Posts by: Maxfield Barker

Scottsdale Nightclub About the Experience, Not the Booze

March 5, 2014 | 11:45 AM | Art & Entertainment | By Maxfield Barker

cake clubWhat comes to mind when you think of nightclubs? Surely, copious amounts alcohol, right? That’s not always the case but it does seem to be the norm. Just opented on Feb. 22, Scottsdale’s newest joint, Cake Nightclub, wants to change that stigma. Obviously, it’s going to be filled with beautiful girls (pictured, though, those we’re not sure if those particular girls will actually be there) and drinks but that’s not all it’s good for. The new club surprisingly has a lot to offer. The spot features aerialists, acrobatics, stilt walkers, theatrics, and costumes. It’s the type of club you would expect to find in Los Angeles or New York City. There are rumors of surprise celebrity visits and performance to keep you on your toes.

Cake Nightclub | 4426 North Saddlebag Trail | Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Learn “Meditation in Motion” at the Japanese Friendship...

March 5, 2014 | 9:57 AM | Shop & Style | By Maxfield Barker

japanese friendship gardenLife can be stressful for all of us. The daily grind can really wear down your soul and spirit. There are plenty of ways to calm that stress down and we’re always looking for new ones. One of the most serene places in the Valley is the Japanese Friendship Garden in the heart of downtown Phoenix. There, on Sunday, March 16, a lecture on  Tai Chi-QiGong by Kim Kubsch of Safe Movements will teach you to be at peace. The easy and gentle “meditation in motion” will help you in balance and flexibility, improve circulation, concentration and focus. Most importantly, though, it will help increase your energy, reduce stress, and reduce blood pressure. The lecture begins at 1:00 p.m. and we think you should attend.

Upscale Women’s Boutique Now Open in Gainey Village

March 4, 2014 | 12:05 PM | Shop & Style | By Maxfield Barker

designerFashion is your thing, isn’t it? You’re not satisfied until you are on the latest trend from all around the world. Good thing for you, there’s an all-new upscale women’s boutique now open in Scottsdale at the Gainey Village. Designer Studio has luxury formal wear from all over Europe from designers like Jovani, Faviana, Alyce Paris, Terani couture and more. It’s a good place to shop for dresses for prom, weddings, galas, bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride, and what ever fancy occasion you can think of. Even the store has a classy feel to it with a chandelier hanging above and red velvet interior. The next time you need something with a little extra class, check out the studio.

Designer Studio | 8787 North Scottsdale Road Suite 218 | Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Are You My Ride? Volvo Estate Concept

March 4, 2014 | 9:51 AM | Are You My Ride? | By Maxfield Barker

volvo-estate-concept-thumb-630xauto-37904Volvo has been on top of their game the last few years. A lot of people associate the Swedish car company with old people but that is certainly not the case. Their future is looking bright. The Volvo Estate Concept  is testament to that. This three-door wagon is all about the technology inside. The dash is centered around a large touch screen display that controls most the interior; music, climate control, and more. The aesthetics inside are like a dream with rich leather and wood accents. We don’t know what it looks like, but it sounds nice. Also, this car will probably never be made but we like to think that something like it will be in production in the next few years.

St. Patrick’s Day at Barrel Grill & Modern Saloon

March 3, 2014 | 12:12 PM | Events | By Maxfield Barker

IMG_3577Sometimes, we don’t pay a lot of attention to the north Valley. Don’t worry, folks. We know you’re there. For those of you who live and around Peoria, St. Patrick’s Day at Barrel Grill & Modern Saloon is bound to be a good time. Filled with drink specials and fun, the bar will be celebrating the holiday with four days debauchery. From Friday, March 14 to Monday, March 17, you can hang out there all day from 11:00 am to close. Some specials include $2 Green House Brew, $5 Car Bomb, Jameson or Bailey’s shots, $3 Cans of Guinness, $3 Nitro Milk Stout Beer, and $5 Irish Coffee. You can also get your hands on some made-from-scratch Shepard’s Pie for $10.

