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The Melrose Pharmacy building, which houses Restaurant progress and Thunderbird Lounge.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Melrose District

The Melrose Pharmacy building, which houses Restaurant progress and Thunderbird Lounge.
  • By Carrie Wheeler
  • Photos by Dominic Valente
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Melrose District
Phoenix
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The up-and-coming Seventh Avenue strip between Indian School and Camelback Road is peppered with LGBTQ-friendly bars, restaurants, lots of antique/vintage stores, old auto body shops and other old-school mom-and-pop shops. A growing number of trendy bars, restaurants and shops have been invading the neighborhood making for an eclectic destination.

Meet Carrie Wheeler

Carrie has lived in the Phoenix area since 3rd grade. She left for short stints in Osaka, D.C. and L.A., but has always found her way back to the desert. One of her favorite things about living in the Valley: the smell of creosote bushes after a rain. Her biggest dislike: finding live scorpions in and around her house.

Want to get in touch?

mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Melrose District

Copper Star Coffee
Just your typical neighborhood coffee haunt with couches, coffee and tea drinks, sandwiches and sweet treats.
Copper Star Coffee, 4220 N. Seventh Ave. Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
Short Leash Hot Dogs and Rollover Doughnuts
Doughnuts, atypical hot dog combinations (ever tried a peanut butter with Gouda, barbecue sauce and Cracker Jacks?) served on naan bread and a full bar. There’s pool and foosball tables, as well as a large patio.
Short Leash Hot Dogs and Rollover Doughnuts, 4221 N. Seventh Ave. Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
Restaurant Progress
The intimate spot serves a variety of craft cocktails, thoughtful small plates and entrees, and a five-course chef’s choice tasting menu that can be ordered with or without wine pairings and foie gras. Seating is limited and in demand, so reservations are recommended.
Restaurant Progress, 702 W. Montecito Ave. Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
Thunderbird Lounge
A back-to-basics bar with a retro vibe — think old-school video games, a proper jukebox, a cigarette machine (with very current prices) and 1970s classics playing on the TV. An expansive back patio has ample seating, a bag-toss and giant Jenga. For food, the bar itself serves only bagged popcorn and chips, but after 8 p.m., neighboring Restaurant Progress might be making pizza in the outdoor oven.
Thunderbird Lounge, 710 W. Montecito Ave., Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
Retro Ranch
“Beach Blanket Bingo”-style Hawaiian wear, used cowboy boots, vintage Playboys, retro knickknacks and furniture pack every square inch of this kitschy vintage store.
Retro Ranch, 4303 N. Seventh Ave. Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
Fry Bread House
Eat it savory or sweet. Top it with creamy beans or cheese, or load it with toppings and fold it like a taco. Fry Bread House has been selling the fluffy Native American staple, along with tacos, tamales and stews, for over 25 years. Order at the counter and try to find a seat in the meandering dining room for a delicious, filling and relatively inexpensive lunch or dinner.
Fry Bread House, 4545 N. Seventh Ave. Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
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Carrie Wheeler
Carrie has lived in the Phoenix area since 3rd grade. She left for short stints in Osaka, D.C. and L.A., but has always found her way back to the desert. One of her favorite things about living in the Valley: the smell of creosote bushes after a rain. Her biggest dislike: finding live scorpions in and around her house.
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Dominic Valente
Dominic is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Phoenix.

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