An eclectic mix of businesses, Phoenix’s Melrose District has become known for its funky vibe.
The walkable 7th Avenue stretch between Camelback and Indian School roads is home to everything from LGBTQ-friendly bars and restaurants to trendy shops and salons. And its history is just as rich. Woodlea Melrose, a mid-century neighborhood made up of Woodlea and Melrose Manor, dates back as early as the 1920s. In 2011, Woodlea was even designated as a Historic District along with 11 other neighborhoods in Phoenix.
Aside from the prominent history, the area has become known for its LGBTQ scene. It’s home to one of Phoenix’s two rainbow crosswalks which were both unveiled in July 2018. The vibrant stretch of pavement can be found at 7th and Glenrosa avenues and is just one of many markers that honors the LGBTQ community. No matter the reason for your visit, the Melrose District will delight any traveler looking for something off the beaten path.
Dine + Drink
Start your morning off right at Copper Star Coffee with its quaint drive-thru or at The Refuge, a neighborhood hangout where proceeds benefit the programs of Catholic Charities Community Services. Joe’s Diner is known for their buttermilk pancakes and biscuits and gravy and has been serving the Valley for nearly a decade. A unique food stop, Short Leash Hotdogs & Rollover Doughnuts started as one gourmet food truck that today, has grown into three food trucks and a standalone location in the Melrose District. Grab their scratch-made brioche doughnuts in the morning and hotdogs and beer at night. A must-try, Restaurant Progress is a small stylish space serving an ever-changing menu of new American fare. Other great options include Melrose Kitchen and Fry Bread House.
The LGBTQ nightlife scene abounds in the Melrose District. Stacy’s @ Melrose is a friendly destination for cocktails and beers. Pat O’s Bunkhouse Saloon offers karaoke nights, pool and other bar games. For live dancing, drag shows and nightly specials, country-themed bar Charlie’s is a popular choice among the community. One of the Valley’s best Blues bars, dimly lit Char’s Has the Blues, is home to live music every day including R&B, Soul, Funk and Blues.
In an area as diverse as the Melrose District, you’re sure to stumble upon some great finds. For worldly home furnishings and gifts, pop into Figs Home and Garden. Time your visit right and experience Sweet Salvage, a four-day event taking place the third Thursday through Sunday of each month. Find vintage and antique home decor from all over Europe. One of the top vintage stores, stocked with furniture, clothing and accessories, Retro Ranch is a great stop and anyone on the hunt for funky gifts can visit Off Chute Too. For a little bit of everything, visit during Melrose Third Thursdays. The event features shopping, food trucks, music and more.