It's been more than six months since Baby Kay's closed its doors at Town & Country in Phoenix, at which time the restaurant announced plans to move into a new location nearby at 1582 East Bethany Home Road, in the former home of Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico.
But now the owners have abandoned their plans to renovate the building, due to several "red flags" regarding the location. Instead, they'll spend the next few months focusing on the new Baby Kay's location in Mesa, which opened in early February.
Serena Heath, a manager at the Mesa restaurant, says "parking was the first and foremost issue" with the location in Phoenix. The city requires restaurants to offer a certain number of spaces, which was posing difficulties at that spot.
Heath says there were also legal issues between the landlord and some of the building's other tennants, which raised concerns about moving forward with the restaurant.
"They gave us an opt out and we took it," Heath says.
Over the next few months, the owners will focus on expanding the restaurant in Mesa, which currently offers only 13 tables inside. They'll take over the adjacent suite at 2051 South Dobson Road, and after summer is over, Heath says, they'll regroup and evaluate whether or not there's still enough demand for a second location in Phoenix.
Baby Kay's was located at Town & Country for more than 20 years, earning a reputation for serving classic Cajun fare such as shrimp rémoulade, gumbo crawfish, and red beans and rice. The 50-year-old retail and restaurant center at 20th Street and Camelback has recently seen major improvements with the addition of several new restaurants including Snooze, an AM Eatery; Whole Foods; and Grassroots Kitchen and Tap.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.