So by now you probably know Johnny Gibson's Downtown Market
and Independent Distillery
will be opening in a couple months off of Arizona Avenue, breathing new life and plans for walkability into the area which functioned more as an alley in recent years. Both spaces will have joint use to a large patio area when they hope to open in April and a third space—a bar called HighWire Lounge—will share the patio as well.
Located at 14 South Arizona Avenue, if you choose to peek in now, you'll see a lot of construction and some exposed brick walls. However, part-owner and bartender Jacob Hise is looking to change that in the next two months, transforming the space into an upscale "subtle vintage circus" themed bar with approximately 20 spots at the bar, 20 in the lounge and 40 out on the patio, according to Hise. Local art will be displayed "like a gallery space" on the walls, as well as a six-foot Margaret Joplin sculpture on the patio.
As a former mixologist for Lodge on the Desert, Hise is looking to bring a premium concept to Tucson that it hasn't had before. For him, that means a molecular gastronomy take to cocktails using spirit brands folks know and love in conjunction with some small batch, micro-distilled liquor to expand people's horizons.
"We want to go craft on the cocktails and not craft on the liquor," he says.
While much of the cocktail menu is being kept under wraps, Hise is also looking to include two Pueblo Vida draft beers, six more craft brews, and four wines on tap. Although there are a number of great bars already in the area and the downtown's first distillery going in right next door, Hise says he is happy to be surrounded by other great bars.
"It's good to be around other spots—it's why they put JC Penny's next to Macy's. It's spacial economics," he says. "It's not going to be either or."
As for the name, Hise says it's in reference to the difficulty trying to secure a location, with the original space located off of Council Street near 6th Avenue falling through before they received the Gibson Court offer.
"It's really been such a tightrope walk so it made sense," Hise says.
You can stay in the loop with developments on the HighWire space by following the bar on Facebook