Article: Burger City/Downtown Restaurants – TJ Katz

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Cuvee out, Burger City in,
Red Sky Cafe on the ropes, J Bar still here

By T.J. Katz
Inside Tucson Business
Published on Saturday, January 10, 2009

It’s always a little depressing when the holidays are over and the decorations come down, but this year it seems even more so. The year has already started off with the closure of one restaurant, another filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and just as I write this, I’m hearing of two more eating establishments that are on the ropes, financially, and may not make it.

If I may offer some advice, if you haven’t been to eat a place you like lately, go now. They could use the business. It might also be a last-opportunity.

Before going into more of the details along those lines, I need a little cheering up.

Burger City opens
Burger City has opened up downtown selling what it calls gourmet hand-pressed burgers and side dishes that include hand-cut fries and street-roasted corn.

It’s a project of ArtFare and all profits go to support its efforts to help and promote the arts and humanities in Tucson. Next door to Burger City is Kelly’s Market offering deli foods and other necessities. It’s also a project of ArtFare.

Burger City describes itself as a hip and exciting hangout that will attract both downtown employees as well as the college after-sports, after-theater crowds. Several tables are set aside as “creativity tables” with art supplies for up-and-coming DiVinci’s to create on the wooden surfaces.

Burger City’s chef is Jesse Andre and manager is Roy Schaefer.

It’s open Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 a.m. Closed on Sundays.

• Burger City, 47 N. Sixth Ave. (520) 903-0919.

Specials at Janos, J Bar

For some of us this may be difficult to believe, but 2009 marks Janos’ 26th year in Tucson, first downtown and now in the Catalina Foothills. This month, the James Beard-award winning chef is going start taking us down 25 years of memories with a series of signature dishes, each priced at $25 per person.

The trip begins with what Janos says is a long-time favorite, his grilled chicken breast stuffed with Habanero pepita pesto served with pastel de elote and mole verde. The memory lane selections will change every two weeks.

Next door at the more casual J Bar, Janos is introducing what he’s calling a “recession buster menu” that includes sampler dishes — dishes that feature three main chef-selected courses — for $12.95. Also this month, J Bar is having   “rib-eye weekends” on Friday and Saturday nights featuring a 12-ounce grilled rib-eye steak, chorizo black beans, salsa fresca, hand-stretched flour tortillas and garlic fries for $20.

• Janos and J Bar, 3770 E. Sunrise Drive on the grounds of the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa — — (520) 615-6100.

Cuvée Bistro closes

Now to the depressing news: Cuvée World Bistro, 3352 E. Speedway, served its final meals on Jan. 3. Although there had been rumors the five-year-old restaurant was about to close, the restaurant denied them.

But on Jan. 4, anyone calling the mid-town restaurant were greeted with a recorded voice message from owner Robert Bossardet in which he thanked the restaurant’s patrons and supporters and said “Unfortunately, the economy turned out to be stronger than us.”

Bossardet bought the Tucson restaurant last year from founder Mitch Levy, who has moved to Basalt, Colo., where he continues to operate another restaurant named Cuvée World Bistro.

Red Sky files bankruptcy

Another Tucson restaurant facing financial issues is Steve Schultz’s Red Sky Café, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Jan. 5.

The filing specifically deals with the company that owns Red Sky and not Schultz’s other restaurant in Plaza Palomino, Bella Luna, which just opened in October.

According to the bankruptcy filing, Red Sky’s parent, SSS Hospitality Inc., has liabilities totalling more than $473,750 and assets of less than $179,000. Red Sky is continuing to operate as it works its way through the bankruptcy.

• Red Sky Café, 2900 N. Swan Road in Plaza Palomino — — (520) 326-5454.

Contact T.J. Katz at Meals & Entertainment appears weekly.


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