About Lori

I have a passion for small business, as I am a small business owner myself. As a resident of Downtown Tempe, I am a true urbanite. Consider me your feet on the street – building relationships is what I do, and I’m dedicated to making Downtown Tempe the most urban, attractive, and energetic place to be!

I’ve made my rounds in the Southwest region, as an alumna of Texas Tech University and the University of Arizona, where I became a Master of Education. From retail to teaching, and many jaunts in between, I’ve had my hands in in all types of cookie jars. When I’m not expanding my professional network, you can catch me running up A Mountain, biking along Tempe Town Lake, and enjoying all of the tasty eateries in Downtown Tempe.

Speaking of...do you wish you knew more about your favorite Downtown Tempe store, restaurant or bar? Me too! There's nothing I like better about my job than getting to know the people behind the façade - the owners, their families, employees... and the scoop on how they've created a business that, more often than not, is a passionate work of art. I've gotten to know many of the business owners and have come to love the urban community they have created. They are characters for sure, but more importantly...they are people I think you would love to know. Who would have thought one of our largest local businesses’ name was inspired by the owner’s love of spy movies?  And what delicious breakfast establishment’s owner can’t stand eggs...who knew?! You will. Keep reading and get to know the people who make up your Downtown Tempe business community...cheers!


New Biz Alert: Grill On Mill

Posted 07.13.16 by Lori

As someone who grew up in Texas, I was super stoked hearing about The Grill on Mill, a new barbeque place just downstairs from my office.  Hello brisket!  However, I was surprised to learn on my first visit that they specialize in west coast BBQ, specifically Santa Maria style tri-tip. Wait, what? No brisket?


Tags: Business

New Biz Alert: AC Hotel

Posted 06.13.16 by Lori

“No great conversation ever started over a salad” Kara DeNardo said to me within minutes of meeting her for the first time.

Location: AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe / Downtown


Tags: Business

Why You Should be Googly-eyed about Google

Posted 05.09.16 by Lori

If you’ve ever wondered why Phoenicia Café, Pita Jungle and Hummus Xpress are the only three businesses that turn up on your phone in your Google query for mediterranean food tempe as you are walking back from a meeting at the Tempe Transportation Center at 5th Street and Forest, you’re probably like me and thought it’s because those three businesses have paid big bucks to Google to make that happen – but that is not the case at all.


Tags: Arts & Culture

Music Festival Fashion to Rock at Summer Ends

Posted 09.24.15 by Lori

The end of September in Downtown Tempe means it’s time for the Summer Ends Music Festival. If you're lucky enough to have tickets for all 4 days AND you're a female, your first thought is the universal question, "What do I wear?" A few guys may have this question too. We hit the streets for some advice from some of our local retailers to give you some great festival fashions to rock at #SummerEndsAZ.


Tags: Business

Julian Wright is a Funny Guy

Posted 06.18.15 by Lori

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar, The Handlebar, Gringo Star Street Bar and soon, Pedal Haus       

Owner: Julian Wright

For a guy from Pennsylvania, Julian sure does know a lot about what people like in Arizona. The ASU grad opened his first business on Mill Avenue (Jax Thai Bar) in 2000 and has since followed up in Downtown Tempe with the Library Bar & Grill (closed 2010), Canteen Modern Tequila Bar, La Bocca Pizzeria + Wine Bar, The Handlebar, Gringo Star Street Bar and is soon to open his newest concept, the bicycle friendly nanobrewery Pedal Haus. 

Places Mentioned: The Handlebar Tempe, La Bocca Urban Pizzeria + Wine Bar


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