Chow Bella

Chris Bianco to Open Pizzeria Bianco in Tucson This Fall

Tucson's downtown restaurant scene is on fire, and it's about to get even better. James Beard Award-winner Chris Bianco plans to open a second Pizzeria Bianco on East Congress Street, right next to HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery.

See also: -- Popular Flagstaff Restaurateurs Expand to Tucson (Not Phoenix) and Who Can Blame Them?

Why Tucson? Pretty much the same reasons Derrick Widmark and Paul Moir gave me last summer when I wrote the story mentioned above.

Bianco says it was a right time, right place scenario. He was approached by landlord Scott Stiteler (the same landlord Widmark and Moir work with) about coming to Tucson and because Bianco already has many good friends down there (Widmark is one of them), as well as solid relationships with local farmers and artisans in the area, it seemed like a good fit.

"Tucson felt right," Bianco says, and "the space felt right," he adds, referring to the historic building he'll be moving into. "I have a lot of good friends from that part of the world."

Bianco says the Pizzeria Bianco menu will basically stay the same, but because he's always directed by what's local and seasonal, there may be minor differences on any given day. We can expect a late November, early December opening.

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Nikki Buchanan