The Hog Pit Smokehouse Bar and Grill has opened in the old Taco Bron location at 6910 E. Tanque Verde Road. We stopped in and found friendly employees and a mouth-watering smokiness permeating the building. Big portions and a menu of smokehouse favorites had people smiling; a biker theme seems to pull in the two-wheeled crowd at night. The place features live music on weekends, bikini bike washes, flat-screen televisions and a full NFL package. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., daily. Call 722-4302 for more info.
El Charro president Ray Flores tells Noshing he's opening Sir Veza's Taco Garage in the former El Charro location at 4699 E. Speedway Blvd. Johnny Vegas of Hi-Speed Rods and Customs is handling the majority of the décor, and pictures of cars and motorcycles sent in by Tucsonans will adorn the menus. Garage doors opening the place up to Speedway Boulevard (weather and traffic permitting) are being installed, and Flores plans on holding auto-themed events when the place is up and running. The menu: Mexican and American standards, with all items priced below $10. Flores hopes to have it open by the end of the month.
Azul is a swanky Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and cocktail lounge opening this month at the Westin La Paloma (3800 E. Sunrise Drive). Think deep-blue lighting, signature cocktails and a menu inspired by the coastal regions of Spain, France, Italy and Greece. Call 742-6000 for more info.
Thunder Canyon Brewery won two awards at this year's Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The Countdown Honey Brown won a gold medal, and Roadrunner Red Lager took home a silver medal. Congratulations!
A new Xoom Juice has opened in the One North Fifth building at 245 E. Congress St. Chefs Albert Hall and Lila Yamashiro opened the new Marketplace at Acacia at 4340 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 107. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily. I Love Sushi at 6486 N. Oracle Road has closed; a sign says a new sushi joint will open there. A peek inside El Coqui, the Puerto Rican restaurant under construction at 5443 E. 22nd St., makes us believe the opening is still some time off, although fliers with the place's interesting menu are already circulating.