of tuna, bread, and cheese but no tuna melt. Chula Seafood is perfectly equipped to make a high-level version of this humble sandwich. Co-owners Hogan Jamison and Jon Heflin source all kinds of empyrean fish for Valley hotels and restaurants, They famously use their own boat in San Diego to harpoon swordfish, loading fish right on the California dock. They also have a storefront in Scottsdale, one that peddles lunch and dinner rather than marine life wholesale. In the shop with blue-painted walls, you can nab alabaster cod, watermelon-red tuna, and carrot-orange salmon for your raw or cooked at-home needs. A range of bowls are on offer, ceviche and poke. Weekly specials rotate. One is the tuna melt. This past Wednesday, the day of the special, a line of lunchers coiled to the door. As time passed, you moved closer to the counter, shuffling through reggae and the chatter. Over an iced rainbow of fish, you could see the tuna melts being made. They crowd onto a monster panini press, capable of handling four sandwiches at a time. The folks at Chula put an aggressive press on your sandwich, ridging the bread with the grooves of the grill. The toasting lasts a while. It results in outer bread with some brown splotches, some burnt spots, and a crisp character that, with another minute of toasting, would be a genuine crunch. The tuna in the middle, though, is soft. It has been cooked confit-style. That means cooked immersed in fat, a method that yields fall-apart tuna, duck, chicken, or whatever has been cooked.
The chill interior of Chula Seafood - CHRIS MALLOY

The chill interior of Chula Seafood

Chris Malloy

This tuna melt speaks with a strong Southwestern accent. Green chiles provide low heat, a mere candle flicker of cool burn. You can still get the mild flavor of albacore and the dreamy quality of melted cheese, sprinkled on with a restrained hand. The cheese is queso Oaxaca. The toasted vehicle is Noble Bread, two slices of sexy grill-furrowed goodness. Yep, we're miles from Bumblebee, American cheese, and English muffins. A little plastic container of chimichurri comes on the side. Dunk your sandwich if you please. The famous South American sauce brims with chopped herbs, parsley, and more. It has some tang, acidity enough to slice through the heft of the cheese and the steak-like density of the tuna.

You may not need that chimichurri. This Wednesday-only tuna melt is good enough sans sauce, operating on a  a different level than the sauce, one of subtleties: textures, flavors, small aromatics. Those pleasantly interlocking qualities, though nothing pyrotechnic, are what make this genre-lifting tuna melt so damn delicious.

Chula Seafood. 8015 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale; 480-621-5121.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Best Coffee Roaster 2015

The resultant cup — served with or without ice in a chilled pint glass — has a silky texture, smooth, malty body, and beautiful cascading visual effect. 11 W. Boston St. #6, Chandler, 85225 ...

Press Coffee Roastery

Pardon the pun, but Press Coffee Roasters continues to im-Press us. Despite their diverse origins, Press Coffee Roasters' offerings demonstrate the company's unparalleled commitment to coffee clarity and balance. Each one waltzes gracefully between sweetness, acidity, and bitterness. The company's approach to roasting is exceptionally nuanced, and it's managed to maintain a high level of quality despite recent expansion. As a rule, we don't want to be made to taste how a coffee's beans were roasted. Too light and even the sweetest coffee will taste little more than grassy or sour; too dark and complex and cups become little more than ashy, bitter lumps of charcoal. Press takes great care to ensure that its coffees' natural sugars are perfectly caramelized and that each cup is flavorful, unique, and free of overt roast influence.

  • 4243 S. 36th Place, Phoenix, 85040 Map
  • www.presscoffeeaz.com/roastery/

Arizona Distilling Co.

Back in 2013, Arizona Distilling Company made history with the release of Copper City Bourbon, the first spirit to be made legally in the Phoenix area since Prohibition. Not long after came the Tempe distillery's Desert Dry Gin, a distinctly Arizonan spirit made with local botanicals (it earned a double gold medal this year at the San Francisco Spirits Competition this year), and in the years since, the childhood friends behind the craft distillery haven't let up — in fact, they're just getting started. We love the line of limited-edition whiskeys the distillery has been making with local grains, and we can't wait for the debut of the company's line of tequila, made in collaboration with a distillery in Mexico. Soon they'll be moving the whole operation to bigger digs, with room for a larger tasting room. We can only imagine what they'll do with all that extra space.

  • 601 W. University Dr., Tempe, 85281 Map
  • 480-921-2487
  • www.azdistilling.com

AZ Wine Co.

