In Good Spirits Hospitality Group — the people behind The Gladly and Citizen Public House — has had a rough summer. Commander Hamburger closed at The Churchill after less than a year. Chef Bernie Kantak has suffered a personal injury. Then there’s that whole pandemic thing going on.
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel — or more like one at the top of the stairs of Citizen Public House.
The Old Town Scottsdale restaurant (you know the one: steepled building, former Trader Vic’s location) is welcoming to its upstairs space a fried chicken and oyster bar, helmed by Chef Ben Graham.
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Appropriately, it is called Benjamin's Upstairs. It opens tonight — Friday, August 28.
Graham has designed a menu of shareable plates, both small and large. In addition to the fried chicken and oysters, there's cornbread waffles, vegetable crudo, and scallop ceviche. Expect a dim, deco-inspired room with an open kitchen and bar area and a beverage program offering pétillant-naturel wines, natural ciders, and classic cocktails to match the speakeasy vibe.
Hours will be 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with seatings till 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Seating is pretty limited. Reservations (which can be made via the website) are highly recommended and can be made for two weeks out. A host inside Citizen Public House will lead you to your table.