Barrel Grill & Modern Saloon| 15703 North 83rd Avenue | Peoria, AZ

New Music Monday: Beck

March 3, 2014 | 9:55 AM | Sound | By Maxfield Barker

Beck has been releasing albums for over 20 years now. The singer-songwriter gained popularity in the early nineties with his unique and experimental style. His music covers multiple genres like funk, rock, soul, and more. This month, Beck released his 12th studio album, Morning Phase. Yes, it is album number 12 and that’s crazy. The record is already receiving stellar reviews. Decide for yourself. Here is the track Wave off the new album.

The 6th Annual Pints for Pat at Rula Bula

February 28, 2014 | 12:00 PM | Local | By Maxfield Barker

54b1baec-3d57-48ca-d566-9e77ad5f30a9It has been 10 years since the country lost legendary football player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman. On March 15, Rula Bula on Tempe’s Mill Avenue will host the 6th Annual Pints for Pat. This will be in preparation for April’s tenth Pat’s Run. The Pints for Pat glass fundraiser collects funds and generates awareness in support of the Pat Tillman Foundation. March 15 was not chosen at random. It marks 42 days until the run. Forty-two was Tillman’s football jersey number when he played for ASU. To help, all you have to do is stop by Rula on the 15th and purchase a 2014 Pints for Pat souvenir glass, the sixth glass in the series. The glasses only cost $10 and 100% of the proceeds will support the Tillman Military Scholars program. Remember, you can only get these at Rula Bula and they are first come, first serve.

The Weekender: Viagra Falls

February 28, 2014 | 9:55 AM | Cocktail Recipes | By Maxfield Barker

image001That’s probably one of the most… Ahem, unique names for a cocktail we’ve ever seen. But, hey, chances are you’re going to remember it. On March 5, National Absinthe Day will be upon us. Not a lot of people drink it anymore, but we’ve seen it comeback here and there. To celebrate the “holiday,” Salut Kitchen Bar in Tempe has come up with this drink. This is Viagra Falls.


¾ oz NV Absinthe

1½ oz Sour apple liqueur

1¾ oz Chilled mineral water

2 dash Orange bitters


Shake ingredients in ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass over ice.

Mardi Gras Kicks Off in Phoenix this Weekend

February 27, 2014 | 11:45 AM | Events | By Maxfield Barker

Mardi Gras 4If you have ever been to a Mardi Gras party, then you know how crazy they can be. Beads, music, pretty girls, and copious amounts of alcohol make it a truly unique celebration. Starting this Saturday, March 1, Mardi Gras kicks off in downtown Phoenix. CityScape is where it’s all going down with their “Party Gras” event. The day will be filled with dining and drink specials, a remarkable parade, family-friendly activities and plenty of beads. There will specials at nearby joints like Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and LUSTRE Rooftop Garden and Lucky Strike Lanes and Gypsy Bar. Live music, parties for people 21+, and more will take over CityScape. The party will be from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The parade starts at 4:00 pm and is open to everyone. If you want to keep it going, local bars will be doing their thing all night.

Today’s Object of Desire: White Whale Bold Cocktail Mixers

February 27, 2014 | 9:55 AM | Shop & Style | By Maxfield Barker

white-whale-cocktail-mixers-thumb-630xauto-37667Having a mini bar in your home is a lot of fun. You get to invite friends over and make them some drinks, what’s not to love? Not all of us are exactly skilled in the world of mixology. With White Whale Bold Cocktail Mixers, you don’t have to be a talented bartender. The three different styles are each designed to go with a particular type of liquor — vodka, gin, or bourbon. It uses all-natural ingredients and makes your bartending as easy as pie. We’re especially interested in trying the Old Fashioned one. Do you think it’ll stand up to a traditionally made drink?

Downtown Phoenix’s Newest Hotel’s Spring Training...