Yes, Total Wine and BevMo are just around the corner, but it's worth the trip to this South Scottsdale wine shop. Here, you can find great deals on bottles from all over the world, and the knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help you pick out the perfect bottle for the occasion. There are shelves and shelves of French, Italian, and, of course, Arizona wines, and if AZ Wine Co. somehow doesn't have what you want, it'll be more than happy to order it. Every Thursday at 6 p.m., the store hosts weekly wine tastings, which are great gatherings for wine geeks who want to talk shop and compare notes.

Readers choice: Total Wine

  • 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 85253 Map
  • 480-423-9305
  • www.azwineco.com

Sun Devil Liquors

A sister store to the well-stocked Tops Liquors in Tempe, Mesa's Sun Devil Liquor matches that store in selection, ambiance, and wonderful aroma (someone get Standard Wax on a "cardboard and hops" — stat). Like Tops, the store comes complete with its own satellite bar, but the Sun Devil Wine Cellar & Pub has one advantage over Taste of Tops: It's underground. Nothing makes you feel as though you're slipping into a speakeasy more than descending the staircase and finding yourself in the dimly lit cellar, where exclusive tastings are held and live jazz adds to the comfort.  

Readers Choice: Total Wine

  • 235 N. Country Club Dr., Mesa, 85201 Map
  • 480-834-5050
  • www.topsliquors.com

Herb 'N Legend

If it can be smoked, Herb'n Legend in Phoenix has something classy to smoke it in. This head shop has inexpensive but decent glass and acrylic bubblers and water pipes that will get the job done. At the high end, masterpieces of glass art will impress the hell out of your pals both before and after a bong session. Prices are pretty good, too, for the average tools most smokers will need. And if you don't have a thousand dollars handy, it's worth it to spend a few minutes gazing at the colorful, artistic pieces on the shelves. You'll also find fancy tobacco pipes and a huge selection of dabbing rigs for wax aficionados. Fantastic selection, friendly staff, and high art — everything we want from a head shop.

Readers Choice: Sky High Smoke Shop

Harvest of Tempe

What's not to like about a retail store that sells marijuana in Arizona? Before voters approved the Medical Marijuana Act in 2010, selling bulk buds and hashish was a severe felony with likely prison time for offenders. Now (if you qualify) you can walk into one of nearly 90 dispensaries in the state and walk out with a truly mind-blowing variety of marijuana products. Several factors make Harvest of Tempe better than the others. The selection is vast: At last count, the menu boasted 28 strains of pot, a smorgasbord of edibles purchased from other Valley dispensaries, a few tinctures including CBD-heavy mixtures that might be good for various medical ailments, and a cornucopia of concentrates like shatter and wax. Efficiency is the key feature at Harvest. Unlike most other dispensaries, you're in and out in minutes. Customers usually get buzzed to the showroom immediately, and it's not uncommon to find the sales area crowded with staff members chatting up customers with questions about the products. One wall contains shelves with jars of sample buds and edibles. It's a more casual, urban experience than dispensaries that try to emulate a doctor's office. Not that you'll find black lights and Bob Marley posters here. Professionally run, clean, with knowledgeable staff members on the sales floor and cashiers behind a glass security wall, Harvest has the quick-service model others should follow.

Readers Choice: Herbal Wellness Center

  • 710 W. Elliot Rd., Tempe, 85284 Map
  • 480-777-2100
  • www.harvestofaz.com/

Most every smoker has his or her favorite marijuana strain, but for a little while in early 2015, something special was going on with a type of cannabis called Afghan Kush. Tight, fragrant buds, lots of red hairs. It was said to be an indica, which it must have been due to the full-brain feeling — not a strain for getting much work done. Great for sleep, pain, and TV. The strain was locally grown or perhaps came from California or Colorado. Several dispensaries in town carried it. When they did, it sold out quickly. By mid-spring, it was all gone.

"Got any Afghan Kush?" we'd ask repeatedly at the places that previously carried it.

"No," would come the response, always with a knowing smile.

"Do you have anything like Afghan Kush?"

"No, there's nothing like it," budtenders at two different dispensaries said.

So far, so true. Harvest time can't be too far away, though.

Found at various Arizona dispensaries
www.leafly.com

Contrary to popular belief, the worst thing about edibles is not that they might work too well, causing you to curl in a corner whimpering for eight hours like New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. No, the worst thing about edibles is when they don't work. Paying serious green for a buzz that never arrives is something no true cannabist wants to do.

