Located downtown on Congress and Arizona Ave, Saint House Island Bistro and Rum Bar announced its final day of service was yesterday November 1. Open since August 2013, managing company Flowers Hospitality Unlimited and landlord 5 North 5th LLC look forward to new opportunities as diners continue to flock downtown.
Proprietors Nicole Flowers and Travis Reese confess that Cuban cuisine and island-inspired seafood served in the desert Southwest was always going to be a stretch. “We tried to do something new and different with Saint House,” said Flowers. “But the focused concept just didn’t catch on the way we planned in the burgeoning downtown marketplace.”
Saint House is one of over a dozen restaurants to enter downtown’s blossoming East End. Recently, the acclaimed James Beard award winning restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco, opened on Fifth and Congress to wide and resounding reception from Tucsonans, affirming downtown’s reputation as an exciting culinary destination.
“While Saint House was a fun addition to the block, the flurry of demand for new restaurants in downtown Tucson means change is inevitable,” said landlord Scott Stiteler.
Stiteler’s renovations of the 5th Ave and Congress block are at the center of downtown’s revitalization. “Over the past two years, we have been approached by about two dozen restaurant operators who want a chance to open in one of the historic buildings,” he said.
Stiteler added that the new hotel, AC Tucson by Marriott, scheduled to break ground in early 2015, will add additional demand to the restaurant scene.
The space that opened as Saint House in 2013 will become available during the latter part of this year as Travis Reese and Nicole Flowers travel one block away to their original roots on Scott Ave between Congress and Pennington. Flowers and Reese also own and operate 47 Scott, an intimate bistro serving modern American comfort food and Scott & Co, a speakeasy style bar specializing in craft cocktails.
“The hardest thing about all of this is having to lose our staff,” said Reese. “They are knowledgable, professional and incredibly passionate. We were lucky to have them, and know they will make their future employer feel the same way.”
The pair look forward to serving the growing number of patrons at 47 Scott, adding that they “can’t wait to see what new concept joins the East End of Congress.”
47 Scott will continue to honor all Saint House Island Bistro and Rum Bar gift cards.