As springtime arrives in Tucson, downtown is also starting to blossom. Trolley tracks have been laid down; cool retro light posts and stoplights have been installed; new trees and plants are being planted to help create a hip urban landscape.
But the best news of all is that brand-new restaurants are popping up around downtown. Maynards is now housed in the Historic Train Depot; at the old McLellans department store, you can dine on sushi at On a Roll. Chiliverde by day serves Mexican cuisine, but at night turns into the trendy Centro Nightclub.
These new restaurants, combined with stalwarts such as El Charro Café, Café Poca Cosa and the Barrio, are helping make downtown a food destination.
The perfect way to enjoy Club Crawl™ may just be to arrive early for dinner at one of the many restaurants showcasing Club Crawl™ bands. Then, after dinner, head over to one of the Club Crawl venues and/or stages, where you can work off your meal by dancing and cavorting the night away.
Here's a list of the Club Crawl™ dinner/music combinations:
415 N. Fourth Ave.
Performing Latin lounge and atmospheric music starting at 7 p.m., Duo Sonido and Terraformation complement this low-key café. Enjoy coffee drinks, sandwiches and salads while listening to two hours of majestic melodies.
375 S. Stone Ave.
Enjoy tapas, paella and sangria while listening to Sentido performing flamenco fusion music. This gem on south Stone provides an authentic and lively Spanish atmosphere, including tango dancers from 7 to 9 p.m.
500 N. Fourth Ave.
A Tucson original serving a variety of sandwiches, salads, fresh pastries and—of course—lots of coffee. Tucson's finest purveyor of blues and folk music, Stefan George, performs his award winning sounds on the outdoor plaza from 7 to 9 p.m. It's the perfect spot to be in the middle of all the action, right on the corner of Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue.
311 E. Congress St.
Downtown's cornerstone for fine dining is smack-dab in the middle of the biggest entertainment complex on Congress Street—and that, of course, is Hotel Congress. Sit on the patio and catch the outdoor stage lineup from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant
198 W. Cushing St.
This Tucson landmark is housed in a historic 1860s adobe building. Enjoy a great dinner menu and cocktails in their territorial dining room, or listen to jazz with the Jeff Lewis and Friends on the garden patio from 7 to 10 p.m. This venue may be off the beaten path, but it has plenty of parking and is well worth the extra effort.
533 N. Fourth Ave.
One of the original alternative dining options on Fourth Avenue, Delectables is famous for innovative dishes. The side patio, right on Fourth, will allow you to take in the street ambience while enjoying the creative piano/acoustic guitar duo of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, who perform beautiful music with a keen sense of humor, from 7 to 9 p.m.
58 W. Congress St.
We've told you before, and we'll tell you again: This fine Italian eatery is located near plenty of good parking. With more than 35 years of experience, Lamont Arthur performs jazz, blues, R&B, funk and Latin on the patio from 6 to 9 p.m.
100 E. Congress St.
Late-night grub and performances by some of the best indie bands around meet at this vortex known as the Red Room at Grill. As usual, there will be plenty of tater tots, burgers and vegetarian options. Music starts at 10 p.m. with Cassette Culture, Gamma Like Very Ultra and Gabriel Sullivan.
605 N. Fourth Ave.
Magpies is a perennial winner in the Tucson Weekly Best of Tucson™ reader poll for Best Pizza, and also serves pastas, salads and tasty subs. On their outdoor patio will be the acoustic blues, folk and Americana sounds of Phil Borzillo from 7 to 9 p.m.
557 N. Fourth Ave.
Salvador Duran has been busy performing with Calexico and sharing the spotlight with Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta. However, for Club Crawl™, he will play to an intimate crowd at one of his favorite restaurants from 7 to 9 p.m. Restaurant owner Martin is originally from Nogales and serves up some of the tastiest Mexican fare on the Avenue.
400 N. Toole Ave.
Maynards is quickly becoming the hip place to be for lunch or dinner downtown; it's located in the Historic Train Depot and sports one of the largest outdoor patios around. Stay long enough, and you are sure to catch the ambience of a train passing by, all while enjoying the sounds and rhythms of 10-piece Brazilian group Batucaxé, performing from 9 to 11 p.m.
247 N. Fourth Ave.
One of the best entertainment options on Fourth Avenue is also home of the some of best burgers and bar food downtown. Be sure to catch their full Club Crawl™ lineup, running from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Shot in the Dark Café
121 E. Broadway Blvd.
This charming little café combines espresso, house-made chai and food options for vegetarians, vegans and carnivores. Mark Bockel, host of Shot in the Dark's open-mic nights, will be performing from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., with Pat Rickert and special guests.
Tooley's on Congress
278 E. Congress St.
Need some coffee to keep crawling? Well, Tooley's sits right in the middle of the event, so convenience is paramount. Tooley's also serves up fresh baked goods, yogurt, salads, teas and other light fare.