Bobby Lieb

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A trip down memory lane..

Posted On: June 13th, 2022 11:47PM

With so many families who grew up in North Central corridor moving back into area to raise their own families, it reminds me of the many businesses that used to be an integral part of the folklore of our community.

Uptown Plaza is located on the northeast corner of Camelback Road and

Central Avenue and was created by Del Webb, who developed much of Sun City

and also the Flamingo Las Vegas Resort. The shopping center opened on September 25. 1955, outside of downtown Phoenix. All of the stores had neon-lit cursive signage and stayed lit until 11 p.m. every night.

Some of the stores that existed at that time and a few years later included

Bostroms , Navararre’s Restaurant, Markgraf’s Pharmacy (ice cream fountain)

and A.J. Bayless Market, which is currently AJ’s Fine Foods. In the early ‘70s and ‘80s

we often frequented Lunt Avenue Marble Club and oh, those fried zucchini dipped

(double-dipped) with endless amounts of ranch dressing were fund spots and fmy first introduction to Big Four Restaurants.

How many of you remember the French Corner restaurant? Their freshly baked croissants and cappuccinos were unique to our international corner. Guy Coscas and his partner didn’t stop at the restaurant; they opened Euro Market grocery store, where in the back corner was a young man with big aspirations, Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco. Even our nightclub, the Jockey Club (the film, Waiting to Exhale filmed the nightclub scene inside), which opened in 1987 and

sold to Sweet Tomatoes in 1995, sat on the south side of Uptown Plaza.

So many landmarks in the Central and Camelback corners flooded my memory, once I began to think about it. Katz Deli was first located on Camelback just east of Central and then years later relocated to the Central Avenue building that later became Postinos. It was a frequent stomping ground for a great bagel and chicken soup.

These restaurants, retail and grocery stores were just laying the groundwork for what has become a hub in our north Central corridor and continues to make it a coveted place to live in our Valley of the Sun.

I love the history and know that many of you have your favorite memories. It is why we see continued desire to reside in our community. Hope to see you as I stop by one of the current restaurants and AJ’s picking up dinner.

Lather up the sunscreen and happy June!

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