Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Can Toby Keith bring life to Riverview's entertainment district?

Toby Keith's "I love this Bar and Grill" has finally opened at Mesa Riverview. With its giant guitar shaped bar, a mechanical bull, and some creative food choices, it will probably attract a crowd. The real question: Is it enough to bring life to Riverview's entertainment district?

Since Riverview and Tempe Marketplace both opened, there have been a lot of comparisons between the two entertainment districts - most people forget that Riverview also has all of those dealerships, the hotel, and the business area. While Tempe Marketplace has Dave and Busters, Cadillac Ranch, and other attractions to anchor their district, Riverview has been more of a ghost town attracting a few tenants, but not the active district that we were promised.

Toby Keith's new place should attract some people, but the question is, will it be enough? It would seem to me that Bass Pro already attracts the "hunting/fishing, love America and my truck" type of crowd. Is it the goal to get them to spend even more money by checking out other parts of the area? Is it to turn the daytime Bass Pro shoppers into nightlife participants? Is there a Cabella's-style alternative bar that is going to move in Glendale, like "Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places Bar and Grill?"

Let's hope that it will be enough to help bring some excitement to the Riverview area. In the meantime, it might be a fun time to witness someone try to take the 100 Ounce Challenge.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

I do hope it helps, but the design of this district was poor execution by DelRito. The focus of this place is everything else besides the district. Now Tempe Marketplace focused on this area and it is shows how they have create a good place that captures the night crowd while more people spend days at the big box stores. They have a better use of parking and flow of the area. I think Tempe marketplace is better in entertainment and shopping, but Riverview offers more outside of the entertainment and shopping.

First is, the connection between bass pro is bad. Second is, the district is not that enticing when you drive by it to go in and use it. There is nothing in the area, and some poor shops have been allowed to come in that should not be in the district. Also, TM has marketed their district, Riverview has not. The office buildings and hotel should bring in more people, but really, how much more? Thing is, riverview is so big that in some aspects, it was poorly designed and laid out. Also, there should be more mix use and residential options next to the district. DelRito could have mimicked a real downtown and captured people into this area by establishing an existing population in place.

Toby’s restaurant is needed, but will never make the district a good place like we thought it would be. Just poor design and execution by the developer.