After nearly 10 years at 3815 North Central Avenue, Fez is on the move.
The restaurant -- known for its specialty cocktails, approachable food, and impeccable style -- will relocate to a new spot in the early part of 2015. In addition to offering a slightly larger dining room, Fez's new home will include an expanded patio, more parking, and an updated mid century-inspired design.
"I call it Fez 2.0," says owner Mark Howard.
On January 2, Fez will reopen at 105 West Portland Street in the former home of Portland's restaurant and wine bar. The restaurant will remain open at the original location until just before the move, though it will be closed for a few days over the New Year holiday.
The new location is 1.5 miles south of the current restaurant location on Central Avenue. Portland's, which had been open in that spot for more than 10 years, closed its doors early this year.
For Howard, the move is an opportunity to update the Fez brand. The new space is about 1,000 square feet larger than the current restaurant, which will double the size of the kitchen and add about 40 seats to the dining room. Howard says they will be creating an open, light floor plan that's totally different from the closed, dark interior of Portland's.
The design, which is being completed by local architect and interior designer Rocco Menaguale of Rocco Designs, also includes plans for a 68-seat patio and expanded bar complete with a custom fine-art ceiling sculpture. Local furniture designer Levi Christiansen will also create a community dining table for the restaurant.
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Fez fans will be happy to hear that the new restaurant offers more than 70 covered parking spaces and easy lightrail access.
The menu, Howard says, will stay the same, though they may expand the current entrée options. The staff will also be coming along for the move.
Perhaps the best news of all is that Howard says the move may open the door for a second Fez. With the restaurant moving south and closer to downtown, Howard says he's exploring the idea of opening a second location in midtown, uptown, or Arcadia.