Four Corners: Central Records

Nikki BuchananJuly 6, 2023
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Photo by Evelyn Nielsen
Photo by Evelyn Nielsen
Downtown Phoenix
Central Records  

Opened: February 2023

Credit DJ-owner Jake Stellarwell for bringing the “vinyl bar” concept to Downtown Phoenix, offering a casual, coffee-fueled hangout by day and vibey wine bar by night, furnished with an eclectic mishmash of records and books to browse or buy. Patrons mainly come to sip beers, cocktails or moderately priced wines from a seasonal list that includes orange wines and pét-nats but, amazingly, the food is not an afterthought. Chef Dana Arbel’s Mediterranean-inspired menu is creative but approachable, featuring breakfast items until 3 p.m. and a dozen sandwiches, salads and small plates all day. Many are built around exceptional breads from Nice Buns, including a crusty yet tender baguette, drizzled with rosemary oil, smeared with soft mushroom pâté and garnished with watermelon radish, cornichon and fresh dill ($7.50). Seafood tapas – colorful compositions of smoked mussels, tomato confit and herby chermoula – sit atop baguette slices dripping with anchovy butter ($12.25), while toasted focaccia, draped with prosciutto and Manchego, is anointed with syrupy pomegranate-rosemary oil ($8.75). Everything is sophisticated yet affordable, including a citrusy Little Gem salad, adorned with medjools and pistachios ($11.50), and a bright chicken salad sando, stacked with green apple, Gouda, arugula and avocado zhoug on sesame bread ($12.75).

Wild Card: Bistro-style jazz dinners Wednesday and Thursday nights. 

824 N. Central Ave., 602-638-0433, centralrecords824.com