We finally got a look inside the space at 50 E. Broadway Blvd., where paper signs have teased us for months with the promise that fine food and drink would soon be served there.
I met Luke Anable there at noon today to talk about the new restaurant. He quickly introduced me to Patricia Schwabe, co-owner of Peach Properties and Tooley's Cafe in the Lost Barrio and the driving force behind what is quickly taking shape in the space.
Today it was all screaming power tools and wood dust, but things are coming together fast. The bar is already in place in the center of the space. Bench seating is beginning to take shape along the periphery and workers were putting in a rustic reclaimed-wood wall coverings as we ducked through to the office spaces out back.
Schwabe said the place - she hasn't settled on a name yet - will serve Mexican food, but she's focusing on what she calls "the fabulous food of Mexico that is not represented in Tucson." She further explained that she will serve small plates of classed up street food during lunch and late-night, but there will be equal focus on fine dinner dishes that one would enjoy best with a properly made cocktail or a glass of wine.
Which is where Anable comes in. Anable built the drink program at the now-defunct Red Room at Grill - the owners once praised his abilities to me with such conviction that I never forgot his name - and now works at Wilko. He's one of the top cocktail talents around these parts, and his consulting work for this new restaurant speaks of good things to drink for Tucson.
"I want the drinks to be simpler than some of the cocktails that are happening in Tucson," said Anable. "You will be able to read the ingredients and know what your cocktail will taste like."
Anable is also working to bring back some of the small-batch European beers he featured at Red Room.
The restaurant will also have a patio facing Broadway Boulevard, but that will have to wait until the street-car construction in the area is complete.
The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner when it opens this fall.