A Hang Place

It all started with a simple vision to create a space where people could hang, drink wine and connect. We found a vacant, 1940’s brick post office building, surrounded ourselves with a bunch of really passionate, talented people, and so was born Postino – “Postman” in Italian. 

Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of providing the tables for first dates, rekindled friendships, big life decisions like homes and babies, or simply offering a place to gulp wine and groove to good music. Our mission is to create incredible moments and for you to walk out of the threshold of our doors feeling better than you did walking in.

Twenty years (and a heavy dose of crazy shenanigans) later, and we’ve thoughtfully brought the spirit of our little post office to some of the coolest neighborhoods around – each restaurant unique to the community it serves.

We believe that we’re just scratching the surface and the best is yet to come, but here’s a highlight reel of our incredible adventure so far.

2000

Craig & Kris DeMarco return home to Arizona from their trip to Lucca, a province just north of Florence, Italy. They love how you can walk down any lane at any time of day, and there’s a building where people are casually drinking wine and conversing. They realize they can’t find that in Phoenix and decide to recreate it.  That’s the original (very complex and highly sophisticated) business plan: “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a place to go hang out, drink wine and connect.”

Craig pulls inspiration for their vision. He grew up on a healthy diet of skate culture and Beastie Boys. Who says punk and wine don’t mix?

2001

They find the perfect spot – an old brick building from the 1940’s whose original incarnation was the Arcadia neighborhood post office. While clear on the energy and intention they’re looking to create, they don’t really know much about wine or business, so they enlist the help of a bunch of awesome, knowledgeable people and open their doors. It truly takes a village.

Sometimes Craig and Kris would run out of money, and carry over the furniture from their own home to furnish the restaurant. Legend has it that the term “bootstrapping” was coined by their very efforts.

Sometimes Craig and Kris would run out of money, and carry over the furniture from their own home to furnish the restaurant. Legend has it that the term “bootstrapping” was coined by their very efforts.

2005

Enter Lauren Bailey who starts waiting tables at Postino Arcadia. She’s been dreaming of owning her own restaurants since she was a kid. Here’s proof:

As an ASU Student, she works summers serving in Nantucket and saves up thirty-thousand dollars. With bright eyes and fire-like ambition, she believes she can use this money to open up one (maybe two) restaurants, which will allow her to fulfill her dreams and successfully convince her Mom that she’s made something of herself.

Late 2007

Soon realizing her $30K won’t get her nearly as far as she imagined, Lauren gets scrappy and offers to buy old Postino tables that Craig was going to chuck into the dumpster. Through the offer, she shares with Craig her vision to open up her own restaurants. Craig says, hold up – let’s do this together.

They form a restaurant group, Upward Projects, founded on their shared passion for place making.

Lauren and her then-husband Wyatt team up with the DeMarcos and buy an old Jewish deli to open up their next restaurant, Postino Central.

The deli owners must have literally locked the door and left, because food was remaining in the refrigerators and placemats on the table. Money was tight, so instead of hiring a demolition team, Lauren posts a Craigslist ad “Free Stuff: UHAUL It”. The next morning, they roll up to four hundred people waiting outside the building. Anything that wasn’t nailed down was cleared out by noon – paint taken down from the walls, counter tops marched out through the front door.

2009

Our now Beverage Director, Awe-somm Wine Guy dubbed the “Most Interesting Man In The World”, Brent Karlicek, collaborates with Banshee Wine in Healdsburg, Sonoma County to create Postino’s first proprietary blend, Stagedige Pinot Noir (now, a Guest favorite).

2011

Our Team dreams up the second Upward Projects restaurant concept, Windsor, and adjoining nostalgic ice cream shop, Churn. We set-up our office in a small house behind Windsor.

2011

The Upward Projects Team moves into a historic Al Beadle building in Central Phoenix next to our next concept, Federal Pizza – a drive-thru pizzeria that serves wine and beer to-go. 

2011

And we can’t function without tacos (because who can) so Joyride TacoHouse comes into the mix.

Today & Beyond

Restoring historically relevant buildings, or adaptive reuse, becomes more than coincidence and instead something done with great intention. We fall in love with finding historic gems, digging deep into archives and understanding the stories that came before us. We celebrate those stories and the unique vibration of each community through the details of our restaurant design – breathing new life into old spaces.

Montrose Sign/PH Blueprints/LoHi

The magic of what’s gotten us here today, is the same magic that will get us to where we dream to be tomorrow. It’s people.  Being good to each other and good to you is our greatest wish, and we’re so grateful for you giving us the opportunity to do so.

We love being in service to others and are big believers in

Took a bunch of risk

Sleeping in cars, washed dishes for 3 day straight.

Bought Tory Dr. Pepper vending machine

See love going on amongst team members. Through dark and high times. Rally around someone when they’re down. Everyone feels like they’re a part of something special.

Potluck party, Glam 70’s light up dance floor, modified arts potluck nobody ate the food

Gone on to do amazing things in their life, spring boarded into other things, become parents, start companies, med school

but the true magic? our People.

The magic of what’s gotten us here today, is the same magic that will get us to where we dream to be tomorrow. It’s people. Being good to each other and good to you is our greatest wish, and we’re so grateful for you giving us the opportunity to do so.

But we have to be real

While we love getting all brag-a-docious about our ability to sling seriously delicious wine and bruschetta,

From the Beginning…

From the beginning, we've been pretty darn committed to making Postino a truly special place. We had a blast breathing new life into a space rich with history, and inserting our love of pop art and cool beats.

Listen to the OG Story