North Valley-ites who hang around the CityNorth/Desert Ridge neighborhood will have a new locally owned option for pizza and a glass of wine.
Restaurateur Julian Wright's second location of La Bocca Wine Bar & Urban Kitchen opened earlier this week on High Street at CityNorth. The concept will be similar to that of the original Mill Avenue location, serving food, wine, and beer daily.
The pizzeria joins Wright's Modern Margartia, which opened in 2012 in the same mixed-used development located near the intersection of the Loop 101 and State Route 51. Wright is CEO of Fork & Dagger Restaurant Group, which also owns The Handlebar Tempe and Gringo Street Bar, both located on Tempe's Mill Avenue. Wright also is part owner of El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria, located in the space formerly occupied by Canteen Modern Tequileria.
The menu at the new La Bocca will be the same as the one at the original location, though the North Valley location will feature an expanded wine list. The new location will also benefit from the fact that Mark Pope, certified wine sommelier and former lead sommelier of the Boulders Resort & Spa, will serve as general manager.
Inside, you'll find laser-etched logo tabletops and a custom-built, walk-in wine cellar. The new design incorporates some existing elements such as a hammered tin ceiling and sit-down bar and such new touches as reclaimed wood from a barn in the Midwest. The patio will feature gas lighting and an outdoor fireplace.
Pope is a certified sommelier from the Court of Master Sommelier guild and Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). He previously led the sommelier program at The Boulders and spent the past seven years working for a local wine distributor. Pope curated the restaurant's wine list, which includes more than 100 different options ranging in price and styles.
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For now, La Bocca at CityNorth will be open at 3 p.m. daily and will offer happy hour from 3 to 6:30 p.m. every day. Happy hour deals include special pricing on beers, single-pour spirits and of course, a healthy dose of wine specials. Lunch will be added later this year.
La Bocca Wine Bar & Urban Kitchen 5415 East High Street, #127 480-840-1799 www.facebook.com/LaBoccaNorthPhoenix
3 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday 3 to 11 p.m. Thursday 3 to midnight Friday and Saturday
Check out the La Bocca North Phoenix Facebook page for updates.