It’s been a whirlwind year behind the scenes for restaurants on Roosevelt Row.
Several restauranteurs have been readying new ventures, even as the pandemic continues to present challenges for existing establishments. Others have admitted defeat, publicly or quietly closing their doors as a result of COVID-19. Some new concepts, like Punch Bowl Social, opted not to move forward with plans to open. Others haven’t been formally announced or are still working their way through the city’s permit process. (It’s likely that there'll be more news on that front in the coming weeks; we'll update when we receive word.)
For now, here’s a look back at the past nine or so months on the RoRo dining scene — plus a glimpse at what to expect in early 2021.
Golden Margarita330 East Roosevelt Street
The Golden Margarita, a cavernous sports bar and restaurant on the ground floor of a block-long apartment complex at Roosevelt and Third streets, has opened in the former Paz Cantina spot.
Greenwood Brewing425 East Roosevelt Street
Megan Greenwood opened Greenwood Brewing (along with Greenwood Taproom) in July. Greenwood undertook some new construction for its space but also utilized part of a building (owned by Greg Esser and Cindy Dach) that was previously home to Eye Lounge Gallery and Ben’s Bells. The brewery includes a bar area, courtyard and garden, and onsite brewery — and here's a look.
Stoop Kid901 North First Street
Be Coffee Food Stuffs214 East Roosevelt Street
Be Coffee, which was located inside the monOrchid building, closed in March 2020. According to a March 24 Facebook post, the coffee shop was closing temporarily because of COVID-19, but it did not reopen. Now, a new coffee spot, Kahvi Coffee, is going into the space.
Commander Hamburger901 North First Street
Commander Hamburger, which was located at The Churchill, shuttered in the spring, according to owner Andrew Fritz. Reduced event and traffic downtown as a result of the pandemic were to blame, Fritz said.
Josephine218 East Portland Street
Early January brought a new restaurant concept from True North Studio Lifestyle to a 1919-built bungalow, where executive chef Ryan Pitts (formerly of Café Monarch and Citizen Public House) put a French twist on globally inspired cuisine. The restaurant shuttered in March due to COVID-19, as did the Coup de Grace speakeasy located behind it.
The Dressing Room220 East Roosevelt Street
The Dressing Room announced via a Facebook post on March 24 that it would be closed until further notice because of COVID-19. However, it did not reopen. Another restaurant-bar, Sake Haus, will soon take over the space inside the monOrchid building (see below).
Paz Cantina330 East Roosevelt Street
The second location of Paz Cantina, a Mexican restaurant and bar, quietly closed on the ground floor of an apartment complex at Roosevelt and Third streets and has been replaced by the aforementioned Golden Margarita.
Poppy222 East Portland Street
Executive Chef Nate Cayer and Chef de Cuisine Steven Blackburn previously worked together at a farm-to-table restaurant in Plainfield, Illinois, before opening Poppy last November inside the Cambria Hotel. It closed due to COVID, but there's currently another restaurant, Breakfast Bitch, planned for the space (see below).
Alias218 East Portland Street
In the former location of Coup de Grace, restaurateur Peter Kasperski and bartender Richie Moe are planning to open a new speakeasy. This one will be called Alias, and it will have both indoor and outdoor seating. Kasperski says they’ll specialize in molecular mixology, and hope to open between mid-December and early January.
Character218 East Portland Street
The Alias speakeasy will be situated behind another new concept by Peter Kasperski and Richie Moe, a restaurant called Character coming to the former Josephine site in mid-November. Kasperski describes Character as a modern interpretation of an American dinner house with “global influences and a nod to scientific progress.” The menu and “defining logos” will likely change three times a year, but they'll kick off with symbolism for karma.
Barcoa829 North First Avenue
David Tyda produces several local food and music festivals. Ryan Oberholtzer operates the Provecho eatery at The Churchill. Currently, the two are preparing to open a bar focused on agave spirits called Barcoa, which will be located inside a former hardware store on First Avenue. The space will also be the new headquarters for Xico Inc., a Phoenix-based organization connecting Latinx and Indigenous artists to cultural opportunities. Tyda says they’ll start building out Barcoa in the coming weeks and hope to open its indoor and outdoor areas in February 2021. They’ll have space to accommodate a food truck, and patrons will be able to order items like tacos from Provecho.
Breakfast Bitch222 East Portland Street
Derrell and Tracii Hutsona, the pair behind Breakfast Bitch in San Diego, are getting ready to open another location, this one in the space formerly occupied by Poppy at the Cambria Hotel. The official grand opening is November 22.
Il Bosco Pizza918 North Fifth Street
The second location of Scottsdale's Il Bosco Pizza will open in a bungalow that was formerly home to Dvina Modern Fare. An opening date has yet to be announced.
Kahvi Coffee214 East Roosevelt Street
Local restauranteur Julian Wright will be opening a new coffee shop in the space formerly home to Be Coffee. Wright says he'll be expanding the footprint of the coffee area by including two bar tops — one for coffee, tea, and cold brew on tap and another for a proper bar. Kahvi will offer breakfast and lunch daily, with limited seating in the gallery area.
La Gattara Cat Café828 North Second Street
La Gattara Cat Café is relocating from Tempe to Roosevelt Row, where it will occupy the building that was formerly home to Bicycle Nomad Café and The Velo. Co-owner Missy Pruitt expects to open in mid-January or February 2021. The café area, which will be separate from the roaming cat area, will start with basics like coffee, tea, and cupcakes. Pruitt hopes to add paninis and other food items over time.
Lucky’s Indoor Outdoor817 North Second Street
Julian Wright will also soon open Lucky’s, a space inspired by a favorite Portland haunt that will serve drinks and food, and offer indoor and outdoor seating. He’s converting a vintage camper into a bar and plans to have a stage for live music as well as room for bocci ball and food trucks. The opening date is slated for December 2.
Pedal Haus Brewery214 East Roosevelt Street
Wright is also opening a third Pedal Haus, which will be located in the north section of the monOrchid building. The spot will offer about 6,000 square feet of indoor seating space and 3,000 square feet for the patio. There will also be roof seating with artificial turf to give the feel of an elevated park (which will be dog-friendly). Wright says they’ll open the new Pedal Haus in March 2021.
Sake Haus214 East Roosevelt Street
Wright's final concept (for now) coming to Roosevelt Row is Sake Haus. This restaurant and bar will offer Japanese whiskeys, house cocktails, and a tapas menu. Wright says it’ll have a dark interior look with a Tokyo street vibe. Sake Haus is set to open in February 2021, replacing The Dressing Room.
Tap That Downtown909 North Fifth Street
Tap That Downtown is planning a soft opening in November, and a formal grand opening in early December. The self-serve beer and wine taproom, which is located in a bungalow owned by developer Desert Viking, will have a menu with appetizers and bite-size entrees, according to owner Roshiem Austin.