Now Murtagh's heading to the Coronado neighborhood, where he'll soon open a vegetarian restaurant in one of the Central Phoenix neighborhood's best-known locales: the former home of the Coronado Cafe. It will, fittingly, be called The Coronado.
"We're really excited to be in that location. It has such great history with the neighborhood and downtown in general, so we really want to make sure and do it some justice," Murtagh wrote in an e-mail.
Most recently, the converted home located at 2201 North Seventh Street housed Urban Vine, a short-lived restaurant from chef Michael O'Dowd. Urban Vine only opened in May 2014, but earlier this summer, O'Dowd foreshadowed the restaurant's closure, saying that the spot's summer hiatus might end up being a permanent thing.
Murtagh says the concept for The Coronado takes cues from popular local spots including Phoenix Public Market Cafe and Lux. He plans to offer coffee and pastries during the day, followed by a light lunch service, and then dinner at night. The restaurant will be counter service with traditional table seating as well as couches and lounge-style seating for coffee drinkers and on-the-go customers. He hopes it will become a community gathering place for the Coronado neighborhood, where he used to live.
"Really, what we wanted to create was something a little nicer but still a casual hang out place," Murtagh says.
The menu will be all vegetarian but won't be entirely vegan. There will be some dairy, Murtagh says, though they're planning on using high-quality, local ingredients including cage-free eggs and milk from Udder Delights, a dairy and creamery in Gilbert. Other local purveyors will include Crooked Sky Farms and Xanadu Coffee. Murtagh's tapped pastry chef Marie Belfiglio, formerly of the Mission and House Brasserie, for the baking and Ronda Hampton of the Emerald Lounge and Ruby Room fame to handle drinks.
The Coronado will host a pre-opening event on Saturday, September 12, from 8 to 11 p.m. The event will cost $15 per person (proceeds will go to Friends of Animal Care and Control), which will include tapas-style samples of the restaurants menu.
For more information check The Coronado website and Facebook.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated from its original version.