February 26, 2014 | 11:44 AM | Deals | By Maxfield Barker

Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScapeSpring training is a huge deal in Arizona. With thousands of visitors from out town, spring training is an important economic device in the Valley. Downtown Phoenix’s newest hotel, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, is offering a ”Batter Up Package.” The hotel is in the ideal location, CityScape Phoenix, for fans visiting any of the Valley’s 11 ballparks. Rates start at $249 and include deluxe accommodations, two local craft beers, a baseball themed welcome amenity, complimentary morning coffee and tea service in the Living Room, hosted evening wine reception from 5-6pm daily, and complimentary access to Gold’s Gym Elite.

Scottsdale Arts Fest to Add Artsy Bounce House

February 26, 2014 | 9:47 AM | Events | By Maxfield Barker

image006From March 14 to March, the 44th Annual Scottsdale Arts Festival will be under way. It’s hard to believe that this is the 44th time Scottsdale has been graced by the festival. The three days of art is a great place to spend time with the family. Some of you with younger kids might find it difficult for them to enjoy the fest. This year will be different. With the help of Scottsdale Public Art, the fest will be home to the U.S. debut of Happy Gift, a 30-foot-wide interactive bounce house. MAde by the pioneering Los Angeles-based art collective FriendsWithYou, the bounce house is a smiling inflatable sculpture that everyone can play on. Honestly, we kind of want to play on it, too. For more information on the festival, click here.

The 14th Annual Beauty to the RESCUE Fundraiser

February 25, 2014 | 11:49 AM | Events | By Maxfield Barker

unnamedLocal businesses have joined together to for the 14th Annual Beauty to the RESCUE fundraiser to help save the lives of animals around the Valley. Hosted at the Mane Attraction Salon on Sunday, March 2, if you make a minimum donation, $35-$75 for haircuts, $20 for Blow Dry Style and $10 for Deep Conditioning Masque, you can bring your dog into the salon for a day of indulgence from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The will be complete with complimentary drinks and food from Bobby-Q. Throughout the day, 16 vendor booths will be on site and will offer pet portraits, artisan jewelry, fresh baked goods, along with onsite grooming, a washable chalk dye job for the pets, and more.

Are You My Ride? Ferrari California T

February 25, 2014 | 9:44 AM | Are You My Ride? | By Maxfield Barker

ferrari-california-t-thumb-630xauto-37606With the name alone, you can imagine the best place to cruise around in this ride. The Ferrari California T is the epitome of wealthy L.A. living. It was meant to be driven with the top down along the coast. If we could, we would in a heartbeat. The California T utilizes Ferrari’s new new turbo-charged engine, getting 560 horsepower out of its 3.9 liter V8. This baby can go from zero to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The T has everything you need for enjoying the open road.

Sprinkles Cupcakes to Benefit Local Schools

February 24, 2014 | 11:58 AM | Local | By Maxfield Barker

sprinkles cupcakesThere’s more to Sprinkles than just cupcakes. They have a philanthropic heart and that makes us love them even more. Recently, Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, created Candace’s Cupcake Challenge. She asked local students around the Valley to submit their own, unique cake and frosting recipes. Candace chose her favorites and now it’s your turn to lend a helping hand. From today until Feb. 28, you can help choose the best of the three semi-finalists. The top selling cupcake will receive $1,000 cash donation and a cupcake party for the entire school. Don’t worry, the second and third place cupcakes will each receive a cupcake party for the submitting classroom and cash donations to the school for $500 and $250. And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here are the semi-finalists:

1.  Pioneer Elementary – Mrs. William’s Third Grade Classroom – Oreo Sundae Cupcake

2.  Horseshoe Trails Elementary – Ms. Skelton’s Second Grade Classroom – Stallion Specialty Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake

3.  Montessori Academy – Mrs. Corbin – Scottsdale Rocks Cupcake with Cayenne Pepper

New Music Monday: St. Vincent

February 24, 2014 | 9:50 AM | Sound | By Maxfield Barker

It’s about time Annie Clark, or better known as St. Vincent, reclaimed her throne as pop’s queen. Tomorrow, her fifth studio album will be released. It’s been two years since her last album and we’re excited to see what this new, self-titled record has in store for us. We can already tell it’s going to be unique based on this single alone. Digital Witness has a funky yet contemporary feel to it. Take a listen for yourself.

