Yucca Tap Room has been expanding left and right (literally) from its original location in central Tempe in recent years. A whiskey lounge, an arcade, and a petite tiki bar now surround the original music venue at Danelle Plaza. Now, the Yucca team is traveling north, to the city of Flagstaff.
Bar manager Casey Hamilton says that, on July 3, Yucca North will open in the former Green Room music venue, which was located at 15 North Agassiz Street. It'll offer drinks, food, and live music — eventually.
“Obviously, we're holding off on shows for now," Hamilton says, referring to climbing COVID-19 case numbers in Arizona. "It's a 550-capacity room up there, so about the size of Crescent Ballroom. We're waiting until it's way more safe to bring back live music.”
The drink menu will highlight bourbon cocktails and Arizona craft beers. This has Hamilton excited to introduce brands from the Phoenix area that don't get distributed up there, like Pedal Haus, as well as beers from Tucson and Tombstone. Hamilton says they have big plans for the beer shop at Yucca North, efforts fans of the current shop in Tempe will appreciate. And they'll be working with BRI — the Beer Research Institute based in Mesa.
Yucca North will also have a menu and arcade inspired by its Tempe headquarters. Pinball machines and video games will be installed to the left of the stage in Flagstaff.
Hamilton says the kitchen will be open late, until 2 a.m., to cater to late-night bar hoppers and restaurant industry workers. Yucca Tempe's current Asian-fusion kitchen will be making the trip up I-17 as well.
“We're gonna call it dive bar dim sum," Hamilton says. "We'll be doing a lot of our own baos and everything.”
Yucca Tap Room staff have adapted bar operations in Tempe to comply with the health and safety guidelines from the state’s health department. Customers will see the same measures taken in Flagstaff.
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“We've kind of gone above and beyond here, you know, with plexiglass and everything,” Hamilton says. “We're doing pretty much tattoo shop-level sanitation here."
Hamilton says they will be keeping an eye on COVID-19 trends leading up to Flagstaff's opening night.
For now, Yucca North plans on limiting capacity to 20 percent, or 50 customers at a time. They're hoping to see a lot of servers and bartenders come through the door seeking dim sum and a cocktail.
“Industry people are my favorite people,” Hamilton says. “So I want them to have a place where they can come in after work and it not be a complete madhouse."