Patent place: Willo was founded by J.P. Holcomb, who used a Homestead Patent to purchase the southern portion in 1878 and a Timber Culture Land Patent to acquire the northern portion in 1886.
Revivalism row: About 41 houses are Bungalow style, with several 1930s architectural “revival” styles including Tudor, Greek, Spanish, American Colonial and Pueblo. The star of the bunch is the “Spanish Rancho” exhibition home in the Broadmoor subdivision.
Living large: Willo is the largest historic district in the Valley, encompassing more than 900 homes.
Coming soon: A new adaptive-reuse development in the old antique shop on McDowell Road and Seventh Avenue will feature an NYPD Pizza and high-end clothing boutique, along with “about a dozen” other tenants, according to the lease agent.
Willo North Gallery
This modest-sized gallery hosts some of CenPho’s most cutting-edge contemporary local art. Previous exhibits included Gary Paterson’s geometric portraits of celebrities, Annie Lopez’s cyanotypes, and Carole Hanks’ experimental comic book drawings. The gallery also hosts an interactive art class every Saturday, for kids ages 5 to 12. 2811 N. Seventh Ave., 602-448-9041, willonorth.com
Pink Spot Coffee & Ice Cream
Breakfast and dessert go hand-in-hand at this cute café, where breakfast is served all day and you can sip a Razzberry Chocolate Latte with “The Clucker” egg sandwich – bacon, ham or Italian sausage with cheese, tomatoes, arugula and mayo on a toasted whole wheat bun or bagel – and finish with punchy habanero peach sorbet. 49 W. Thomas Rd., 602-265-3889, pinkspotcoffeeandicecream.com
Willo Historic Home Tour and Street Fair
This annual event – slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, February 12 – takes visitors through Willo’s historic fire house and a dozen architecturally significant homes, most built from the 1920s through the 1940s. At the street fair in Walton Park, more than a hundred vendors hawk jewelry, crafts and food. Home tour tickets cost $15 in advance, $18 on tour day at the fair. willohistoricdistrict.com
Johnnie’s Chicago Red Hots
This place serves “Chicago-style” hot dogs – all-beef franks slathered in colorful condiments (onions, tomatoes, peppers, mustard and neon green relish called piccalilli) heaped into a poppy seed bun. Johnnie’s retro basement décor is a bit dated, but that’s fitting for a joint where the fanciest dish is a “garbage dog,” bulging with chili, cheese, sauerkraut and coleslaw. 53 W. Thomas Rd., 602-241-0113