(Photo courtesy of The Royal Room)

Sunday brunch, new cocktails & more at The Royal Room

May 17, 2023
By Matt Sterner

The Royal Room is a Foodie 500 Restaurant Partner.

There’s a lot happening behind the brick walls and colorful glass windows on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street. When The Royal Room first opened its doors in 2017, the emphasis was on the wine menu and handcrafted charcuterie boards. Over the years, their cocktails seem to have taken the front seat, and a bigger beer selection, handmade sandwiches, DJ nights, and outdoor seating soon followed.

Now, Ian Stupar and company are taking a brand-new approach: Sunday Brunch. It’s been a few weeks now since they debuted brunch, which is from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays, and so far it’s been a fun experience.

Brunch Outside of the Box

“We’re not a restaurant — I don’t have a full-on kitchen,” said Stupar. “We can’t make hashbrowns and cook eggs to order, but this is a way that we can offer something that’s freshly made.”

One of the dishes Stupar is perhaps most excited about is the Chawanmushi — a Japanese steamed egg custard. You can order it vegetarian, which includes scallions, a homemade blended chili crisp, and sesame seeds, or there’s a meat option that comes with bacon and gruyère.

Chawanmushi (Photo courtesy of The Royal Room)

Both options include a side of dressed greens.

“With the Chawanmushi and some of the other things on the menu, I don’t see too many restaurants doing this in town,” said Stupar. “This stripped-down menu tastes good and people seem to really like it.”

One of the other dishes on the brunch menu is the Seasonal Fruit with beaten cream and hot honey drizzled on top (minus the cream if you’d like a vegan option). Then, they teamed up with the local baker Holy Foccacia for the Holy Focaccia and Jam dish, which comes with olive oil and salt focaccia,  jam, and cultured butter.

(Photo courtesy of The Royal Room)

“We’re always looking for stuff to do at the bar during the day because it feels like a missed opportunity,” said Stupar. ” We want it to be a fun experience — to say you had brunch and there was a drag show. Also, I don’t think anybody else in town is doing a Long Island Iced Coffee.”

Party on, Tucson

So, let’s address the entertainment aspect of The Royal Room’s Sunday brunch (then we’ll get to the craft cocktails they’re serving). Ever since its inception, Stupar’s mind has been blossoming with new ideas left and right.

“We’re going to start incorporating some kind of entertainment and different activities during brunch,” he said. “For example, our friend Parker does these pop-up markets — kind of vintage markets. Then our friend DJ Mijito got us in touch with some people and we’re going to be hosting Sunday morning drag shows from time to time. So, there’s a little extra entertainment happening during brunch. Also, my wife, Laura, owns the shop El Be Goods at  The Monier and we’re going to be hosting their Wild Wild West Market.”

On the “dranxxxx” section of the brunch menu, you’ll find three spankin’-new cocktails like the Long Island Iced Coffee Stupar mentioned earlier. The menu states that it’s “just what it sounds like” but to go a little more in-depth it’s packed with Presta cold brew, St. George Coffee Liqueur, Bailey’s, dry curacao, vodka, rum, and tequila. It’s a cocktail that’ll have you cartwheeling out of the front door on your way out.

“It’s shockingly smooth and very easy to drink,” Stupar laughed. “I mean, it’s pretty boozy and it’ll definitely get you.”

The coffee cocktails don’t stop there, though. They also have This Coffee is Fire, which is Presta cold brew coffee, cinnamon, and whiskey. Lastly, the Drink #3 — the third drink on the new brunch cocktail menu — contains Presta cold brew coffee and a Gonzalez Creme Sherry. It’s something Stupar describes as “almost like a Manhattan vibe.”

Daily Menu Bites

Now, I’m not the only one who was heartbroken when the air-fried tater tots packed up their spuds and hopped on a one-way trip off of the daily menu. However, they’ve been replaced with potatoes of a different shape — Waffle Fries.

Stupar wanted to up the quality of the ingredients so the tater tots got the boot. Speaking of higher-grade handhelds, there are now three new sandwiches to choose from: the Juanita, the Edna, and the Martha.

(Photo courtesy of The Royal Room)

“The sandwiches we have on the regular menu are named after my wife and I’s grandmas,” said Stupar. “Instead of just a regular cheese sandwich (Martha), we’re getting way better ingredients. The turkey sandwich (Juanita) is killer and the grinder (Edna) has prosciutto, Spanish chorizo, a tasty salami, and then a good provolone. They all come on Ciabatta and we’re also selling the Holy Focaccia with some nice Port Salut cheese.”

And, what would The Royal Room be without some royal-esque plates and utensils? Stupar took a trip to the Midtown Mercantile Merchants at 4443 E. Speedway Blvd. to find these treasures. They’re the perfect companion for the new menu, which can be enjoyed indoors or outside on the newly-crafted front patio or the side patio near the alley.

“So, in the end, it’s a similar menu but it’s kicked up a notch,” Stupar reflected. “It’s the same thing we’re doing with the cocktails. We’re doing nearly everything in-house like the syrups — made from scratch, fresh juices, etc.. It’s been so far pretty well received.”

In conclusion, pay a visit to The Royal Room soon, whether it be for brunch, the new daily menu, the chilly beer fridge, or for DJ nights and drag shows because the team there “loves ya.” They mean it, too.

The Royal Room is located at 450 N. Sixth Ave. For more information, follow The Royal Room on Instagram or visit theroyalroomtucson.com.

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