Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NoRTH ResTAUraNT on 4oTh StrEEt in PhOeNIX has a CrAZy hOT rED BicYCLE RaCK

Front and center, facing the street, prominent and proud, right by the bike lane: bicycles welcome here!

NoRTH, a restaurant serving Modern Italian cuisine, has opened a new location on 40th Street and Camelback in a spot where a popular car wash stood for many years. I sampled a salmon salad and also a frittata, and they were extremely good, but this is not a food-oriented review. I'll ride back, snarf more dishes, and talk about the cooking later. The chef at this one is supposed to be hot stuff, placing more of a focus on traditional Italian cuisine in a building meant to evoke an Italian farmhouse, all says the Phoenix New Times in this article about the opening

That's cool, sounds yummy, and I would probably check it out regardless of its other transport amenities, because it's within (somewhat long) walking distance of my neighborhood, particularly if I am hungry for Modern Italian cuisine prepared under the direction of a hot stuff chef who focuses on traditional Italian cuisine in his farmhouse-evoking restaurant, but check this out: the bike rack is not hidden in the back of the parking lot next to the dumpster between the discarded grease receptacles and the smashed empty boxes from the supplier of fresh local organic Modern Traditional Italian cuisine preparation components, no. Rather, it is featured front and center, a focal point for the landscaping, which looks human-scaled, green, and welcoming. Right behind the bike rack is an outdoor seating area with trees, which forms a smooth transition from street to the setting inside. That's my kind of farmhouse.

But let's talk about the bike rack itself: oh my. Bright red. Formidable. Ergonomic and strong, compatible with a variety of human powered vehicular configurations, from cruiser to recumbent, road bike to Sinner Mango velomobile. OK, I'm not certain how you would lock up a Sinner Mango to it, but it looks possible, anyway. This is not one of those rusty half-assed racks stuck in the corner against the wall and not secured to anything, and serving only to bend your wheels. This thing is bold, beautiful, essential: they put some thought into it. And it has what could be a delivery bike locked up to it, too.

The rack is right off the bike lane, and also near the Arizona Canal, which is how I got here to take this photo. I swerved off the canal and cut through the U-Haul parking lot to get to the rack, but they would possibly frown on that if those were the directions I gave. The alternative is some wrong-way sidewalk riding. Stay alert and watch for all crazy whichway crossing traffic.

No, I don't really know what's up with the non-standard capitalization in the name "NoRTH." That drives me a little bit nuts, as you can see from the title of this post, but I got it out of my SySTEM. And if it has something to do with integrating awesome bike racks like this one into the overall design, CoUNT me IN. I'm riding over. I'm locking up. I am chowing down.

This license permits its bearer to deliver Modern Traditional Italian cuisine by bicycle in the PHX metro area

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