New Caffeine Station
Rattlesnake Espresso opened in early June at 8407 E. Broadway Blvd. The small shop specializes in locally roasted coffees and teas served hot and cold, fruit smoothies and Italian sodas. A 16-ounce latte costs $3.25 and smoothies are $4. Rattlesnake Espresso is open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday; and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.
Las Cazuelitas, Garland gone
Las Cazuelitas de Tucson has closed after nine years at the Grant Inn, 1365 W. Grant Road. Owner Abelardo Frisby said on the restaurant's website that he is looking for a new location. Frisby also ran the adjacent 15,000-square-foot events center used for weddings, graduation parties and quinceañeras.
The Garland Bistro, one of the city's first restaurants with a heavily vegetarian menu, has closed after 40 years. The owners have sold the space at 119 E. Speedway Blvd. to Tucson restaurateur Amanuel Gebremariam, owner of Zemam's, the Ethiopian restaurant at 2731 E. Broadway Blvd. He plans to open Zemam's, Too after giving the building a deep cleaning that includes replacing the carpeting with tile. Zemam's menu also leans heavily toward the vegetarian.
The Playground Bar & Lounge, 278 E. Congress St., has been reinvented as a hybrid restaurant and nightclub. A year-and-a-half after opening his downtown nightclub, Kade Mislinski has rolled out an expanded food and cocktail menu. Drinks include both sparkling and noncarbonated bottled cocktails, and even cocktails on tap. You can check out the new menu at playgroundtucson.com.
Beer for the 19; Restaurants Reach Out
Members of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild are teaming up to brew "Heroes 19," an American brown ale in honor of the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill fire. The beer will have a blend of 19 different hops and rate 19 on the color scale. All proceeds from Heroes 19 will benefit the families of the firefighters. The first batch is set to be brewed next week at Prescott Brewing Co. Participating Tucson breweries include Borderlands, Barrio, Ten-55 and Dragoon.
So many restaurants around Tucson have donated some of their proceeds to the charities supporting the firefighters' families. I have always believed that food binds communities as well as families. Seeing the local response to such a tragedy reinforces my belief.