After a series of delays brought on by the government shutdown earlier this year, MotoSonora Brewing Company is back on track and has set a tentative opening date of Feb. 1, 2020.
Jeremy DeConcini, who is opening the brewery with his brother Jeff, said via email that they have been working on laying new pipes for the brewery, bathroom and tasting rooms this week, along with getting the drains and sloped concrete installed.
In the meantime, the DeConcini brothers have been brewing their own creations at the Rouleur Brewing Company in Carlsbad, Calif.
Jeremy said they are friends with the owner and that Rouleur uses the same 10-barrel system that they will be using when they open up at 1015 S. Park Ave.
The practice has been paying off. MotoSonora took home a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, for best India Pale Lager or Malt Liquor in October.
They will be pouring their winning brew, dubbed GoKart Mozart, at the T&B Invitational this Saturday, Nov. 9.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be pouring MotoSonora beers at the same event with such other great producers of craft beer, wine and spirits,” Jeremy said.
A recent dinner at ATL Wings included (from top left) Cajun barbecue boneless wings, deep fried biscuits, lemon pepper wings, ranch dip, ATL style fries and medium hot wings.
Ralph and Velveia Bankhead like to think a little heavenly intervention led them to the 1950s-era gas station-turned restaurant on the corner of North Fourth Avenue and East University.
It all started with a business networking meeting at their Phoenix church three years ago. Velveia Bankhead was the keynote speaker, and one of the guests, fellow church member Cianna Kirksey, pitched her and her husband Mike’s ATL Wings restaurant chain.
Not long afterward, the Bankheads visited the restaurant in west Phoenix — there are eight locations in the Valley — and discovered something Ralph Bankhead called life-changing.
“These wings do something to you,” he said, sounding like a preacher about to hit that fever pitch of his sermon. “When people eat our wings, they love our wings.”
With so many locations in the Phoenix area, the Bankheads, who own the restaurant with Angela and Alphonso Tyson, turned their attention to Tucson and that 2,000-square-foot former filling station at 802 N. Fourth Ave. that had been converted into a restaurant in 2017.
Prep & Pastry may have moved down the street, but the owners quickly turned the original space into a trendy lunch spot.
Named after chef Kyle Nottingham's son, August Rhodes Market specializes in gourmet salads and sandwiches on housemade baguettes.
The former restaurant Red’s Smokehouse & Tap Room is being remodeled to become Bacio, 943 E. University Blvd. Bacio, an Italian restaurant, and The Blind Pig are expected to open by Aug. 1 in time for the new semester at the UA.
Italian restaurant Bacio Italiano took over the 2,800-square-foot space that for two years housed Red’s Smokehouse & Tap Room, which closed last year.
Among the items on the menu, Bacio Italiano serves Neapolitan style pizzas with a New York flair. The dining room is airy and minimalist, fashioned around a massive domed pizza oven imported from Italy.
The seafood restaurant also serves as a market. Plus, kids eat free on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The first location opened in 2017 in Marana, at 5884 W. Arizona Pavilions Dr. It was the Phoenix chain's first location south of Casa Grande.
Jake, the Kish’s black standard poodle, is the mascot for the family’s Black Standard Roasters coffee business.
Black Standard Coffee is a new coffee subscription business owned by Tucson couple Jason and Rachel Kish.
Black Standard Coffee is a direct-trade business that purchases their beans through "farm gate," which means that the buyer negotiates directly with the coffee farmer.
They sell their freshly-roasted beans wholesale, through subscription or by the bag on their website blackstandardcoffee.com.
The coffee is also served at Dogs-n-Donuts, an east-side bakery that specializes in sweet treats for dogs.
The restaurant sits in the spot that was home for nearly seven years to The Fix, which served mac and cheese. That restaurant closed in early May.
The restaurant boasts meal prepping and catering services, in addition to a menu of bowls and "rowls," which are veggies, meat or cheese wrapped in a different kind of meat or tortilla. They're available grilled or breaded and fried.
After more than two years of waiting, The Boxyard, a shipping container food hall on Fourth Avenue, officially opened in January.
The bar portion has 15 beers on tap. For food, you can nosh on Sonoran dogs, Vietnamese food and barbecue.
A New York City native brought his favorite Brooklyn flavors to a spot just south of the University of Arizona stadium.
John Ryan launched his New York-style deli, dubbed Brooklyn Rolls, at 1628 E. Sixth St., in the old home of Abe’s Place, in July.
