Desert Ridge Marketplace Shoppers Have Something to ‘Cheers’ About

by Jennifer Setteducato 11.6.2019, CSA The Business Retail

An Arizona shopping center is the first in the state to allow shoppers to stroll outdoors with an adult beverage in-hand, thanks to new state legislature spearheaded by its owner and manager, Vestar.

Starting this weekend, Desert Ridge Marketplace, a 1.2 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use lifestyle center in Phoenix, will sell visitors who are 21 and older beer, wine, and cocktails from a mobile bar stationed outside of Copper Blues Live, a restaurant and entertainment venue located at the District.

Shoppers will have the freedom to enjoy their drinks as they amble through the center. Construction is underway for a permanent bar that will be called the Copper Cantina and operated by Copper Blues Live. It is expected to open in January and have extended operating hours.

According to the legislation (House Bill 2281) up to 10 shopping centers throughout the state, greater than 400,000 sq. ft., may apply for the three-year pilot program. Vestar’s Tempe Marketplace is also in the process of seeking approvals to offer the same perk.

“We appreciate Vestar’s leadership to help make this change possible. We think it will be great not only for our business but the eligible shopping centers seeking to innovate with new and different ways to bring people and keep them at their properties,” said Eric Bachkoff, partner of Copper Blues Live.

Vestar president David Larcher said the company researched, talked to state officials including the Arizona Department of Liquor, and eventually landed a bill dealing with liquor laws during the past session of the Arizona State Legislature. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Jeff Weninger and signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey several months ago.