1 October, 2022, 18:05

Chef Janos Wilder closes DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails after ten years in business

“Through my time in Tucson, I have had the opportunity to reinvent myself."

After closing earlier this year due to the pandemic, reopening in June, but then closing once more, chef Janos Wilder has announced that DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails will not reopen its doors.

“This is unmistakably a tremendously hard time for small businesses, especially restaurants the world over,” said Janos Wilder. “For me personally, it has also been an opportunity to take stock of where I am in my career and ask myself, is the day to day of running a restaurant really the best use of my time now?”

Bar at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Bar at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Janos and Rebecca Wilder opened the restaurant back in October 2010.

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails’ presence became a huge part of the big boom of restaurant openings downtown — establishing the area as a principal dining destination.

“I have been so fortunate to work with wonderfully talented people at each of our restaurants. The dance that we were able to carry out night in and night out from the kitchen to your table was something I never tired of.”

So what’s next for Janos?
Executive chef Janos Wilder at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Executive chef Janos Wilder at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The James Beard award-winning chef is taking the closure as an inflection point.

“After well over 50 years working as a professional chef, it’s time to continue my work without the rigor of 60–70 hour work weeks, spend more time with family and focus on propelling the incredible momentum so many have helped generate in recognizing Tucson’s distinct culinary heritage.”

The Carriage House, also owned by Janos and Rebecca, will carry on with its catering and group events at its 125 S. Arizona Ave. location.

In addition, Janos will be presenting a series of online cooking classes named “Cooking in the Time of COVID.” He’ll be teaching how to prepare meals at home and will expand on menu planning options for those cooking with very little time.

“The pandemic is a setback and my heart aches for so many that are struggling to keep their doors open. Even in these challenging times, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the innovation and creativity of the next generation. Downtown Tucson will continue to thrive in the years to come. Like the desert we live in, we are a resilient community. I am so grateful for all this city has given me and my family and I am eager to continue to serve the community moving forward.”

If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening at The Carriage House, located at 125 S. Arizona Ave., visit carriagehousetucson.com.

At a very young age, Matt was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards.