Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Culinary Dropout at The Yard

My Phoenix neighborhood just got a little more hip.

I've been watching construction of the Yard for months. The site was a vacant motorcycle shop, so I am happy to see the building being revived.

I love the chandeliers at Culinary Dropout.
Culinary Dropout debuted February 11, and cars have been lining Montebello Avenue every day since then. The parking lot has been overflowing, and waits in my experience have been no wait on a Friday night, 45 minutes on a Sunday afternoon and 2 hours (for more than 10 people) on the first Saturday it was open. There was absolutely no wait for brunch on a Saturday visit.

UPDATE: The city of Phoenix installed no parking signs along Montebello Avenue in front of the townhouses and some homes. Phoenix police officers have been giving out lots of tickets. The easiest solution is probably to valet, ride your bike or walk. Or carpool with friends and split the valet tip.

Cars have crowded Montebello Avenue every day. Your best bet is to valet or ride your bike; there are plenty of bike racks available.
When you go, you can see why it's already so popular. I haven't seen anything like it in Phoenix. Outside in the Yard, you can play cornhole, shuffleboard, ping pong and foosball, or lounge around fire pits. Grab a drink at the indoor-outdoor bar while you wait for your table -- it will be a while.

A cover band performed on March 1.
The kitchen is visible from the dining area.
The wait was two hours on March 30, a Saturday night, but we lucked out when three people left their seats at the bar. Here's a glass of Riesling to celebrate.
Little Cleo's Fish House and Oyster is now open and a new coffee shop is supposed to open at some point at the Yard.

(UPDATE: Lola Coffee has since come and gone. It's been replaced by Barrio Urbano, a Mexican food restaurant.)

Despite the parking headaches on my once-quiet street, the Yard is a welcome addition to my neighborhood.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Try the sinful Cap 'N Crunch French toast for brunch. Pair that with a mimosa or a brew. Reverse happy hour is after 5 p.m. on Sundays for those 21 and older.

Live music accompanies your meal.