Bhang chocolate bars solve that problem. They start with Venezuelan criollo cacao from the company's California headquarters and then infuse it with hash oil and sell it at Harvest and other dispensaries. They look like Kit-Kats imprinted with Bhang logos and marijuana leaves. Bhang bars have a consistency in effect that others lack, and it's easy to get the dosing right. Pick single, double, or triple strength — whatever's right for your own needs; each is packed with a respective one, two, or three grams of hash oil — and decide how many of the four connected chocolate bars inside each wrapper to eat. Apart from some gummi candies that are sprayed with hash oil instead of made with infused oil throughout, no other edible contains as few calories for its potency, local budtenders say. Flavors include dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cookies and cream, and others we haven't tried yet.

Novices beware: These are the real deal. You don't want to end up like Dowd, so go cautiously at first. Ripping open the silvery inner sleeve, you won't find a golden ticket. But satisfying and delicious, covered in chocolate and a miracle or two — that's Bhang medicated chocolates.

www.gotbhang.com

Finding the perfect present is hard enough. But getting a gift for someone who seeks out the scientific and, more important, the strange? That's a special skill on its own. Lucky for buyers of the bizarre, Curious Nature caters to lovers of the creepy and crawly. The downtown boutique offers everything from framed insects and animal bones to taxidermy and wet specimens, as well as classes to learn how to make these creations yourself. If you aren't quite on board with accessorizing your home with anatomy, the emporium also sells stones, minerals, tillandsias, books, jewelry, posters, candles — even a few pampering products to keep your skin and facial hair in check. Admit it. You're curious now, aren't you?

  • 5032 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85012 Map
  • 602-314-4346
  • curiousnatureshop.com

We visited Al's with a neophyte beader this summer and came away with a single word: wow. Organized as though Martha Stewart herself had masterminded it, and completely covered in nothing but strings of beads of every make and color, Al's is so clearly the best bead store that it's enough to turn even the least-interested-in-beading crafter into a happy dabbler. Al's offers variety, selection, and quality, with a wide range of materials to both hobbyists and professional jewelers. The personable staff is wise enough to leave shoppers mostly alone to browse and get creative, and knowledgeable enough to confer on both materials and technique needed for pretty much every jewelry design. Glass cases housing silver and precious stones and tables of bead-filled bowls are surrounded by walls neatly arranged by material (everything from glass to jade to semi-precious stuff — and, oh, the turquoise!), color, and size. Al's can compete with any Garment District supply shop or gemstone-fair dealer, offering rare materials like watermelon tourmaline or simpler pieces made of paper or colored glass. Al's real secret weapon is Lisa, a beader who can answer any question you've got about beading ("Can I thread this on wire?") and will gently steer you away from mistakes she's made herself ("Don't mix crystals with those mountain-stone beads — trust me!"). The only problem with Al's is coming up with reasons not to go back there every single day.

11 Great Themed Restaurants in Metro ... - Phoenix New Times

26-10-2015 · Several local establishments offer entertainment and eats to Valley visitors, but we believe they're fun for locals too. Get weird while checking out these 11 themed restaurants in greater Phoenix ...

26-10-2015
Theme restaurants get a bad rap. Not all are hokey, and not all are just for kids or out-of-towners. Several local establishments offer entertainment and eats to Valley visitors, but we believe they're fun for locals too. Get weird while checking out these 11 themed restaurants in greater Phoenix.

The Duce is the perfect place to take friends or family who can’t seem to make up their minds. The downtown restaurant is a veritable shopping mall of different food and drink options, stores, and even exercise areas. The menu ranges from home-cooked Southern favorites like mac-and-cheese muffins to brisket sliders. At night, the spot turns into a Prohibition-era themed bar complete with discount beverages and activities for all. Like food, drinks range from affordable cans to intricate cocktails. There's also a boxing gym right in the middle of the space.

The Duce is a big space, and it offers a little bit of something for everyone. - SARA WEBER

The Duce is a big space, and it offers a little bit of something for everyone.

Sara Weber


Production of the Mighty Wurlitzer organ ceased in 1943, but one restaurant in the Valley boasts an original model and treats guests to a concert each night. At Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, you can enjoy a side of music with your meal. The musicians play on an elevated stage that even transforms into a light show on occasion. Tunes include classics for adults and familiar tunes for the kids — and for the little ones with short attention spans, there’s also an arcade. The family-style dining experience carries into the kitchen, where staff creates pizzas of your choosing. There are also pastas and gluten-free options.
At this classic pizza parlor, you can enjoy pizza with a side of tunes. - SARA WEBER

At this classic pizza parlor, you can enjoy pizza with a side of tunes.

