Imagine mini versions of the best local boutiques complete with a bicycle shop, a whoopie pie window, and a custom parfumerie, and that’s UNION — a thoughtful, cutting-edge co-op that opens today at Biltmore Fashion Park. There’s a restaurant, a newsstand, dress shop, an outpost of Queen Creek Olive Mill, even a Royal Coffee bar. I went to the opening bash last night and watched as the stylish set around town lapped it up. Bravo, Lew Gallo: what an idea. Would you like to see inside?
UNION is Arizona-centric right down to the salvaged wood interiors and the restaurant manager: Lisa G., who used to make beloved meatballs at her restaurant on 7th St. Lew Gallo and Macerich made sure of that. Lew’s shop, For the People, is where I plan to buy many Christmas gifts, including this killer gray leather pig. (Isn’t Lew debonair?)
One of the best things: cloud vases from ASU professor and local artist Sam Chung, also at For the People.
Paris Envy has moved here from 7th Avenue — and wait until you see co-owner Jason Moore’s handmade chandeliers. They were my find of the night.
The Willows Home & Garden is here in miniature:
Smeeks has moved here now, too — candy and novelties galore.
A small version of Frances, in the house, where I liked this sign and these killer padlocks:
Citrine is a beauty bar where you can learn about natural makeup, find my favorite perfume in the world, or create your own.
There’s a British bicycle shop, where the handles and seats are leather-wrapped. Go just to see the basket collection.
Oh, those whoopie pies. You want the pumpkin.
Customatic comes from local architects who build chess sets and make interesting things — look at this booth closely.
There’s even a newsstand and a card shop — all the good bits that we love in those rare, hard-to-find places called bookstores:
UNION is at Biltmore Fashion Park on 24th Street and Camelback, near Stingray Sushi.
Also opening today: Restoration Hardware’s three-story temple at the Scottsdale Quarter. Photos to come from last night’s opening gala.