Becoming Part of the Neighborhood: New Snooze maintains Downtown’s history


RyleeAnn Buss   College Times

ASU Downtown students can now enjoy brunch just blocks away at the Valley’s newest Snooze Circles Records location.

Sitting near Central Avenue and McKinley Street is Snooze A.M., the Valley’s sixth location of the Denver-based restaurant chain. The upbeat atmosphere features a mezzanine, bar, garage door windows and an expansive patio.

This location nods to its past. Built in 1947, it first housed Stewart Motor Co., a Studebaker dealership, and then Circles Records. Beth Cochran, Snooze regional vice president, spoke to the importance of keeping the historic building intact.

“At Snooze we truly love to become part of neighborhoods,” Cochran says. “The Circles Records building location was one that really spoke to us because of its bones and its history.”

“It had that rounded turntable and we have rounded booths,” Cochran says about the platforms on which cars sat. “So, it’s a really interesting way and retro vibe which speaks to our Snooze type of motif.”

This Snooze is only the second of 40 locations to have a mezzanine. It offers a unique vantage point for guests, or as Snooze affectionately named them, “ravers,” to enjoy the vintage architecture above and below.

“It’s a wonderful feature that gives a little bit of a different feel and vibe to a restaurant,” Cochran says.

Before Snooze opened, crews painted the Snooze jack symbol on the center.

“The jack is our Snooze compass and it is there to guide us every day,” says Mariam Elgawhry, general manager.

Snooze also hopes to aid in revitalizing downtown though donating 1% of profits back into the community. In 2019, Snooze returned more than $1 million to the cities in which they are located. Each store partners with three nonprofit organizations that fall into different categories: education, sustainability and a wildcard pick that is unique to the needs of each location.

Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels, one•n•ten and Keep Phoenix Beautiful are the three nonprofits the downtown Snooze has partnered with.

“We don’t open in a community, we open with a community,” Elgawhry says.

Snooze hosts many events to give back to its partners like “Pancake Day,” when all pancake proceeds go to KPB, a local organization that pushes sustainability by helping communities live a greener lifestyle.

All Snooze locations recycle and compost 90% of waste to reduce their footprint. By 2025, they hope to purchase half of their electricity from renewable sources to “leave the planet a little better than we found it,” Cochran says.

“Snooze-approved sourcing” is another way the company has been working toward keeping a light footprint. Every location has two “green captains,” who teach and spread sustainable practices.

Since its opening on December 27, a variety of downtown residents, students, faculty and professionals have frequented the spot. Madison Gober, a health science major at ASU, has a longtime connection to the eatery.

“I used to go to the Snooze in Tempe every weekend my freshman year and I’m still obsessed,” Gober says. “All my classes are over here. I’m so excited there is a Snooze downtown now.”

Most notable, though, are the breakfasts and lunches created by head chef Julio Ramirez. The Art of Hollandaise menu section allows ravers choose from seven eggs benedicts, starting at $11.50.

They also offer a variety of dishes that appeal to one’s sweet tooth, like the OMG! French toast ($10), with brioche topped with whipped mascarpone cream, seasonal fruit and slope side pure Vermont maple syrup; or the sweet potato pancakes ($8.75), its signature buttermilk sweet potato pancake recipe draped with homemade caramel, candied pecans and ginger butter.

The savory side of Snooze boasts even more options with inspiration from across the globe, like Juan’s breakfast tacos ($10), three fresh corn tortillas topped with cage-free scrambled eggs, hash browns, jack cheese, green chile hollandaise and pico de gallo; or the morning shakshuka ($13.50), a Mediterranean-inspired tomato ragout made with two cage-free sunny side-up eggs, Andouille sausage, goat cheese and fresh parsley. Served with a Za’atar oil-brushed flatbread.

The BRAVOcado toast ($12.75) is covered with smashed avocado, red onion honey jam and roasted tomato, and served with eggs and greens.

Snooze is still on a roll and planning to open its next addition in Georgia later this year. Yet even with their many locations, Snooze doesn’t take for granted being a part of each unique community.

“To be able to service all the people who work, go to school and live there is great,” Cochran says. “We are loving that we are a part of the Downtown Phoenix community.”  CT

Snooze Circles Records

800 N. Central Avenue,

Suite 3, Phoenix


6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


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