It was only a matter of time before the gastropub craze hit Tempe. Don Lococo, one-time executive chef of Pennsylvania's Eden Resort and former owner of Appetitos and The Hideaway, is readying to open Spitfire Grill & Tavern at 1706 E. Warner Rd. in south Tempe.
"We have completely redone the building," says co-owner Tonya Lococo. "The restaurant has the feel of an old world tavern with dark woods and faux painting." The Lococos hired friends Eric Flatt and John Malcolm of Cartwright's Sonoran Ranch House & Lounge and Tonto Bar & Grill in Cave Creek to consult on the design.
Former Capital Grille executive chef Giovanni Pace will preside over a menu spotlighting local, organic produce and all-natural meats. Look for appetizers like rustic bruschetta, ahi tacos with Asian slaw, beer-battered onion rings and avocado-tomatillo guacamole. Main dishes include beet salad with crispy bacon potatoes and Spanish goat cheese, Clams Casino pizza, a shredded pork Cuban sandwich and Creekstone Farms New York strip with smashed potatoes. Spitfire will also offer wine, 18 beers on tap and 30 bottled or canned drafts.
Staff training begins September 20, and Spitfire is slated to open to the public on September 27. Hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, with happy hour from 3-6 p.m. every day. Visit www.spitfiregrillandtavern.com for updates.