Sara Weber


Mad Men fans would be remiss to skip Hula's Modern Tiki. The '50s Hawaiian-inspired restaurant serves Polynesian fare and creative cocktails that appeal to every taste. Patrons of all ages are welcome, as the menu caters to kids and adults looking to branch out of the ordinary. A sleek dining room and bar create a luau vibe that's anything but kitschy. Tiki masks decorate the walls but don't expect grass skirts or "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on repeat in the background. Hula’s currently has two locations, one in Old Town Scottsdale and an uptown Phoenix location. Hours vary depending on location, but both are open for lunch, dinner, and after-dinner drinks, as well as weekend brunches.
Pick your poison. - HULA’S MODERN TIKI

Pick your poison.

Hula’s Modern Tiki


The Stockyards is an embodiment of the classy cowboy joint, meaning you'll want to shine your boots a bit before visiting this one. Locally known as Arizona’s original steakhouse, The Stockyards has served classic Western dishes since 1947. Listed in the state's Historical Register, The Stockyards was built on the famous Tovrea Land and Cattle Company's property. After a fire in the 1950s and a renovation in the early aughts, the restaurant has remained a staple in the local scene. The kitchen covers everything you would expect from a steakhouse but ups the ante with some more exciting options including elk, buffalo, and boar. And if you like Rocky Mountain oysters, you might try the "calf fries," which follow the same recipe but come from younger cattle.
Will you see the Lady in Red at Stockyards? - JACOB TYLER DUNN

Will you see the Lady in Red at Stockyards?

Jacob Tyler Dunn

Rustler's Rooste is likely the most carefree cowboy bar you'll ever visit. The massive restaurant offers steak dinners, fish options, ribs, and rattlesnake, plus, every table gets a hearty post-dinner serving of cotton candy. Inside the restaurant, you can wander around two stories and slide down the famous slide. Outside, you can hang out on the balcony, where you will catch a nice view of Arizona's mountains and — if you time it right — a breathtaking sunset. It's a family-friendly spot and can be reserved for private parties or receptions. The saloon opens at 4 p.m. and stays open late; the steakhouse serves from 5 to 10 p.m. Oh, and don't forget to say "Hi" to Horney the Bull at some point while you're there. You can't miss him.
The scene from the Rooste. - LAUREN CUSIMANO

The scene from the Rooste.

Lauren Cusimano


For those looking to step back in time and enjoy an ice cream soda or homemade cherry Coke, MacAlpine's in central Phoenix is the place to go. The small restaurant, flanked by a vintage clothing shop and home decor store, serves an array of old-school meals ranging from hot sandwiches to comfort food-based meals.  But it truly excels in its construction of dessert-based drinks. Guests can get the full experience by playing the shop's old jukebox, which carries all the biggest hits from the '50s and '60s. Pin curls are encouraged, but not required. Note: at this time MacAlpine's is open for carryout only.
 
Alligator tacos at the Mesa Bass Pro Shop's, a quirky seafood-themed restaurant that’s attached to the outdoor-gear megastore. - JACKIE MERCANDETTI

Alligator tacos at the Mesa Bass Pro Shop's, a quirky seafood-themed restaurant that’s attached to the outdoor-gear megastore.

Jackie Mercandetti


As you drive up Cave Creek Road and pass through the arid desert landscape, you’ll eventually find yourself in a town full of colorful vintage shops and cafes. You’ll also eventually become surrounded by dive bars, each one boasting the best food and strongest drinks. It’s very important that you drive past them and turn right into Harold’s Cave Creek Corral. You can’t miss it; it has the biggest sign out front and looks the most authentic. The drive out to Harold’s Corral is a clue to the atmosphere you’ll find at the cowboy bar and restaurant. Harrold's usually houses a relaxed but colorful crowd who seem to know each other and yet accept everyone as family — especially if you’re a Steelers fan. You can get traditional cowboy dishes (meaning countless types of steaks and other various red meats). There's also an in-house popcorn machine. After dark, Harold’s turns into a haven for those looking to two-step their troubles away.
The Yard and Culinary Dropout, where some backyard-style fun will definitely go down. - LAUREN CUSIMANO

The Yard and Culinary Dropout, where some backyard-style fun will definitely go down.

Lauren Cusimano


The massive outdoor area at Culinary Dropout provides guests with a backyard party feel. There are all kinds of yard games such as corn hole, giant Jenga, and ping pong, plus drink deals that’ll make you feel like you're drinking at home. During the day, you can find charcuterie boards and loaded sandwiches, while the dinner menu incorporates hearty classics like 36-hour pork ribs and rainbow trout. Over the weekend, you can start your day with dishes like bread pudding French toast, and a little hair of the dog. There’s (usually) live music on weekends to boot. For food, Culinary Dropout's kitchen staff cooks up comfortable tailgating favorites.
Can you think of any other bat-themed bar and grill in the Valley? - NEW TIMES ARCHIVES

Can you think of any other bat-themed bar and grill in the Valley?

New Times Archives

Carlsbad Tavern, named to sound like Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southern New Mexico, has a brunch, dinner, happy hour, and late-night menu for those to enjoy their genuine New Mexico grub at nearly any hour. Street tacos and green chile mac and cheese are available till 2 a.m. just a three-minute drive or 20-minute walk from Old Town Scottsdale. If you're more of a morning person, brunch is available at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Carlsbad Tavern has textbook New Mexican food — machaca red chile enchiladas, carne adovada, green chile burritos — but with some Scottsdale flair. For example, the brunch menu has a build-your-own Bloody Mary option and avocado toast, while entrees include Maine lobster enchiladas and New York carne asada.
Topo can't be missed — both on the street and for the elote. - LAUREN CUSIMANO

Topo can't be missed — both on the street and for the elote.

Lauren Cusimano


A place like Topo looks like it should be neighboring an old rest stop along Route 66 in northern Arizona, but instead, it’s found among the many dining options along Gilbert Road in the Heritage District. But that does not take away its charm. Topped with the didn’t-take-to-be-iconic gopher, Topo’s small, standalone structure and walk-up window look like something that should be listed on Roadside America (we’re waiting). The menu is tight and cashless, offering two types of burritos, two types of elote, and some soft serve. But menu items are still next level — like the prickly pear soft serve with lime dip and Mexican Coke. And while it may feel like a road trip to some of you to even get to Gilbert, that only adds to the experience.
Don't ever change (again), Space Age Restaurant. - LAUREN CUSIMANO

Don't ever change (again), Space Age Restaurant.

Lauren Cusimano


It’s a little bit of a drive, but the Best Western Space Age Lodge is definitely worth the trip. The hotel's Space Age Restaurant is weird, roadside Arizona at its best — complete with the glowing spaceship sign announcing the pull-off along Pima Street (the main stretch of Gila Bend). A life-size alien (or so we assume) greets you at the front door, and another welcomes you inside. Menu items include the Jupiter Burger and the Spacey Melt (both on the Lunar Lunch menu). There’s also a full bar and plenty of shuttle-themed murals inside. The lodge itself dates back to 1965 when its original founder Al Stovall opened the site as Stovall's Space Age Lodge.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on October 26, 2015. It was updated on  December 5, 2020. Sara Weber contributed to this article. See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.

Arizona Board Clears Cops to Use CBD Products

08-07-2019 · On June 19, the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) issued a statement clarifying that it "does not view the use or possession of over-the-counter products containing CBD ...

08-07-2019
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The rise of CBD products has sparked a new question in law enforcement circles: How should police departments treat aspiring cops who admit to using or test positive for CBD (cannabidiol), the active ingredient in cannabis known for its soothing qualities? CBD, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is not psychoactive. Read: It does not get you high. Nevertheless, the board that regulates police certifications in Arizona has historically regarded the use of over-the-counter CBD products — such as balms for aches and pains — the same as pot you'd find in a medical marijuana dispensary. Until last month. On June 19, the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) issued a statement clarifying that it "does not view the use or possession of over-the-counter products containing CBD as constituting the illegal use or possession of marijuana, a dangerous drug, or a narcotic drug." Matt Giordano, the executive director of AZPOST, said CBD has been widely discussed since he started his job in 2018. In a memo explaining the policy directive, Giordano said would-be officers using CBD products aren't trying to get blitzed. "Police agencies have seen an increase in the number of applicants that have disclosed the use of products containing CBD during their backgrounds," he said. "What we are finding is someone who might rub a product containing CBD oil on their elbow or knee before going out for a run." CBD products containing more than .3 percent THC that were purchased at a dispensary would not fall under the exemption. AZ POST will continue to prohibit medical marijuana products above that threshold.

It's the same amount of THC allowable under a 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Donald Trump, which effectively legalized hemp production and led to the proliferation of over-the-counter CBD products, from gummies to lotion to dog treats.

In an email, Giordano said his office could not locate any cases in which a cop was denied certification for CBD use.

Haziness over CBD has also raised questions on the other side of law enforcement in Arizona. In October, Phoenix New Times published a report revealing that the Yavapai County Attorney's Office charged two people with marijuana possession in 2017 for having CBD oil.

One of those charged, Robert Stapleton, tried to explain to the Prescott Valley officer who pulled him over how the CBD vape pen in his car was different than a product containing a higher concentration of THC. The officer phoned a deputy attorney and asked how he should handle the case.

"Treat the CBD as marijuana instead of a narcotic," the prosecutor told the cop.

Where to Find 10 Great Grain Bowls in Metro Phoenix

13-05-2022 · 2700 South Mill Avenue, Tempe. 480-590-5703. Don’t mistake The Golden Pineapple as just another buzzy Tempe spot where ASU students go to unwind with weekend brunch mimosas, bomb burgers, and ...

13-05-2022
Get ready to get bowled over. Grain bowls in Phoenix have reached new heights, combining the usual suspects, like grains, greens, and beans, with impressive toppers like heirloom black rice, Sonoran berries, charred veggies, pickled peppers, toasted hemp seeds, and house-made sauces – and some don't even come with grains at all. Often gluten-free and vegan with an option to add protein, these versatile vessels are ideal for a quick lunch or even brunch, packing in wholesome ingredients that layer flavor and textures. Here are the best one-bowl wonders Phoenix has to offer.

Don’t mistake The Golden Pineapple as just another buzzy Tempe spot where ASU students go to unwind with weekend brunch mimosas, bomb burgers, and happy hour craft beers. Granted, the twinkle-lit place has a festive vibe, but the food is a level up. All seafood is locally sourced from Chula Seafood, produce is farmers market fresh and often organic, heck, even the fermented chili ketchup is made from scratch – and then there’s the Grain Bowl. Made with Hayden Mills grains, heirloom pinto beans, charred sweet potato, fire-roasted chiles, sliced and seasoned avocado, and piles of peppery arugula, the whole thing is tossed in a honey avocado vinaigrette and drizzled with house-made chili oil for a meal that’s smoky, spicy, substantial, and just happens to be vegan.


Pomegranate’s Magic Dragon Bowl is magically delicious. - ALLISON YOUNG

Pomegranate’s Magic Dragon Bowl is magically delicious.

Allison Young

Pomegranate Café is proof that plant-based bowls can bring big flavor. The Ahwatukee vegan hotspot serves up a mesmerizing menu of bowls: the Magic Dragon Bowl comes loaded with stir-fried broccoli, zucchini, crispy cabbage, and chili almonds, with a drizzle of Thai almond sauce. The Bountiful Bowl pairs quinoa, black beans, walnut chorizo and farm veggies with greens, guac, Baja sauce, and blue corn tortilla chips. All are thoughtfully layered, colorful creations that also come cradled on quinoa, brown rice or kelp noodles with a choice of plant-based protein (the jackfruit carnitas all the way). If comfort is your M.O., the Pom Mac is the way to go, a mix of gluten-free macaroni, cheezy sauce, and either garden veggie pesto, buffalo cauliflower, or BBQ jackfruit. None of the above skip a beat – just the meat.
Noble might be best known for its breads, but the Grain Bowl is a solid go-to. - ALLISON YOUNG

Noble might be best known for its breads, but the Grain Bowl is a solid go-to.

Allison Young

To say the Noble Grain Bowl from Noble Eatery is fulfilling is an understatement. A mix of grains, sometimes farro, rye berries, Sonoran berries, or whatever’s in season accompanies quinoa, arugula, butternut squash, beets, and roasted red peppers, all sourced from McClendon's, a local organic farm in Peoria. The grains have a nutty, buttery quality, butternut squash and beets are roasted in the wood-fired oven to a caramelized finish, crunchy pepitas and shaved slices of Manchego cheese add extra crunch and texture, and a subtle dressing of cabernet vinegar and olive oil ties it all together. The result is a tangy, earthy bowl that provides the perfect balance between satisfaction and nutrition.

