Melrose District aka Vintageville

Written by Nikole Tower Category: Lifestyle Issue: July 2017
Group Free

Located on Seventh Avenue between Camelback and Indian School roads, the phoenix-like Melrose District is having yet another moment. With the help of the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association (SAMA), beleaguered business owners have worked together over the past two decades to clean up the ‘hood and “improve the quality of the district and build good relationships with the city,” according to SAMA president Mike Poulton. LET YOUR PRIDE FLAG FLY: Melrose is known for being LGBT-friendly. It’s home to many of Phoenix’s gay bars and clubs, including The Rock, which hosts weekly drag shows. VINTAGE VIBES: No need to look far for retro leather jackets or antique silverware – they abound in Melrose’s various vintage shops. BREAK THE RULES: Within the Melrose boundaries, no new auto shops are permitted and business owners are allowed to keep their old-fashioned signs and storefronts because of a zoning overlay that provides the district with a unique set of rules. Word to the wise: Don’t drop a transmission in Melrose.

 

Rebel Salon & Vintage
Release your inner Rebel – get an unusual cut and dye your hair any color (or all of the colors) of the rainbow at this salon/vintage boutique owned by couple Annie Cavanagh and D. Miles. Cavanagh is a master stylist and Miles is a treasure hunter who scouts for retro-industrial vintage items to feature. “We don’t have a single theme, that’s a thing for the other stores,” Cavanagh says. “We’re rebels.” You’ll find vintage housewares and accessories to match your picture-perfect coif.
4150 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix
602-279-0082, rebelsv.com
Photo by Angelina Aragon
 

 

Restaurant Progress
Only a few months old, this chef-driven, 37-seat restaurant is run by new Melrose resident/wunderkind chef TJ Culp. As the district’s first high-end restaurant, Restaurant Progress has wowed food critics and locals alike with entrees like chicken and dumplings and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin; however, the menu changes every month depending on what’s in season. While the food is impressive, the ambience is welcoming and homey, with string lighting illuminating the outside, fitting in with the style of the neighborhood. PM dining critic Nikki Buchanan reviewed the restaurant in our June 2017 issue. 
702 W. Montecito Ave., Phoenix
602-441-0553,  facebook.com/restaurantprogressphx
Photo by Angelina Aragon
 

 

Wag N’ Wash
This family business began in Colorado Springs and has spread to many cities. Locally, it’s operated by brothers Steve and Rich Strauss, who joined the business after their brother and brother-in-law started it. In addition to traditional grooming services, Wag N’ Wash has an all-natural pet biscuit bakery and pet-friendly retail items. There’s also a good chance you’ll spot Cheech and Chong, the orange tabby cats who call the place home.
4230 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix
602-462-9274, wagnwash.com
Photo by Angelina Aragon
 

 

Frockify
Step inside the newest of many vintage shops that dot the district. Frockify focuses on clothing from the 1910s-1970s and retro homewares. Husband and wife Michael and Dakota Jean Hilton handpick every item in their store, which they collect from all around the U.S. They opened their physical retail store in March of this year.
4206 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix
480-202-8941, frockify.com
Photo by Angelina Aragon