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Openings!

Phillip Hesslau, co-owner of The Loop Taste of Chicago (10180 N. Oracle Road), is opening a new restaurant called Phillip's Italian and American Cuisine in the former home of the recently shuttered Trattoria Della Famiglia, at 6060 N. Oracle Road. "It's going to be a fine-dining experience at a casual price," said Hesslau, a Chicago native with 26 years in the restaurant biz. Hesslau has hired Michael Veres, the former owner of Cibaria Cucina Italiana, as executive chef, and plans on opening the new eatery on Monday, May 11; 548-1549.

Skybox Restaurant and Bar has opened in the old El Minuto location at 5605 E. River Road, Suite 201, said Richard Fortuno, who co-owns the place with Robin O'Neal. Fortuno said Skybox offers fine dining in a sports-grill atmosphere from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday. Live music starts at 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; 529-7180.

An In-N-Out Burger is slated to open early next year at the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Kolb Road, according to Carl Van Fleet, vice president of planning and development for the California-based restaurant chain. It will be the area's third In-N-Out location.

Beer!

Cold beer becomes a priority as the mercury creeps toward triple-digits, which is why I've already bookmarked www.coldestbeerintucson.com. The site's thermometer-wielding creator, William Ackerley, visits bars and restaurants across Tucson and posts his findings with some rather entertaining reviews. The findings will be published in a book once enough "research" has been completed, said Ackerley.

A party to celebrate the launch of on-tap versions of Negra Modelo and Modelo Especial takes place from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 1, at El Charro Café Ventana (6910 E. Sunrise Road). Tucson is one of only three U.S. cities chosen for the sudsy debut, which will feature food-pairings and prizes; 514-1922.

Teen Iron Chef Winners!

Amber Otero, George Smith, Angel Crowell, Alex Otero and Lizette Varela won the Teen Iron Chef Competition, held Saturday, April 18. The team cranked out a turkey, cheese, salsa and avocado sandwich; a side of carrots and celery; and a strawberry smoothie to take the title. Organizers Monique Becerril and Jessica Hernandez said the event—which tasked teenagers with creating healthy meals using secret ingredients—was so successful that more events are planned for this summer. E-mail teenironchef@gmail.com for more information.

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