Chef News

Chris McKinley of The Local in Downtown Phoenix: "We Just Want to Have Fun"

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See also: 5 Best Restaurants in Downtown Phoenix Right Now

And it's easy to understand why. Though McKinley says he calls The Local a modern American restaurant, a more accurate description would be something along the lines of "food Chris McKinley likes to eat."

"I didn't want a menu you could get anywhere," McKinley says. "Either you like us, love us, or hate us. We just want to have fun."

Luckily for McKinley, letting it all hang out seems to be working so far. The restaurant has received a warm welcome from the neighborhood and local media, which made short work of falling in love with the chef's one-of-a-kind menu. The restaurant, like its lively chef, seems to have a way of winning diners over with minimal effort.

It's only fair to mention that McKinley had a jumpstart on menu creation. At his last gig, at Atlas Bistro, the chef had plenty of practice playing with food. The BYOB restaurant let McKinley revise his menu just about every day.

"It was more practice than I could have asked for," he says.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria