Crescent Ballroom is three things. It’s a mid-size music venue in Downtown Phoenix able to accommodate crowds in the 400-500 range. Crescent Ballroom also is a Lounge, open daily with full-bar service, a kitchen, and free live music everyday. The final component is Cocina 10, our kitchen, featuring a unique menu hand-crafted and operated by Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco, and Doug Robson, of Gallo Blanco.
On Monday Oct 3rd 2011, the Crescent Ballroom opened its doors to a public. There has been abuzz since I first heard about it back in July.
The 7,000-square-foot venue is conveniently located one block away from the Van Buren light rail stop. Great for people who don’t want to drive, and for students getting out of class who want to walk to get their live music fix in Downtown.
Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents is the man behind the project and has long wanted to open a venue in the Valley.
Levy said “I was just waiting for the right situation and the right building and the right time for it to come together,” Levy said. “It seemed to be the right time.”
The building has exposed brick with high wooded vaulted ceilings. Patrons will have the option of standing room or seating, along with a front lounge area.
“The building was built in 1917 so we really tried to peel back as much as we could to the original building and really have an old Phoenix warehouse feel to it,”
Levy added a little twist that differentiates it from other Valley venues. None other than Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco and Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco will helm Cocina 10, the restaurant portion of the Crescent Ballroom.
Crescent Ballroom is an adaptive reuse project utilizing a block-constructed building built in 1917, the F.L. Hart Garage.
The F.L. Hart Garage is a 1910s single-story, brick building with a wood truss roof system, indicative of early 20th Century commercial buildings in Phoenix, Arizona. Constructed in 1917, the building is located in the historic Hatch Addition and dates to a time when Phoenix rapidly transformed itself from a small, farming-based community to an urban center with paved streets, automobiles and a budding reputation as a tourist destination.
The F.L. Hart Garage is significant in the history of transportation in Phoenix as it sits along the original Dixie Overland Highway, more commonly known as US Highway 80. As a member of the inaugural class of US highways commissioned in 1926, US 80 was the first all-weather coast-to-coast route available to auto travelers. The Dixie Overland Highway, which ran through Phoenix along Van Buren Street, was often referred to as the “Broadway of America,” and was once dotted with motor lodges and automobile garages , catering to tourists.
The building itself was home to several auto-related businesses from 1917-1940, including the Albert E. Gladney Garage, Independent Garage, Ahlberg Bearing Co., Foggy CB Tires, Gruhn Auto Repair, Stehr Piston Rings, and Spaulding Auto Electric Co., before it became the headquarters of the Arizona Awning Company in 1945.
Have fun, listen to some great music, enjoy the food from Cocina 10!
I’ll see you there – Brian Dunshie