For some time now, there have been many attempts in improving Van Buren Street in Phoenix. It's an active movement.
Michael Reyes, who is originally from Texas, moved to Phoenix about 18 years ago and considers himself an adopted Arizonan.
Reyes is well-known as a former chef at PAZ Cantina, and for serving the homeless for over six years on a food truck.
"The idea was that, if we were going to take from the streets, we have to give back to the streets," said Reyes. "Driving and working and doing the food truck thing, [was] incredibly hard."
But that didn't slow down Reyes.
"From 7th street to 7th Avenue, is where I have been actively serving my community and fighting for the arts and for humanities in [the] downtown area," said Reyes.
Now, after taking some time away from the food industry, Reyes is back to in hopes of shedding a brighter light on Van Buren Street by opening a restaurant and developing an art installation. The restaurant will be called The Van Buren Cafe and Cantina.
"This particular neighborhood deserves an awakening," said Reyes.
Reyes says that 20th Street all the way up to 34th Street on Van Buren, is the area that needs the most positivism.
"So, you have about 20 to 28-year-old people that live in this neighborhood," said Reyes. "Why? Because it's cheap. It's government assistance, a lot of it, it's undesired because of all the activity that happens here."
Reyes says this is why he decided to take a risk in hopes of shedding a positive light by working on an art installation. If all goes well, it will be located a couple blocks down from the restaurant under a busy bridge.
"I believe art can empower, can transcend, change people," said Reyes.
Reyes believes art can give people a reason to live, a reason to care, a reason to try harder.
"The walls will be covered with wallpaper murals that will be printed and developed here locally," said Reyes.
At the moment, Reyes is still in the works of hopefully getting permission from the City of Phoenix to have these art installations under an active bridge on Van Buren.
"We're investing in this area to bring change to the area," said Reyes.
There is not a set date to when the restaurant will open, but Reyes says it will be within a year or less.
Reyes says that the food and look will definitely represent Arizona.
"The food is all handmade, all small batch ...[and] a daily chalkboard," said Reyes.