There are plenty of health-focused options on Luci's menu, from breakfast frittatas to fresh salads, but the bowls are by far our favorite. The delicious lineup includes four bowls, including their Mojo Power Bowl, a blend of warm farro, quinoa, chickpeas, black bean hash, red peppers, yellow squash, red onion, avocado, and feta topped with an over medium egg, and their Lean Machine Bowl, a mix of field greens, sautéed red peppers and mushrooms, red onion, sweet potatoes, quinoa, avocado, and yellow squash, plus a generous portion of pan-roasted salmon. In fact, everything is generous about these showstoppers. They’re large, in charge, and beyond filling – and all gluten-free.


No need to snooze after eating the Makin’ It Grain Bowl at Snooze. - ALLISON YOUNG

No need to snooze after eating the Makin’ It Grain Bowl at Snooze.

Allison Young

Choosing the plant-powered Makin’ It Grain Bowl means bypassing the syrup-soaked pancakes and French toasts at Snooze for something decidedly less coma-inducing, but the rewards are so worth it. The savory bowl starts with a mixture of farro, black rice, and quinoa mixed together with onion jam and mushrooms for a risotto-like consistency. The bowl comes topped by peppery arugula, cherry tomatoes for added pop, and house-made pickled peppers, plus sliced avocado and toasted hemp seeds. The crowning glory are cage-free eggs served sunny-side up with two perfectly pristine runny yolks begging to be broken. This bowl is way more satisfying than soaking pancakes in syrup and you won’t need a nap after.
There’s nothing forbidden about the Forbidden Rice Bowl at Oak on Cameback. - ALLISON YOUNG

There’s nothing forbidden about the Forbidden Rice Bowl at Oak on Cameback.

Allison Young

St Francis has turned even more saintly with its new owner, Chef Robert Bogart, and new name, Oak on Camelback. With a menu full of wood-fired fare that’s cooked in a custom wood-burning oven, it’s easy to get lost in crispy revelry – crispy pork ribs, crispy fingerling potatoes, crispy Brussels sprouts, and crispy chicken – but don’t overlook the Forbidden Rice Bowl. The sumptuous stunner starts with black rice, a nutty, deeply flavored grain that was once reserved for Chinese royalty, and adds in colorful pops of edamame, carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts, all tossed in a green curry coconut chili sauce that’s more sweet than spicy. An elegantly plated dish that sings with heavenly flavors, the bowl is topped with a long and luxurious stalk of oak-fired charred broccolini that gets your knife in on the action.
Mowry & Cotton serves up a Citrus Salmon and Chickpea bowl. - ALLISON YOUNG

Mowry & Cotton serves up a Citrus Salmon and Chickpea bowl.

Allison Young

There’s something special about lunching at a resort, especially one as spectacular as The Phoenician (just ask George Clooney), from driving into the groomed grounds at the base of Camelback Mountain to sitting on Mowry & Cotton’s expansive patio overlooking the lavish pool. The Citrus Salmon and Chickpea bowl feels just as special. The bowl is a perfectly plated arrangement of bright pickled cabbage, crunchy cucumber, hearty beets, olive oil-drizzled avocado, and greens that look freshly plucked from the ground. The whole array revolves around a mountain of chickpeas bathed in gorgeous green goddess dressing and salmon cooked in the hearth and cooled. Pair it with a crisp Riesling and pretend you’re on vacation.

With its crisp interior, baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, and sunny disposition, just walking into ChopShop feels healthy. The bowls are no exception. Ranging from a Spicy Korean Steak Bowl garnished with sesame seeds and green onions to a Green Curry Tofu Bowl with cilantro and sugar snap peas, or a Teriyaki Chicken Bowl topped with avocado and Brussels sprouts, all six bowls on the menu come with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrot, mushrooms – in other words, no shortage of veggies – and your choice of base. Options include brown rice and sweet potato hash, or forbidden rice or quinoa for

https://at9.codecombo.com/Without-Warning-Carvana-Lays-Off-2-500-in-Phoenix+e92196143118_380.jpg

upgrade. The finished bowl comes out piping hot and sauced just right. Pair it with a Power Green juice for a power-up combo.


The Berkeley Bowl at La Grande Orange lives up to its name. The bright, farro-based bowl is brimming with vegetables, bold Brussels sprouts, strips of yellow peppers, cauliflower, and spinach, all sautéed over high-heat with a splash of cherry vinegar, plus Fresno chilies for a hint of heat. Absolutely pour on the house-made lacto-fermented hot sauce, a sweet-sour-spicy side that’s a little hippy-dippy and a whole lot zingy. The only thing missing is avocado, a righteous add-on. Sit on the patio and pretend you’re in California.
The Navarro Bowl is a Pa’La menu mainstay. - ALLISON YOUNG

The Navarro Bowl is a Pa’La menu mainstay.

