Ocotillo: A Food & Drink Campus

by Mike Hunter


The brainchild of food, drink and coffee enthusiasts Dave Johnson, Sacha Levine, Walt Sterling and Kelly Ehley, this culinary campus is all the rage in Phoenix. With a restaurant, coffee bar, actual bar and an entertainment complex, Ocotillo is bringing patrons all that they desire and thrilling them in the process.

This metropolitan campus was built from the ground up in an urban-industrial style by TrueForm and Labahn Ryan Architects at the corner of Third Street and Flower. It is home to a new-American cuisine restaurant that is truly worth a drive from anywhere in the Valley. The very simply designed room has a “sit-down” side and a “take away” side, with a very comfortable bar between. There is an extensive patio on the street and some quaint outdoor spaces in the back that are best described as city park-like.

The food is fresh and creative. Start with a small dish like the Vegan Red Curry Coconut Soup made with tomatoes, greens, mushrooms, root vegetables and scallions. The Tuna Ceviche is so refreshing and delicious, made with radishes, tomato water, lime, red onion, red chili and herbs. Sandwiches make up a big portion of the menu, with selections that include the Grilled Pork Sausage, the Tandoori Style Chicken and the House-Smoked King Salmon. Light and perfect for a midday mean is the Mesquite Gilled Lunch Steak that is served in a skillet with fresh-cut avocado, tomatoes, shaved radish herbs, green onions and a smidge of olive oil.

The campus is made up of multiple spaces that include a full-service coffee bar, which serves up top-rated coffee and pastries that will add to any morning or all-day coffee drinker’s needs. The Chef’s Garden, beer garden and open lawn mean that events and community use are a priority for the owners and a true benefit to the area for all patrons. An entertainment wall that can be used to project screenings and present other performances is an additional attraction for this hub in uptown Phoenix.

3243 N. 3rd St., Phoenix
(602) 687-9080

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