28 February, 2020, 00:11

16 Restaurants & Bars That Opened in 2015

Tucson’s culinary scene continued to expand in 2015 with over 15 new restaurants and bars. The recent UNESCO designation of Tucson as a World City of Gastronomy only adds to the excitement many of us Tucsonans have been experiencing for the last couple of years. Below are some of the highlights of who we welcomed in 2015.

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon, BBQ

1801 N Stone Ave.
Bourbon display at Brother John's (Credit: Brother John's)

Bourbon display at Brother John’s (Credit: Brother John’s)

Located in the former Wildcat House BroJo’s offers slow smoked meats, southern sides, salads and desserts along with signature, fresh bourbon, rye and whiskey cocktails. Grand opening is New Years Eve.

For more information, visit Brother Johns BBQ.

Casa Film Bar

2905 East Speedway
Casa Film Bar (Credit: Ty Young)

Casa Film Bar (Credit: Ty Young)

Everybody’s favorite indie video rental store knew it had to keep things fresh. To stay current, they converted almost half of the downstairs into a craft beer bar. It’s a great combo, really, with movies playing, a killer beer selection, and a convenient midtown location.

More info at casafilmbar.com.

Commoner & Co.

6960 E Sunrise Dr.
Steak from Commoner & Co. (Credit: Shannon Dudley)

Steak from Commoner & Co. (Credit: Shannon Dudley)

Opened during the summer, this northeast eatery serves modern comfort, new American cuisine along with a selection of beers on tap and a long list of craft cocktails.

For more information, visit Commoner & Co.

Ermano’s Craft Beer & Wine Bar

220 N Fourth Ave.
Zip Burger with New Belgium Shift at Ermanos (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Zip Burger with New Belgium Shift at Ermanos (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

A new addition to Fourth Avenue, Ermano’s offers a curated selection of craft beer and wine to accompany their lunch, dinner and late night menu offerings. In addition to using locally sourced ingredients for their dishes they also support the local art scene.

For more information, visit Ermano’s Brew

Harvest On River

5605 E River Rd.
Antipasto Platter at Harvest Restaurant

Antipasto Platter at Harvest Restaurant

The Oro Valley locally owned restaurant opened its second location on River Road this year in the former Skybox Restaurant and Sports Bar. Offering daily lunch and dinners along with Sunday brunch featuring items from local purveyors of fresh produce.

For more information, visit Harvest on River.

HighWire Lounge

14 S Arizona Ave.
Oyster shot from HighWire (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Oyster shot from HighWire (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

This upscale bar offers classic craft cocktails, modern infusions and light appetizers. Located in an alley, HighWire is neighbors with downtown Tucson’s grocery store, Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, and the Independent Distillery.

For more information, visit HighWire Lounge.

Hub Ice Cream Factory

245 E Congress St.
Hub Ice Cream Factory (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Hub Ice Cream Factory (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Originally housed in Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery, the demand for the sweet treat was so high that they expanded and built the Ice Cream Factory across the street. The vast array of signature, seasonal and rotating flavors – and house made choco tacos – will bring out the kid in you.

For more information, visit Hub Ice Cream.

Humble Pie

2905 East Skyline Dr
Humble Pie (Credit: Humble Pie Facebook

Humble Pie (Credit: Humble Pie Facebook

This Phoenix-based pizza and wine bar opened its first Tucson location in November. In addition to signature pizzas you can also order up sandwiches and salads while ordering drinks from a full bar.

For more information, visit Humble Pie.

Illegal Pete’s 

876 E University Blvd.
Illegal Pete's in Tucson (Credit: Illegal Pete's Facebook)

Illegal Pete’s in Tucson (Credit: Illegal Pete’s Facebook)

Opening up it’s first location outside of Colorado, Illegal Pete’s received a raucous welcoming from a group of protesters complaining about the name. Located just outside Main Gate, Illegal Pete’s serves fresh Mexican food in a relaxed atmosphere while supporting local musicians and offering their employees a 2015 Living Wage Incentive.

For more information, visit Illegal Pete’s.

Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market

11 South Sixth Avenue
Deli at Johnny Gibson's Downtown Market

Deli at Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

The first grocery market to open downtown in a long time, this market also features a variety of order at the counter items all day long for lunch, dinner, or a snack. A full espresso and craft beer bar is also available. Johnny Gibson’s is also part of the shared courtyard with HighWire Lounge and the Independent Distillery.

More info at gibsonsmarket.com.

Nook

1 E Congress St.
The Godfather Benedict at Nook (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

The Godfather Benedict at Nook (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Open daily for breakfast and lunch, Nook offers a twist on their specialties. Take the Godfather Benedict, that substitutes prosciutto and arugala for the traditional Canadian bacon. Gluten-free and vegan items are also available.

For more information, visit Nook.

Obon Sushi + Bar + Ramen

350 E Congress St.
Sushi bar at OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Sushi bar at OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Named in honor of the Japanese festival that is a time to come together and celebrate life and family Obon is creating a modern Japanese dining experience here in Tucson. Their vast selection of sake’s will pair nicely with their ramen, sushi, small plates and entree choices.

For more information, visit Obon Sushi.

Red’s Smokehouse + Tap Room

943 E University Blvd.
Red's Smokehouse + Tap Room facade (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Red’s Smokehouse + Tap Room facade (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

With opening its doors this week, Red’s is the newest arrival on the scene. This craft beer and barbeue joint is the newest venture for owner Ramiro Scavo who’s first restaurant, Pasco Kitchen & Lounge, is just down the street. Diners have their choice of Pork Ribs, Chicken, Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Grilled Hot Wings with the usual sides of vinegar slaw, creamy coleslaw, potato salad, corn bread, corn on the cob, baked beans, and macaroni salad. Check out our recent write up here.

For more information, visit Reds Smokehouse on Facebook.

The Independent Distillery

30 S Arizona Ave.
Douglas Fir Bar at Independent Distillery (Photo Credit: Sarah Pelfini)

Douglas Fir Bar at Independent Distillery (Photo Credit: Sarah Pelfini)

Their doors opened three months ago with the goal of spearheading the small-scale distillery business in Tucson. Once federal approval is granted for their on-site distilling they will be making handcrafted spirits: gins, rums, vodkas, whiskeys, bourbons, absinthe, and bitters using the highest quality products.

For more information, visit The Independent Distillery.

The Living Room Wine Cafe & Lounge

2905 E. Skyline Dr.
Inside at The Living Room (Credit: The Living Room)

Inside at The Living Room (Credit: The Living Room)

This is the first Tucson location for owner Tom Kaufman whose other locations are in the Phoenix area. The wine concept’s mantra of live, laugh, lounge can be obtained while sipping on one of their 35 wines and sangrias by the glass Menu offerings include light appetizers, bruschetta, and flatbread pizza.

For more information, visit The Living Room.

Za’atar Mediterranean Restaurant & Bakery

2825 N Country Club Rd.
Za'atar in the former El Taco. The El Taco sign has since come down. (Credit: Mark Whittaker)

Za’atar in the former El Taco. The El Taco sign has since come down. (Credit: Mark Whittaker)

Opening in March this little gem of a place expanded Tucson’s choices for Mediterranean food. Their house made breads are baked fresh to order and diners can watch the crew prepare their gyro, kabob, falafel or other items be created. Other offerings include the traditional and minty Tzaziki, baba ganoush, hummus, and a daily dessert.

For more information, visit Za’atar on Facebook.

Jane Pavone has worked as a television news anchor, award-winning vinegar producer, and executive assistant.

X