Downtown Phoenix is booming with new restaurants, bars and entertainment concepts that are moving in at a quick pace. The first week of March, three new concepts, including an international, award-winning bar, will open on Roosevelt Row.
Prior to the pandemic, construction was underway on Punch Bowl Social in downtown Phoenix. The Arizona outpost of the national chain was supposed to include a bar, bowling alley, games room and restaurant housed under one roof on Roosevelt Row.
But Phoenix's Punch Bowl Social never opened its doors and is listed online as permanently closed.
Now, Nebraska-based Flagship Restaurant Group, which owns and operates more than 30 restaurants around the country, has taken over the space.
The group will open Ghost Donkey, a mezcal and tequila bar that originally started in the NoHo neighborhood in New York City. The speakeasy will be joined by two sister concepts called Palma and Châm Pang Lanes.
All three are set to open the first week of March.
What is Ghost Donkey?
Ghost Donkey is a Mexican-inspired speakeasy that has locations in New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Auckland, New Zealand. In 2020, the original New York location was named the Cocktail Bar of the Year by international cocktail magazine Imbibe. (That location has remained closed throughout the pandemic.)
In Las Vegas, the bar is hidden behind a food court in the Cosmopolitan hotel. The only clue to help customers find it is a small white donkey painted on an otherwise unmarked door.
Inside, the ceiling is decorated with red twinkle lights that cast a strange glow over the tiny space and its very limited seating. A giant disco ball spins above customers sipping mezcal cocktails and snacking on the famous truffle nachos.
Cocktails fit the Mexican-influenced theme with drinks like the Ay Papi, a mezcal, vermouth and sparkling wine mixture, and the Vaya Chica, made with mezcal, pisco and cranberry.
The food menu is small but packed with the likes of queso fundido, tuna tacos and four varieties of nachos: wild mushroom, truffle, mole chicken and chorizo.
Ghost Donkey owners AvroKo Hospitality Group partnered with Flagship Restaurant Group to bring the concept to Phoenix. According to a press release from the company, Ghost Donkey will open the first weekend in March.
Châm Pang Lanes
The Phoenix location of Ghost Donkey is set to share an address with two other brand new concepts.
The first, called Châm Pang Lanes, sports a bubblegum pink and turquoise logo of a bowling pin crossed with a Champagne bottle. The spot's catchphrase: "Honey, it's time for Champagne."
The decor will be "a dreamy utopian escape," according to a press release from the company.
Renderings show a large, circular bar with seating on all sides adjacent to a gaming area complete with six bowling lanes, two pool tables and four pinball machines.
The menu features Champagne and fried chicken. Châm Pang Lanes is set to open at 4 p.m. on March 3.
The other concept is called Palma. On social media, customers are being invited to "retreat to the palms behind the lanes."
The space will be "engulfed in a nursery of palm trees," according to the release, which describes the concept as an "urban botanical sanctuary."
Renderings of the space show plush booths inside and a large outdoor patio with fire pits.
The food menu, which the release describes as "Asian cuisine," will showcase Korean, Szechuan, American, Japanese and Southeast Asian flavors.
Palma will open to the public at 11 a.m. on March 3.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Ghost Donkey bar, Palma and Châm Pang Lanes open in Downtown Phoenix