Closed for Business

Cork in Chandler to Close in July, Will Reopen as New Restaurant Earnest

For the last six years, Cork has held out as one of the only fine dining establishments in Chandler. But next month, the restaurant's run will come to an end. On July 1, when the restaurant usually closes for its summer hiatus, Cork will close its doors for good.

The good news is the award-winning team behind the wine-centric restaurant has some new plans for the space. Cork pastry chef Danielle Morris and executive chef Brian Peterson will reinvent the space over a two-week period to reopen as an entirely new restaurant called Earnest.

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Earnest will open on Wednesday, July 16 and will be a much more casual restaurant than it's predecessor. The name is meant to remind diners of the"early agricultural history of Chandler and the East Valley" and "the art of classic American storytelling."

One of the biggest changes for Cork fans might be that Earnest will focus on craft beer, rather than wine. The restaurant will pour "an extensive number" of craft brews from both Arizona and national breweries.

There will also be a list of signature and classic craft cocktails, all of which will be made exclusively with American spirits. Wine lovers will still find a list (though a shorter one) of wine available by both the glass and bottle.

On the food side, Peterson will create a menu of seasonal American fare that brings "meat and potatoes" classics into the modern dining age. Look for dishes such as Organic Beef Carpaccio Style with watercress, crispy chickpeas and goat cheese; the shareable Rolled Rabbit with housemade rabbit sausage, seasonal vegetables and risotto; and Venison Pot Pie made with local veggies, handmade flaky crust and a roasted bone marrow "chimney".

The $80,000 makeover will transform the space into a more casual dining spot with tufted booths and banquettes, weathered barn wood, and wooden light fixtures. There will also be a terraced outdoor patio complete with a fireplace.

For updates on Earnest's progress, check the Earnest restaurant Facebook or website.

This post has been edited from its original version.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria