After three years shuttered, the 10,000 square feet of space that served as home to the Wildcat House for more than three decades is being reborn.
Brothers and Tucson natives John and David Aldecoa plan to launch a new venture at the location, dubbed Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon and BBQ by July.
As it hints in its name, the restaurant, at 1801 N. Stone Ave., will puts its focus on the three B’s.
The menu will employ a mix of barbecue techniques, including methods developed in St. Louis and Texas, with an emphasis on slow-smoked meats, said older brother John.
More than 50 beers will be on tap, with a healthy selection of Arizona craft options available.
Bourbon also will play an important role. Guests will be able to choose from more than 150 brands, by the glass or in sampler flights.
John said the restaurant will pay homage to the old Wildcat House, while upping the game a bit.
“Tucson is growing up and so are we,” he said. “Most of us came to the Wildcat House for years to dance and party. We still want to have fun, but we are moving it into a more mature direction.”
This isn’t the first foray into food for John and David.
The University of Arizona graduates opened their first business together right after college, called DJ’s Pizza Pub & Grill, which held court in the Campbell Plaza Shopping Center, 2962 N. Campbell Avenue for six years before closing in 1999.
From there, John Aldecoa entered into the wide world of information technology. His brother stayed in the food service industry, eventually opening restaurants in Las Vegas, New York City and Massachusetts.
When the Aldecoas began discussing possibly opening another restaurant in Tucson, their first thought was to create something with a German beer garden atmosphere.
“In New York City, they are everywhere,” David said. “It is the rage right now. You go and meet your friends and everyone can gather around a big picnic-style table.”
They chose the Wildcat house because of the room and the abundant amount of parking. The Aldecoas are adding 3,000 square feet of patio space to the north side of the building to serve as the beer garden.
Another 3,000 square feet on the inside of the building is being converted into a private dining area for parties.
John said that, while the restaurant will have its own identity, elements of the Wildcat House will remain for nostalgic purposes.
The previous tenants didn’t take much with them, John added, when they closed the club in 2012.
Among the things left behind were piles of photographs taken in the venue over the years.
The Aldecoas plan to scan those photos and put them on the restaurant’s Facebook page (facebook.com/brotherjohnsbbq) so that former patrons can identify themselves or their friends and give their stories.
David Aldecoa wants Brother John’s to serve as a catalyst for the North Stone Avenue corridor.
“Hopefully, the whole neighborhood will start to come up with it,” David said “We want to build up that area of the community.”