4/13: Feast on the Street in downtown Phoenix

April 11, 2013
The Republic
Jennifer McClellan

The inaugural Feast on the Street on Saturday is billed as an urban harvest festival.

Urban harvest? Does that seem like an oxymoron? Organizers want to show you why it’s not.

“People will be sitting down together … eating and sharing stories about food in an urban environment,” said organizer Heather Lineberry, of Arizona State University Art Museum.

The free festival will showcase the abundance of urban gardeners, restaurant owners, artists and musicians who live, work and grow in Arizona.

It was inspired by London’s Feast on the Bridge, which takes over the Southwark Bridge over the Thames River in the fall. English artist Clare Patey started the London festival and worked with Arizona artist and fourth-generation farmer Matthew Moore to bring the event to Phoenix. This is the first time the event has been in North America.

The focal point will be a half-mile-long dining table, intended to bring community members together to eat and chat.

The table will be set up on First Street. It will run from Moreland Street, which is on the southern edge of Margaret T. Hance Park, to ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus on Taylor Street. The whole table is about six blocks long.

The table will be decorated with art installations using spindly looking creosote plants designed by Arizona artist Joan Baron. To visually convey food stories, Phoenix artist Melinda Bergman will talk to diners and illustrate their conversations. A gallery of her artwork will be uploaded online during the festival.

Guests can come and go as they please — no reservations necessary. The idea is that groups will order takeout from nearby restaurants or food trucks, walk over to the table and then eat.

“We want to put an emphasis on how walkable downtown is,” said organizer Greg Esser of Roosevelt Row Community Development Corp. “There are more than 70 restaurants within a quarter mile of First Street. We’re building density for people to be able to live downtown.”

Nearby restaurants include the Breadfruit and Rum Bar, Angels Trumpet Ale House, 8th Day Coffee and Culture, the Turf Irish Pub and Carly’s Bistro.

Nearly 20 food trucks are scheduled to participate. Look for Aji Mobile, Luncha Libre, Q-Up Barbecue, Torched Goodness, Emerson Fry Bread and Jamburritos. This will be the last Phoenix appearance of the Maine Lobster Lady truck, which sells lobster rolls and salads, before it goes back East for the summer.

Four Peaks Brewery of Tempe and Lumberyard Brewing Co. of Flagstaff will provide beers in the beer garden, the north end of the festival near Margaret T. Hance Park.

The stage at the beer garden will feature performers such as the Dry River Yacht Club, Bad Cactus Brass Band, Ghazaal Beledi belly dancers, Bears Of Manitou and Tobie Milford.

When guests are finished eating, they are encouraged to walk around. They’ll find demonstration booths and a special storytelling table sponsored by The Republic’s Arizona Storytellers Project.

Demonstration topics include composting, cooking with mesquite flour and how to use a solar oven. Among those leading the demonstrations are ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, Valley Permaculture Alliance, Gardenfly and Chow Locally.

Free parking is available at the Phoenix Public Market at McKinley and Central Avenue; in the ASU parking structure at Central and Polk Street; and at the ASU guest lot at Central and Fillmore.

<- Go Back