Ryan was born in Canarsie, Brooklyn, grew up in Midwood, not far from where Ebbets Field once stood, and is a New York University alum.
At this new restaurant called Buffalo Wings, you can eat spicy wings and cool it down with a taro boba slush.
Buffalo Wings' menu is fairly simple, with wings, appetizers such as potato skins and jalapeno poppers, and sides including buffalo fries and potato salad.
Plus, our food reporter Andi Berlin said it's the only place she knows of in Tucson that sells both buffalo wings and boba slushes.
The east side restaurant BZ's Pizza closed in the summer of 2017 after its shopping center's anchor Safeway pulled out.
But now it's back on the southwest corner of Pantano and Wrightstown. The new spot has 30 draft beers and a menu that includes pasta and seafood entrees like cioppino and lobster ravioli along with the signature thin crust pizzas.
The Carnitas Estilo Michoacán Los Gordos food bus is regularly stationed in a dirt lot at 4545 E. 22nd St., between South Swan Road and South Columbus Boulevard.
It’s hard to miss Carnitas Estilo Michoacán Los Gordos as you travel down East 22nd Street in midtown Tucson.
The mobile eatery is housed in a former school bus, painted bright pink. It sets up in the middle of a large dirt lot amid several car dealerships, between South Swan Road and South Columbus Boulevard.
Its interior has been custom altered to resemble a diner rather than your kids’ ride to middle school.
Long metal tables stretch along either wall, giving each customer a view of neighboring businesses and the traffic on 22nd.
The rear of the bus serves as the counter and kitchen, where 20-year-old Jackie Aguilar takes orders and her brother, Alex Quezada, 36, creates carnitas dishes using family recipes, born in Michoacán, Mexico, and passed down through generations.
Toppings are sparse at Ceres, but that’s because you want to concentrate on the delightful texture of the fresh pasta.
Located in the old Fanny's space across from La Cocina, Ceres Pasta + Bread is a cafe that serves handmade pasta.
Working with a small team of mostly women, Carolyn O'Connor arrives at 5:30 every morning to make at least 20 pounds of fresh pasta. She prepares a small but rotating selection of pasta styles, available for take-home cooking or freshly-prepared during the daily lunch service. The two main varieties are thin tagliolini and wide tagliatelle, both egg noodles popular in Northern Italy. You choose a noodle, and then choose whether you want tomato basil, pesto, cacio e pepe or meaty Bolognese sauce.
The seafood-centric restaurant Charro del Rey was opened by the Flores family — the same family behind the popular El Charro Cafe.
Charro del Rey sits at 178 E. Broadway, next door to the Flores family's 2-year-old Charro Steak, 188 E. Broadway.
El Charro President Ray Flores told the Star in October 2018 that the restaurant pays homage to his father, Ray Sr. whose name was often misspelled “Rey.”
El menú de Charrovida se centra en lo fresco y sustentable, fusionando los patrimonios mediterráneo, europeo y sonorense en un menú que se centra en "alimentos para la longevidad y la sostenibilidad", según una descripción en el sitio web del restaurante.
The Mediterranean-inspired Charrovida, the newest restaurant from the El Charro family, opened in May.
Charrovida, 7109 N. Oracle Road, is a Mediterranean-Sonoran fusion restaurant that borrows from plant-based and sustainable-foods philosophies, a passion for Flores family matriarch Carlotta Flores. The emphasis is on healthy, but with an El Charro focus on flavor and innovation.
The menu at Chef Wang is so large, it takes a four-ring binder to list everything they serve — including many dishes you may not have seen before.
Chef Wang, or Zhuang Yuan Lou if you speak Mandarin, is essentially a Northeastern Chinese restaurant. The spot is a partnership between Baoge Chen and Chef Hongquan Wang, who are from the city of Shenyang in the Dongbei region of China.
The restaurant is inside an old Mariscos Chihuahua on Grant Road, and has a suburban vibe that led This Is Tucson's food writer Andi Berlin's lunch partner to call it "The Cheesecake Factory of Chinese food."
Churrasco de Brasil, a Brazilian steakhouse that will serve 12-15 different types of lamb, pork, chicken and beef, is slated to open at the Tucson Mall in October.
Opened in the 8,700-square-foot building that used to house Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar at the Tucson Mall, Churrasco de Brasil is similar to the successful Fogo concept.
Diners pay a fixed price which includes trips to the 30-item salad bar and as much meat as you can handle. Diners will flip over a red card to display a green color when they are ready to begin, signaling the meat servers to come to their table.