Old Town Scottsdale to Host First Ever ‘Italian...

February 21, 2014 | 11:51 AM | Events | By Maxfield Barker

unnamedThere are plenty of food fests around the Valley throughout the year. We’re surprised we’ve never seen an Italian-specific one. Well, that’s all about to change in the beginning of April. Downtown Scottsdale’s SouthBridge district will be turning into the Italian countryside from April 4 to April 5. On that Friday, the night will be filled with Italian bites from over 10 local Italian bistros and restaurants like Marcellino’s (pictured.) Obviously, wine and music will be in the mix, as well. You can stroll around the area and browse authentic hand-crafted items and products. The two-day event is about to us by the Italian Association. The cost is $10 for entrance which includes a souvenir of the first Italian festival of Arizona. Children under 10 have free entry.

The Weekender: Circus Margaritus

February 21, 2014 | 9:43 AM | Cocktail Recipes | By Maxfield Barker

circus margaritasAh yes, the weekend is here. Didn’t feel like forever? With all the warm weather we’ve having recently, a nice cool drink will will make your weekend that much better. As part of a unique partnership between musician Roger Clyne and the Salty Senorita, the Circus Margaritas is the perfect drink for relaxing. Using Roger’s Mexican Moonshine, this drink has a little bit of spice and a little bit of sweetness. If you order from Salty Senorita, $1 from each order will go to charity. If you wish to make it from home, here’s the recipe.


1 /1/2oz Mexican Moonshine Blanco

1/2oz Jack Daniels Honey

2oz Cayenne Simple Sugar

1/2oz Agave Nectar

2 oz Sun Orchard Marg Mix

1/2oz Grapefruit Juice


Mix all ingredients in a mason jar and serve over ice. Garnish with a mixture of cayenne and salt with a pinch of chili powder on the rim.

Get Your Jazz Fix at The Nash

February 20, 2014 | 12:05 PM | Nightlife | By Maxfield Barker

552068_414728105204585_329645080379555_1639100_1165715341_nIt’s very seldom that we see places like The Nash anymore. The downtown Phoenix jazz club that operates as a non-profit is probably one of the most unique spots in the Valley. Located on Roosevelt and First street in the heart the downtown art scene, The Nash is the kind of club you’d imagine being around during jazz’s heyday in the ’50s and ’60s, minus the cigarette, of course. Top notch musicians from all over show off their improvisational skills in the dark, quaint, and intimate room. A cover charge, with available student discount, is what keeps this place afloat. They feature contemporary jazz every Friday night, mainstream every Saturday, and a surplus of special events during the week. They don’t serve alcohol but it is BYOB. Grab a bottle of wine, a couple of friends and head to The Nash when you’re available. It’s important to keep establishments like this open. Oh, and by the way, it’s the perfect date spot.

The Nash | 110 East Roosevelt | Phoenix, AZ 85004

Today’s Object of Desire: Shwood Fifty/Fifty Sunglasses

February 20, 2014 | 10:01 AM | Shop & Style | By Maxfield Barker

shwood-fiftyfifty-sunglassesThese might be the most eco-friendly sunglasses we’ve ever seen. Just because their environmentally friendly and natural, doesn’t mean they’re not stylish. Shwood Fifty/Fifty Sunglasses are extremely stylish, as a matter of fact. Just look at them. Shwoods are known for being made from wood but that’s not the only product they use. The Fifty/Fifty shades also use a Mazzucchelli acetate, a plant-based and renewable material, along with the wood. High quality lenses put these shades together. Summer will be here before you know it, so, pick up your pair today.

A Wine Pairing Inspired by Sonoma County

February 19, 2014 | 11:47 AM | Events | By Maxfield Barker

image003Wine dinners might be one of our favorite things. Winemaker Mark Lyon, of Sebastiani Vineyards and Chalk Hill, and Chef Charles Wiley of ZuZu have teamed up to present you a taste of Sonoma. Mark’s 30 years in winemaking and Chef Wiley’s cunning food sense have created quite the menu. On Monday, March 10, at 6:30 pm, you can enjoy the elegant four course meal. To make reservations, call 480.421.7997. Price is $56 per person.

