Kitchen Doors: Match Market & Bar, Return of Food Festivals and The Art of the Cocktail

Match Market and Bar


Find food, art and local love at Phoenix’s FOUND:RE hotel

Located near Roosevelt Row, Phoenix Art Museum and downtown galleries, the FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel opened in 2016. Art is an integral element of its design, from the guest rooms and public spaces to the restaurant and market.

“When you’re at FOUND:RE Phoenix, you have the opportunity to discover amazing art, brilliant food and a community of locals and visitors,” said Christopher Genung, the hotel’s general manager.

Match Market and Bar offers a gelato and coffee bar, onsite dining and a shop featuring goods from local businesses. “We decided to change our restaurant concept after COVID hit from a fine-dining experience to a casual neighborhood eatery, offering fresh food, local provisions and handcrafted cocktails in a modern atmosphere. We offer grab-and-go items, curbside pickup and sit-down dining,” Genung said.

Match is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The menu includes sandwiches, bowls, salads and various pizzas, from classics like Margherita to the vegan Buddha’s Delight. Match also offers a fun spin on classic cocktails and an extensive whiskey and tequila program, as well as beer and wine.

Local suppliers are featured prominently in the restaurant and market, including Chula Seafood, Noble Bread, Cutino Sauce Co., Keep Nature Wild, Lauro Cactus Water and M+A Naturals.

“Our belief is that in order for our market to be a part of the community, we have to support the community as well. The best way to do that is to support local suppliers by introducing their brands,” Genung said.

FOUND:RE offers several events to bring the community together, including wine tastings, theme dinners and the passport series highlighting food, cocktails and entertainment from different regions, from the Hamptons to South Africa to Peru.

As part of FOUND:RE’s schedule of rotating exhibitions, “XSCAPE: Landscapes, Cityscapes and Mindscapes,” featuring the work of more than 60 Arizona artists, runs through Nov. 14.

“Our mission is to create a sense of community and wonder,” Genung said. “We’ll do everything we can to help each guest experience some version of those feelings every day.”

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From tacos to pizza, foodies are ready for fun

David Tyda, the owner of PHX Fest, is well known as a Phoenix food festival guru with more than 10 years of experience bringing together chefs, suppliers and lovers of tacos, pizza, French fries and donuts for events that celebrate food and community.

Tyda’s business drastically changed when the pandemic hit. He became an advocate for the industry, as organizers of large live events like food festivals were some of the hardest hit. As COVID statistics improve and restrictions are lifting, festivals are coming back and people are excited to return to live events.

“More than ever, people are recognizing the value of the communal experience, and festivals are gearing up for their best year ever,” said Tyda, whose last food festival was in November 2019.

Tyda is planning a two-day pizza and donut event in November 2021 in downtown Phoenix and other festivals in 2022, including the Gilbert Pizza Festival and the French Fry Festival. Tyda is also opening Barcoa, a tequila and mezcal bar in downtown Phoenix with Ryan Oberholtzer of Provecho, a Mexican restaurant at The Churchill. “The bar will have a garage door for taco trucks, which will keep me connected to the taco community,” Tyda said. “It allows me to expand into another area of Mexican cuisine and work with local businesses.”

Formerly owned by Tyda’s company, the Arizona Taco Festival is scheduled to return to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in 2022. “We’re very excited about the return of the Arizona Taco Festival and so is the public,” said Kerry Dunne, principal of R Entertainment, producer of the Arizona Taco Festival.

“The Arizona Taco Festival is a food festival disguised as a party with restaurants, food trucks and chefs assembled at one location for guests to discover, purchase and savor a wide variety of tacos,” said Dunne. In addition to food from 70 taco makers, the Arizona Taco Festival features a Chihuahua beauty pageant, hot chili pepper eating contest, music, tequila tastings and more.

Tyda and Dunne plan to have multiple safety measures in place at upcoming festivals and are excited about the future.

“The events industry is going to make a huge comeback,” Dunne said. “People are ready to party and the Arizona Taco Festival is one of the largest parties in town.”

For a calendar of culinary events and festivals, visit


Cocktail bars offer creative libations in cool settings

For a speakeasy vibe, visit The White Rabbit in Gilbert. “We’re a modern take on a Prohibition-inspired cocktail bar. We want our space to feel sexy and hip, but before anything else, inviting,” said Fernando Zelaya, director of marketing and guest relations.

The White Rabbit’s evolving menu features cocktails with unique flavors and aesthetics. Black Ribbons of Coal gets its pitch-black color from activated charcoal and a foamy top from egg white. Made with Mezcal Naran and Crème de Violette, Ghost on the Sea features an enchanting blue hue and is garnished with three drops of saffron oil floating on top.

“Presentation is important because it shows how much thought we put into creating our cocktails,” Zelaya said. “We want to inspire our guests to explore new flavors, whether they’re well versed in the world of craft cocktails or a first-time participant in the experience.”

Another place to get beautiful cocktails made with quality ingredients is Blue Clover Distillery’s tasting room in Old Town Scottsdale. In 2017, Weston Holm and Duane and Scott Koch opened Blue Clover Distillery, offering handcrafted artisanal gin and vodka. “Growing up on a farm, I saw the difference that fresh ingredients made, and I knew that if I was ever going to get into spirits, it would be through a farm-to-bottle process with ingredients from top-quality farms,” Holm said.

In Blue Clover Distillery’s tasting room, guests can sample spirit flights and enjoy creative cocktails. “One of the most eye-catching cocktails is the Lucky Lady made with Blue Clover gin, Crème de Violette, elderflower and citrus,” Holm said. “It’s our top-selling cocktail because it has an interesting flavor profile and the vibrant violet-blue color always steals the show.”

In recent months, a few new cocktail bars opened in Phoenix, including 36 Below, a fully immersive underground cocktail lounge designed to transport guests to a new locale each season through the use of wall-to-wall video screens and audiovisual effects.

The menu features inventive cocktails, including Utopia with bourbon and toasted marshmallow, and Garden of Gypsies with butterfly pea flower-infused gin and mushroom reduction.

“We wanted to create a completely unique concept that allows guests to escape reality and indulge their senses,” said Josh Katz, one of the owners.

Another new cocktail bar is Don Woods’ Say When, a rooftop lounge at the Rise Uptown Hotel in Phoenix. Say When is helmed by Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour and Little Rituals.

“The cocktail menu is centered around spritzes and highballs,” Simon said. “All were retro-era inspired to fit the space and the vibe perfectly, but they’re also highly enjoyable and approachable cocktails paired with amazing cityscape views.”

About Shoshana Leon

Shoshana Leon is a culinary writer for Frontdoors Media and creator of Foodie Fo Sho.

From Frontdoors Magazine

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