Servers offer up 12 to 15 different types of lamb, pork, chicken and beef. This includes the iconic picanha or sirloin cap, which comes out in half-ovals topped with a thick layer of fat.
Crema Coffee opened in Marana in the beginning of April. In addition to coffee, the shop offers pastries in partnership with Sweetster's Bakery, according to their Facebook page.
Zech Bergeron of Desert Dream Ice Creamery holds up a cone with (from top) Blue Dream ice cream, strawberry and Grasshopper.
Although Isabella's Ice Cream moved out of their Fourth Avenue location in 2018, ice cream hasn't left the street.
Brothers Zech and Noah Bergeron took over Desert Dream Ice Creamery, after closing its former location on Speedway and Campbell Avenue.
Now in Isabella's former location on Fourth, the Bergerons make their own ice cream flavors like Coyote Tracks and Elvis Pretzel with help from the original owner.
At Divine Bovine, you can substitute a fried chicken breast for any of the burgers on the menu. A natural choice here is the Flying Buffalo, $10.
The former La Salsa building on North Wilmot Road and East Speedway is now home to a local purveyor of high-quality hamburgers.
Ben Rine, who co-owned and operated BrushFire BBQ for ten years, launched Divine Bovine Burgers in the 2,000-square-foot space in February.
Rine was looking for a new opportunity in the food service industry since selling BrushFire's two locations more than a year ago.
“I took a year off because you only get one life and I wanted to spend time with my kids,” Rine said. “But we’ve all got bills to pay. I didn’t sell 25 BrushFires, and I’ve wanted a burger restaurant for a while.”
Rine said Divine Bovine offers 15 different types of burgers, all made with “ridiculously high-end ingredients.”
Each burger patty consists of a blend of “brisket, chuck and short rib that’s really, really naughty,” he said.
Dutch Bros. Coffee is hosting a grand opening Tuesday, Oct. 9, for its shop at South Wilmot Road and East Broadway.
Dutch Bros. Coffee, the Oregon-born, hip and happening coffee shop with the sugar-sweet nice baristas, expanded its reach in Tucson.
A cemita is a popular Mexican sandwich from Puebla. It's known for having a sesame bun with different fillilngs like queso Oaxaca, ham and fried milanesa.
You can find huaraches, cemitas and delicate molote pockets of fried corn masa at El Antojo Poblano — Tucson's new food truck that parks in a vacant lot at St. Mary's near Interstate 10.
The space was formerly El Sur #2, but the owners recently decided to mix things up and create a different menu with tacos, wings, Sonoran dogs and more.
After an extensive renovation that included replacing the roof and installing new kitchen equipment, El Torero Restaurant in South Tucson is back open for business after closing near the end of 2018.
El Torero will incorporate some of the menu from owners Mike and Brad Hultquist’s sister restaurant Lerua’s, which closed in early February, a casualty of the city of Tucson’s drawn-out Broadway widening project.
El Torero closed in mid-December after Brad Hultquist suffered an aneurysm. Because his brother and nephew were busy closing Lerua’s, the family decided to temporarily shutter El Torero, which their aunt Adelina Borgaro opened in 1957.
Yuko Takatori's menu is almost entirely made up of fried rice and deep-fried meats, but that doesn't mean the food is greasy. They also have tasty apple and cinnamon hand-pies that look like sugary egg rolls from the outside.
This Korean shaved ice, or bingsoo, at Heemee Coffee + Bakery is topped with matcha powder and green tea ice cream, $7.50.
Tucked into a little nook on Congress Street, Heemee Coffee and Bakery has a minimalist aesthetic with white clean walls and a pastry case full of whimsical treats. But back in the kitchen, there's a veritable assembly line of people busting butt.
This new downtown cafe makes its own baguettes, cupcakes, sweet buns and Japanese cream puffs from scratch. The pastries are a mix of American and French cafe staples with unique creations from Korea and Japan.
Hop Street Lounge is located in the Palo Verde Plaza shopping center at 7215 E. 22nd Street, halfway between Arizona Beer House at South Kolb Road and East Broadway and BlackRock Brewers at East 22nd and South Pantano Road.
The new venture offers up to 35 beers on tap, eight wines, coffee, kombucha and more than 600 bottles in coolers.
Eight television sets show the sporting events of the day, and seating in the space includes couches.
“I want people to be super comfortable,” owner Damion Jenkins said. “It is going to have a loungy feel.”
