Jonathon Vento, the real estate developer and founder of True North Studio, has been snatching up property around Roosevelt Row in recent years.
In addition to the neighborhood-changing developments True North Studio has already completed, the firm is partnering on upcoming projects with some high-profile operators, including the Meow Wolf arts and entertainment group based in Santa Fe and the international Atari Hotels.
Now comes news that True North Studio plans to open a new concept at the historic Pemberton House, at 1121 North Second Street, north of Roosevelt Street.
More than a dozen businesses will set up shop inside The Pemberton PHX, as it will be called, according to a December 10 announcement sent to Phoenix New Times, which describes the project as “a new outdoor playground.” It’s set to open in January.
The collective includes several culinary partners, including Bitch on the Run (Breakfast Bitch Express), Dino’s Pizza Napoletana (the operation that used to be behind Thunderbird Lounge and Restaurant Progress), and Saint Pasta (the Italian eatery that used to operate out of Linger Longer Lounge). The latter was launched by Joe Cetrulo and Racan Alhoch in 2019; the Arizona Republic recently reported that Cetrulo is no longer involved and Vento is now a partner in Saint Pasta.
Built in 1920, the house is named for Sarah H. Pemberton, widow of Thomas Pemberton, who was CEO to the predecessor of APS. It’s been on the Phoenix Historic Property Register since 2004.
True North Studio purchased the home in 2018. That year, the firm also commissioned an international mural for the site. For several months in early 2019, True North Studio worked with Grace Unger of the Tuck Shop to present a series of garden parties that included light bites, drinks, and live music.
More elements will be added shortly after The Pemberton opens, including the Psycho Cubist Steele Cloud of Doom, described by True North Studio as “a metal craftsman’s bar experience.” Others will include b Coffee, a reimagined version of be Coffee previously housed inside the monOrchid building, and “a firetruck [themed] draft cocktail, wine and beer bar.” The total footprint for the new project will be between one-and-a-half and two acres.
Additional partners include Abnormal Co., Artlink, Cloth & Flame, FilmBar, Growhouse, The Black Art Preservation Trust, and Vikara Yoga Events. The project will also include a fitness zone and wellness lawn. Planned programming includes outdoor movie screenings, jazz concerts, fitness classes, and more, which will probably all include food and drink. Specific details, including the opening date, have not been announced.
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