Pan-Seared Diver Scallop
fava bean puree + roasted pepper butter
Sebastiani “Sonoma County” Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Brussels Sprout and Goat Cheese Salad
napa cabbage, seared pineapple + golden raisin vinaigrette
Chalk Hill “Sonoma Coast” Chardonnay 2012

Beef Tenderloin and Crispy Braised Duck
roasted heirloom cauliflower, herb potato cake + kumquat marmalade
Sebastiani “Sonoma County” Gravel Bed Red 2011
Chalk Hill “Sonoma Coast” Pinot Noir 2012

Chocolate Pot de Crème
orange + caramel

Hermosa Inn to Offer Spring Training Discount

February 19, 2014 | 9:40 AM | Sports | By Maxfield Barker

hermosaWhile a majority of the country is freezing, we’re enjoying some beautiful weather here in the Valley. We’ll take 80 degrees and sunshine over snowstorms any time. Perfectly coinciding with the weather comes another year of baseball. Spring Training is almost upon and that will attract thousands of visitors, many of which from out of state. The Hermosa Inn’s Play Ball Package will welcome Spring Training travelers from all over. Valid from Feb. 22 to March 30, the deal will offer 10% off the best available rate, a Hermosa Inn baseball hat, a Cactus League game schedule, two drink tickets per night to Last Drop at the Hermosa, sunscreen, peanuts and cracker jacks. So, basically, it will cover everything you could want out of Spring Training. Play ball, folks. To book the package, call 602.955.8614.

Local Hot Sauce to Sponsor First Annual Chili Cook-off

February 18, 2014 | 12:08 PM | Eat & Drink | By Maxfield Barker

Madison'sOriginalHotSauceWhen was the last time you were at a chili cook-off? Yeah, we don’t know either. Honestly, nothing seems quite more American than a chili cook-off and we’d be lying if we told you we’ve never wanted to attend one. Now is our chance. On Saturday, Feb. 22, The Bold Roost coffee shop in Gilbert will be home to Madison’s Hot Sauce First Annual Chili Cook-Off. Chili cookers and amateur chefs will be squaring off to compete in the cost for a chance to win a lot of hot sauce and a $200 cash prize. The cook-off will be held from 10:00 am to 4:00 ppm at the Gilbert coffee shop.

Are You My Ride? 2014 Porsche 911 Targa

February 18, 2014 | 10:06 AM | Are You My Ride? | By Maxfield Barker

2014-porsche-911-targaA lot of new cars these days are going for the futuristic and concept look. The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is not. In fact, we’re taking a couple steps into the past with the Targa. Reminiscent of the 1965 Targa, the 2014 is still all muscle. The automatic roof will open up with just the touch of a button. The 3.8 liter engine can produce a whopping 400 horsepower in this little sportscar. The-wheel-drive will keep you on the road this summer when you’re hauling around the Valley with the top down. That’s the life, isn’t it?

Central & Local Bistro are Offering Girl Scout Cookie Desserts

February 17, 2014 | 12:13 PM | Eat & Drink | By Maxfield Barker

Truffles and Thin Mint Ice CreamIt’s that time of year. You’ve seen them outside grocery stores and other location, Girl Scout Cookies are back. It always feels good to buy a couple boxes, not only because they taste good but also because the proceeds help out the Girl Scouts. Central Bistro and Local Bistro want to get down on that action, as well. For a limited time only, both restaurants will be featuring Girl Scout cookie infused desserts. At Central Bistro, you can indulge in Thin Mint and Samoas Truffles and house-made Thin Mint Ice Cream. Local Bistro will offer a Samoas Chocolate Tartufo (ice cream wrapped in an edible shell), Berry Thin Mint Crumble served atop whipped cream and drizzled with zabaglione and Thin Mint Ice Cream. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds on those items will go to the Girl Scouts. Good stuff.

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