The creator of Postino and La Grande Orange has an unslaked passion for cozy wine bars and vintage buildings.
Craig DeMarco stands in the middle of his next URBAN dining sensation, a 3,200-square-foot space that doesn’t have a name or even a concept yet. The 1950s building in central Phoenix, designed by famed Valley architect Al Beadle, has been gutted. All that remains are exterior walls of floor-to-ceiling glass, a bare concrete floor and, possibly, a long-lost skylight concealed by ceiling panels.
ABC 15 Anchor
If you noticed something familiar about the new morning personality over at ABC15, here’s why: She isn’t new. Before bolting the Valley in 1995 to work for the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, Connie Colla made memorable morning TV with Ron Hoon at KPNX/12. Back then, the Emmy-winning Scottsdale resident was a single, rising star. Now Colla, 46, returns to Phoenix as a married mother of two to anchor “ABC15 Mornings” from 4:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays – not new, but unmistakably fresh.
Host of Horizon
Ted Simons grew up in Washington, D.C. during the tumult of the Vietnam era, first-hand witness to some of the most significant events of the century. Amid riots and the aftermath of assassinations, the young boy would grab Time magazine and, using the family coffee table as a desk, anchor the nightly news before an imaginary audience.
Steve May made waves as a brash Arizona lawmaker. Now the pseudo-homeless pol’s a vagabond advocate for minority groups.
When former Arizona congressman Steve May announced on Facebook last September that he was shuffling off his possessions and calling his Cadillac Escalade home, many of his 4,700-plus friends freaked out, offering their couches, carports and condolences.
But May says the plan – dubbed “DWNSIZE,” after the vanity plate on his Escalade – was entirely by design. “I did DWNSIZE for many reasons, none of them out of necessity,” May says. “It has been a learning experience for me.”
One-man chef/waiter/busboy Christopher Van Arsdale creates thrilling culinary theater at his beloved Scottsdale café.
When chef/owner Christopher Van Arsdale opened Café Monarch in 2007, he didn’t envision the restaurant – set in a converted extended-stay motel on the western edge of Old Town Scottsdale – as a one-man operation. It just turned out that way.
“After the first year, I ended up with a revolving door of employees flaking out or bringing chaos,” says the charismatic 50-year-old, running a hand over his close-cropped, salt-and-pepper hair. “I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I’m just going to clean house and do it all myself.’”
BACK OF THE HOUSE
For Yupha Dequenne, owner of Yupha’s Thai Kitchen in Tempe, opening a restaurant was always a dream, but her late husband would have “nothing to do with it, she said.
She moved to the United States from Bangkok 40 years ago, earned two master’s degrees and had a longtime banking career. But she always loved to cook, and owning a restaurant was a dream she could never seem to get out of her system. So after she retired, she and her niece started the business in 2004.