If you’re a fan of the freedom to enjoy a cocktail while strolling down the Las Vegas Strip, you can now indulge in that luxury closer to home.
Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix is the first Arizona property to allow patrons to purchase alcoholic drinks and imbibe them while shopping. Shoppers can buy a beverage from a mobile bar outside of Copper Blues Live and walk around the shopping center. Construction is currently underway for a permanent bar/kiosk called the Copper Cantina, which is slated to open in January.
The “sip and stroll” concept was previously banned in Arizona and nearly every state, except for select gaming areas like Las Vegas. Vestar, the company that owns Desert Ridge, aims to expand that idea to retail properties around Arizona.
“You can get a drink at a movie theater and walk around resorts and golf courses with a cocktail, so why not retail centers?” Vestar president David Larcher says.
Vestar met with state officials to create a bill that allows certain shopping plazas to select one of its existing establishments to serve alcohol to customers who can then walk around with the beverage in hand. Tempe Marketplace, also owned by Vestar, is in the process of getting approval for the same experience. State legislation (House Bill 2281) will allow up to 10 Arizona shopping centers larger than 400,000 square feet to apply for the three-year pilot program.
Copper Blues Live is currently the only location at Desert Ridge where people can purchase alcohol to walk around with. However, Eric Bachkoff, partner of the popular restaurant and entertainment venue, says the new concept will generate business throughout the mall.
“We think it will be great not only for our business but the eligible shopping centers seeking to innovate with new and different ways to bring people and keep them at their properties,” he says.
Desert Ridge Marketplace
21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix