Five years ago, Prep & Pastry opened in a tightly recessed nook on the corner of Campbell Avenue and Hedrick Street Its meteoric rise to Tucson fame, fanned by praise from satisfied diners and food bloggers, was a boon to owners Nathan Ares, Brian Pracko, Billy Kovacs and William Meinke, but a headache for those looking to get a seat at their popular weekend brunches. Prep & Pastry shared a parking lot with an antique furniture store and seed depot, both of which had their own draw. To put it mildly, even on slow days, parking was rather limited.
Dedicated fans would park blocks away and endure a long wait to get seated on Sundays to savor their benedicts, French toast and fresh-squeezed O.J. mimosas. Things got even crazier after Food Network regular Alton Brown showed up on a Sunday, and demanded a table, even with a crowd both inside and outside. Sorry, Alton, you're going to have to wait just like everyone else. He got snippy, made a huffy tweet, then moved on.
When a seafood joint down the street closed, the Prep & Pastry team saw an opportunity. They immediately moved in, transformed the onetime Carrow's restaurant into a bright, open and welcoming space. And there's plenty of parking.
But the P&P team still had a lease on the old location. What to do?
"We knew we wanted a location where all of our baking could be done," says Ares. "We also figured we'd give Prep a little brother."
Chef Kyle Nottingham came aboard as a partner and created a soup and sandwich menu. The team bounced around with a lot of names but eventually settled on August Rhodes, the name of Nottingham's son.
After a complete renovation, August Rhodes quietly opened earlier this year, around the same time Prep & Pastry opened its doors just down the street. The food served at August Rhodes is a fun extension of Prep, focusing on sandwiches, a few salads and soups. It has yet to gain the momentum set by P&P, as there is usually a parking spot or two available, but just like its older sibling, August Rhodes will grow into its own.