Commoner & Co. To Open in Former Abbey Space In June

A new restaurant is gearing up to launch in the old home of The Abbey this summer, courtesy of the minds behind the popular breakfast-and-lunch spot, Prep & Pastry.

Nathan Ares and his partners, William Meinke, Brian Morris and Brian Pracko, hope to open the doors to Commoner & Co., at 6960 E. Sunrise Drive, by early June.

The eatery will serve modern comfort, new American cuisine, much like Prep has done at 3073 N. Campbell Ave, for the last year-and-a-half.

Nathan Ares of Prep & Pastry discusses plans to launch Commoner & Co. in early June

Nathan Ares of Prep & Pastry discusses plans to launch Commoner & Co. in early June

Most of the partners involved in the project, including Ares, worked in different capacities at The Abbey during its four-year run.

“We know what works and what doesn’t work at that location,” Ares said. “It was the only opportunity in Tucson, other than opening another Prep & Pastry, that we would take on.”

The menu is still being nailed down, Ares said, but one can expect to see a lot of unique twists on traditional dishes.

Tentative offerings include at least one burger with the meats ground in-house, a couple of homemade pastas and a brick oven, Cornish game hen.

Crossover selections from Prep & Pastry will be kept to a minimum, but don’t be surprised to see a couple of P&P favorites, including a cast iron version of Prep’s duck confit hash make the cut.

The former Abbey location is currently under renovation

The former Abbey location is currently under renovation

Ares said significant focus will be put on the restaurant’s alcoholic offerings.

Commoner will have a selection of ten beers on tap, as well as a long list of craft cocktails from which to choose.

Bartender Matt Martinez, best known for his work with the downtown restaurant 47 Scott, is in the process of developing a sangria program for the eastside establishment.

Happy hour is expected to be a big draw for Commoner, which will be open for lunch and dinner service, Ares said.

“A lot of places in town only have happy hour if you sit at the bar,” he said. “We are going to have it throughout the restaurant and call it a day.”

Commoner & Co. is currently undergoing extensive renovations in preparation for its early summer opening.

“We don’t want people to think of The Abbey when they are in here,” Ares said. “It was great and we loved it. But we want Commoner to have its own style.”

Gerald M. Gay covers breaking food news.