The students at Carsten Institute of Cosmetology prettify clients’ hair and faces under the watchful eyes of supervisors. They perform the salon’s signature service—French-style haircuts—while clients stand up, which better predicts how the hair will hang during traffic-court-sentencing hearings. The aestheticians-in-training also wax excess hair from the brow, bikini area, and back, among other body areas, and tint existing strands on eyelashes or brows. During facials, they pamper skin using natural, high-end products that correspond to specialty-treatment goals, such as combating signs of aging, lifting dark spots, or calming acne.
Owner Mark Hill and his staff customize each personal-training session to help clients meet their fitness goals. Hill and company have also crafted precision programs for those who are athletes, expecting a baby, or with cardiac-health issues.
Cuisine Type: New American Ale House
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 25–50
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Craft beer, burgers, tacos, salads
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Order the stuffed pablano pepper as a side. It's filled with sweet potato mash, bacon, and queso.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
I started working with food when I was 16 as my first job. I applied to restuarants all over Ahwatukee and got hired at On The Border Mexican Grill on Ray and I-10. I worked there for four years and then moved to Key West, Florida, where I started my bar career as a barback at a high-volume tourist bar on Duval Street. I strayed away from restaurants a few times to try other ventures, but I always returned within a year or two. I saw a lot of unique dishes during my Key West travels, such as Caribbean inspired dishes and seafood, which different for me because I'm from Arizona. Back home in the desert, I fell in love with Southwest and Mexican dishes, and I like eating various of cultural cuisines. But at the end of the day, nothing beats a good burger and fries, in my opinion. So I would say that my adventures and travels led to some interesting working opportunities that allowed me to see a wide variety of restaurants and really develop a passion for the food and beverage industry.
Do you adhere to any sustainable or eco-friendly practices?
We love riding bikes. Most of our staff does not own a car, and we encourage everyone in the neighborhood to ride a bike to the restaurant. We offer three bike racks—one of which is indoors—and we allow bikes everywhere in the restaurant. The ownership team has been mountain biking together for years, so promoting the beautiful marriage between bikes and craft beer was the natural next step.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We do a lot of events at Spokes. We've had science lectures, comedy shows, beer festivals, live music, art shows, and live painting. We hold trivia night every Monday at 6:30 p.m. and karaoke every Tuesday at 9 p.m. There is always a beer class or wine tasting just around the corner.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu is new American with a Southwest twist. We offer made-from-scratch sauces and feature turkey on the menu as our main protein. We roast all of our own turkey in-house before slicing or pulling it for a variety of unique dishes, such as our pesto turkey sandwich on ciabatta. Our goal was to make classic bar food from scratch, such as our battered-and-fried chicken tenders and half pound ground chuck burgers. We also put our own twist on familiar Southwest dishes, such as our Spokes quesadilla. It's rolled, cut sushi-style, and stacked in towers on a plate of homemade tzatziki and chipotle aioli for dipping. Our kids menu features a great build-your-own meal where kids can pick from four categories of sides, drinks, and main dishes. The result could be something like a hamburger with applesauce, sweet potato fries, and cranberry juice.
Our Student Clinic helps our students gain the experience they need to go on to successful careers in Cosmetology or Aesthetics while working with real clients performing services such as haircuts, styles, perms, hair colors, nail services, make-up and facials.
Emerge Community Center was created to provide a place for people to "emerge" into the versions of themselves they always wanted. At this community center, yoga studio, and acupuncture clinic, clients come to interact in a nurturing environment and reconnect their bodies and minds on a journey towards wellness. Owner and licensed acupuncturist Dana Bairen and her staff of qualified instructors help provide acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. During the Zen Meditation session, students are taught to clear and quiet minds, while the Hatha yoga class uses asanas to open energy channels and the cage doors of spirit animals within the body. With hardwood floors and big windows that let in sunlight, Emerge Community Center provides a place for peaceful interaction and self-healing.