Allison Young

There’s good reason you won’t find an online menu at Pa’la. With a heavy emphasis on seasonality and local sourcing, the menu is continually changing. That said, you can count on the Navarro Bowl, a menu mainstay where no ingredient is an afterthought. Chef and owner Claudio Urciuoli starts with a mix of locally-grown heritage and ancient grains, like White Sonora wheat and red fife, then adds wood-fired roasted veggies, creamy cannellini beans, and toasted seeds to balance the richness. The earthy medley is dressed in a blend of extra virgin olive oil, cabernet vinegar, and smoked shoyu soy sauce for a robust yet restrained finish that’s more than the sum of its parts. Richly satisfying on its own, topping it with premium seafood – like wild shrimp from Mexico, tai snapper from New Zealand, or Spanish octopus charred just right in the wood-fired oven – takes this bowl to the next level.
Shady Park Owners Opening Sunbar This Month in Tempe

06-09-2019 · Sunbar. 24 West Fifth Street, Tempe; facebook.com/sunbartempe . Opens in late September. KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free,...

06-09-2019
The folks behind Shady Park, C.A.S.A., and Charlie Trumbull’s are adding to their collection of bars and nightspots in downtown Tempe. Later this month, they’ll open Sunbar, a combination music venue, beer joint, organic grill, and “party garden” in the heart of the city’s nightlife district. The two-story establishment, which is located on Fifth Street just west of Mill Avenue, will feature an upstairs event space for live performances with an enormous outdoor patio, multiple bars, and other amenities downstairs.

Ryan Cornelius, the marketing and creative director for Sunbar and Shady Park, says that the new venture will be aimed at fans of live music and EDM, as well as Arizona State University students or anyone else who comes to Mill Avenue to drink or celebrate. It’s set to open at the end of September and will offer events nightly starting the following month.

“It's looking like early October as when things will probably get going into a seven-day-a-week motion,” Cornelius says.

Sunbar's location is a large multilevel building that formerly housed an office space upstairs and an old Trails head shop downstairs.

“It's quite spacious. Just the downstairs alone area is enormous,” Cornelius says. The upstairs area is roomy, too. It features a top-shelf sound system, LED wall, and a large stage for live performances.

It won’t be long until Sunbar hosts its first gig. Local band Japhy’s Descent is holding an album release party there on Friday, September 27. (Dry River Yacht Club, Dr. Delicious, The Hourglass Cats, Future Exes, The Sugar Thieves, and others are also on the bill.)

Local EDM promoter Relentless Beats has booked some upcoming shows at Sunbar, including a gig by house music artist Hot Since 82 on Sunday, October 13, and tech-house DJ Cristoph on Friday, October 25.

“We're pretty much open to any genre or any type of event in the upstairs area,” Cornelius says. “But at the moment, we're not trying to label it in any specific music or event direction. It's going to be kind of a multipurpose room for everything from concerts to receptions or corporate events.”

Cornelius says that Sunbar’s performance and event space will be different from the one found at Shady Park, which hosts bands and DJs on its outdoor patio space and “barpark” in the back.

“Shady [Park] has identified itself as somewhere for house, techno, bass music, and the occasional band. But there’s a relatively small-sized stage there, so we're very excited to have more room for some five-, six-, seven-, eight-piece [bands] at Sunbar that we couldn't have done before,” Cornelius says. “So it opens things up for genres like jam bands, rock bands, Latin, country, or even hip-hop every once in a while.”

Meanwhile, the downstairs area at Sunbar will offer a large rectangular-shaped outdoor bar in the middle of Sunbar’s “party garden.”

“It’s a different take on the beer garden [concept],” Cornelius says. “There's a lot of plant life back there, some existing palm trees plus some succulents as well. It's going to be this cool place to hang out.”

Sunbar will also differ in some respects from other downtown Tempe bars and clubs. Its downstairs area, for instance, will include a beer hall with 45 draft brews on tap (as well as a large selection of cans and bottles), an organic kitchen featuring healthier dining selections (including options for vegans and vegetarians), a small convenience store, patio games, and more.

Cornelius says Sunbar will feature a few other amenities and attractions that are currently under wraps at the moment. "I don't want to give away any more about that right now,” Cornelius says, “But it's going to be cool.”

Sunbar. 24 West Fifth Street, Tempe; facebook.com/sunbartempe. Opens in late September.

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