Howdy there! Here's your monthly list of new restaurants, bars, coffee shops (and food trucks!) that opened in the Old Pueblo. The list is interesting this month because it covers every area of town, from Serial Grillers' new spot in Rita Ranch to Caps & Corks on the northwest side.
But everybody is talking about Dutch Bros. coffee, which opened its first Tucson location near the Park Place Mall. (Update: As of Thursday, there's still a substantial line of cars stretching around the parking lot.) The Oregon-based chain is all over Phoenix, and plans to expand rapidly across the Tucson market with another store on Cortaro Farms Road. Dutch mojitos anyone?
2530 N. First Ave., 520-207-5701
At Asian Sofrito, you can order a plate of General Tso's Chicken with a side of syrupy sweet plantains. The Caribbean Chinese fusion restaurant opened in the former home of Wild Garlic Grill on First Avenue, and has been serving the the local clientele who crave Puerto Rican dishes like mofongo and fried chicken masita. Two thirds of the menu is Chinese takeout, and they make a mean plate of barbecue pork lo mein. Read more.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Caps & Corks
3830 W. River Road, Suite 100, 520-441-9943
The craft beer scene is going strong up in Marana with the opening of Caps & Corks in the Sprouts shopping center of Orange Grove near the I-10 freeway. The vibe here is similar to a Tap & Bottle with a little homey charm mixed in. (The owners are originally from Bisbee.) On a recent visit, the 25-strong taplist included a healthy selection of Arizona Wilderness beers out of Gilbert, which are hard to find down in the Old Pueblo. Read more.
District Tavern Eatz
The District Tavern is back! But this new Stone Avenue iteration has a pretty different vibe than the beloved downtown bar. It's in the former home of Classic Steakhouse, for one, which gives it more of a Western feel. They also have food now, but it's a small menu of sandwiches, quiches, whiskey ginger cookies and breakfast egg plates all day. In the evenings the space becomes an 18+ hangout with a full bar, including your favorite "special" of Miller High Life and Old Crow whiskey.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Dutch Bros Coffee
120 S. Wilmot Road, 541-955-4700
This month, all the buzz is over Dutch Bros. The Oregon-based coffee joint opened its first Tucson location this month in a Broadway lot that used to house a Mimi's Cafe. We haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet, but judging from the menu it should be a wild ride. The tea section alone has several gems, like the Dutch Mojito and the bright blue Shark Attack. I'll just take the cold brew, please ...
Hours: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
7585 S. Houghton Road, 520-574-7878
Rita Ranch was abuzz this month with the opening of Serial Grillers' third location on Houghton Road. On a recent evening, the former Chuy's Mesquite Broiler was packed with locals ordering serial-killer themed pizzas like the Bone Collector with boneless wings, ranch and buffalo sauce. The sprawling space is three times the size of the Speedway location, and has a taplist of more than 50 craft beers.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Raptor Canyon Cafe
75 E. Pennington St., 520-336-5698
The vacant Veg in a Box restaurant on Pennington is now a homey breakfast and lunch cafe. Raptor Canyon Cafe did a brisk lunch business on my recent visit, and seems to be popular with the downtown business crowd. Order at the counter and they'll take the food out to your booth: There's a decent selection of breakfast sandwiches with housemade biscuits, but I got a breakfast burrito. They also do sandwiches and salads, plus diner entrees like mini meatloaf, angel hair pasta and fish tacos. Check out the front counter for some baked goods, like the peanut buttery Raptor Tracks.
Hours: Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday
Taqueria El Semental
northwest corner of North Fourth Avenue and East Ninth Street, 520-668-9163
You may remember Taqueria El Semental as the bull-themed taco truck that set up in front of The Hut on weekends. One of Fourth Avenue's most popular late night options finally has a permanent home just down the street, on the northwest corner of Fourth and the underpass. It's still a taco truck, but now there's a fancy hay bale setup where you can chill out and eat your footlong Sonoran dog. (Judging by this picture of course.)
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 3:30 to 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 3:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., closed Sunday and Monday
On the horizon
— Americano Mexicano Cantina and Fresca Bar is opening in the former In the Auld Dubliner spot at 800 E. University Boulevard, Suite 104. A sign out front says the Mexican restaurant is opening on Thursday, but the official Grand Opening date is 4 p.m. Saturday, via Facebook.
— Millie's Pancake Haus is moving over to the former Dakota Cafe spot at Trail Dust Town, but a recent visit showed that the building was still empty.
— With reporting from Cathalena E. Burch