Irene Heiman was selling real estate in her childhood home of Hawaii and she was doing pretty well, making money while making a name for herself.
But she would go to sleep every night with this gnawing feeling that she wasn’t doing what she was meant to do in this world. Around 2014, the mother of three said she heard a voice that told her to open a doughnut shop.
She spent a year of trial and error, experimenting with glazes, yeasts, fillings and doughs, and was told by some folks honest enough to deliver bad news that her doughnuts were pretty awful.
She admits she was discouraged, but her husband wasn’t. He told her that once she had the proper equipment and space, those doughnuts would be just fine. And when they opened Holy Donuts in the mall of their small hometown of Kailua-Kona in 2015, he was proven right. People loved them.
Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine and Bar is in the former location of Mays Counter Chicken & Waffles at 2945 E. Speedway.
A Turkish restaurant is taking up residence in the old May’s Counter Chicken & Waffles space on East Speedway nearly 10 months after the popular UA-area restaurant closed.
Istanbul serves a menu of kebabs, wraps, sandwiches and other Turkish and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, said chef-owner Kamran Esar.
Esar’s resume includes cooking at the original Opa Greek restaurant on Campbell Avenue that closed in spring 2018 and Opa Time at South Fourth Avenue’s American Eat Co. He said his siblings, parents and friends will be involved in his restaurant — a first for the family.
For the first 10 days, from opening day through Sept. 22, everything at new restaurant Ja Ramen will be half-priced.
Chef-owner Ja Le said his focus is on curry dishes and ramen, the noodle soup that has gained in popularity over the past few years.
The pork with scallion pie, $9.99, at Jewel’s Noodle Kitchen is basically a handmade bun with dumpling filling.
Jewel's Noodle Kitchen is owned by Ronghua Zhu who hails from Beijing and has filled her small menu with Northern Chinese specialties like dumplings and housemade wheat noodles.
This building at 117 N. Sixth Ave. will soon be home to John Henry’s, a neighborhood bar opening on the north end of downtown. Co-owner Brenndon Scott said they are “rebuilding a lot of this place from the ground up” by giving it new utilities.
John Henry’s fills the space most recently occupied by the comic-book-inspired gallery Constant Con, just north of the East Pennington Street intersection.
Co-owner Brenndon Scott’s original vision was to launch a dive bar downtown in the same vein as The District Tavern, which held court on East Congress Street for a decade before being pushed out by rising rent costs in 2015.
Scott, who also co-owns the Bashful Bandit on East Speedway and The Boxyard on North Fourth Avenue, instead shot for a neighborhood bar vibe.
The beef kubideh, $8.99, at Just Kabab is made up of ground beef balls that are seasoned with onions and spices. We also ordered some hummus and falafel to go with.
The new Oro Valley restaurant brought the art of the Persian kebab to a casual setting, with counter service and an open kitchen where you can see your meat being grilled.
Start with a classic skewer of ground beef kubideh and go from there. They also plan to serve traditional stews such as ghetme and ghorme sabzi.
You may recognize The Mt. Fuji Don, $13, from Kukai's sister restaurant Samurai on Oracle Road. The rice bowl has spicy tuna, cucumer, avocado, masago and more.
Kukai opened quietly in February at the Mercado Annex, making it the second food vendor in the shopping area.
And you may recognize the familiar face of Setsuko Mochizuki inside the shipping container kitchen. Her husband Kazuo Senda is the owner of Samurai on Oracle Road, which has been Tucson's go-to rice bowl joint for more than 30 years.
Kazuo is partnering with his son-in-law Michael McCormack at Kukai, crafting a menu that feels like Samurai meets Instagram. They're making everything from onigiri rice balls and ramen to those takoyaki octopus balls you may have lined up for at Tucson Meet Yourself.
The Coronet moved out of the Ninth Street space and will reopen in the location that was once home to Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant.
New owners Greg, right, and Amy Hansen pose in front of the iconic cattle skull outside the Longhorn Grill and Saloon, 28851 S. Nogales Highway in Amado, south of Tucson. Many travelers to and from the border visited the roadside attraction for many years.
A long-closed restaurant whose steer skull façade has served as a roadside attraction for generations of travelers heading to and from Mexico recently reopened.
The property's new owners Greg and Amy Hansen, no relation to Star sports columnist Greg Hansen, purchased the Longhorn in 2018 in hopes of turning it into a destination steak house, catering to tourists, Tucsonans and residents from the surrounding communities of Green Valley, Tubac, Rio Rico, Nogales and Arivaca.
The Longhorn serves everything from high-end steaks and fish plates to burgers, sandwiches and salads.
Tisha Atkins Carey runs Mama Carey’s Kitchen, which is inside the Metro Wildcat convenience store at North Park Avenue and East Sixth Street. The menu includes her son’s favorite, the KC #25 Xtreme double bacon cheeseburger.
The football coaches at Canyon del Oro High School and later the University of Arizona would reach out to her when her 5-foot-10 running back son would nibble his way through team meals.
“He was a real picky eater,” she recalled. “I would get calls from the high school and UA asking me for advice.”
Her best advice: Mama’s cooking — homemade broccoli and cheese with rice; hot links and hot wings; mac and cheese; fried chicken; and Philly cheesesteaks like the ones she ate as a child growing up in Trenton, New Jersey.
“That’s the food I grew up with, the food that made me who I am today,” said Ka’Deem Carey, opened a restaurant, Mama Carey’s Kitchen, with his mom.
I dressed up my curry udon at Maru Japanese Noodle Shop, $8.50, with ingredients from the toppings bar, like dried seaweed, pickled ginger and more.
Maru Japanese Noodle Shop is a casual counter-service spot from the people behind Yoshimatsu, just with an emphasis on ramen and udon noodles.
In addition to the familiar beef and curry udons, the restaurant also does a spicy tantan udon, sweet tofu kitsune udon and a cream udon with a sauce similar to fettuccine alfredo.
The building that used to house Le Cave’s Bakery has undergone multiple renovations to house the new Mendez Bakery and Tortillas.
Nearly two years after Le Cave’s closed amid a flurry of failed health department inspections, Fernando Mendez opened Mendez Bakery and Tortillas at 1219 S. Sixth Ave.
Mendez said that from the time they set out the “now open” sign on June 12, they had customers from the neighborhood trickling in, many of them curious to see how Mendez has cleaned up the place and to catch a glimpse of the display cases filled with empanadas, tortillas and fresh baked rolls.
“We started from the bottom and cleaned everything,” Mendez said Thursday afternoon, ticking off a laundry list of repairs that included replacing the plumbing and electrical and repairing the flooring in the kitchen that stretched the length of the 100-year-old building.
The old Manna From Heaven fry bread spot on St. Mary's Road is getting new life as a contemporary Mexican restaurant.
Mestizos is the product of Patricia Gomez of Nogales, Sonora, who's cooking a mixture of Sonoran and Sinaloan mariscos dishes, as well as recipes from farther south in Mexico. The menu is still being built out, but Patricia recommended the blue corn quesadillas and the Tacos Mestizos, which are actually more like empanadas.
Volcano noodles in mian Sichuan #hyundaitucson #tucsonlexus #tucsonfood #tucsonfoodie #tucsongemshow #tucsongemshow2019 #tucsondowntown #tucson mall #university of Arizona
The main draw at Mian Sichuan (not to be confused with the former MiAn sushi downtown) is volcano noodle soup with Sichuan peppercorns and American cheese.
Mission Coffee Imports opened for business on Thursday, serving small-batch roasted artisan coffee by the cup or bag.
For the past four years, Brian Jerome Peterson and his partners have peddled their fresh-roasted coffee at area farmers markets.
In late January, Peterson and his partners John Howard and Matthew DeVore opened Mission Coffee Imports in the small street-front space at 606 N. Fourth Ave. that was home for nearly a decade to Revolutionary Grounds Books & Coffee.
Very glad that somebody is back on the the southwest corner of Grant and Campbell. It's been awhile!
Owner Mauricio Racano has crafted a menu of Sonoran staples as well as dishes from Mexico City, where he's from. In addition to tacos, nachos and Sonoran hot dogs, you'll find a whole section of enchiladas with uncommon fillings like shrimp and Mahi Mahi.
There are also burrito bowls and tortas, which you can get with something called Cabo meat: a mixture of chorizo, ground beef and green chile. They also serve beer, and make their own aguas frescas.
Tucson, meet the #birria dog ... This #SonoranHotDog comes with two bacon-wrapped wieners and half a pound of birria on top. We got a footlong version they call the Big Monster Dog. Make sure to get a side of birria dipping juice to soak up that beautiful red bun. This new truck @monstersonoranhotdogs just started serving 3-10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday outside of Menlo Park Liquors. It’s their opening weekend, so expect to wait. But it’s worth it!