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IN THREES

Three popular dining spots announced that they would be closing this week. First, we heard word that the Metzger Family Restaurant group decided to close Gio Taco downtown. Located off at 360 E. Congress St., the taco joint had opened just 15 months ago in the heart of downtown.

According to the statement from Metzger and MFR, the business had hoped to remain open until the end of the month, but the closing is effective immediately, despite trying to reach an agreement with their landlord. 

Then after 10 years of serving up seafood to Tucsonans, Bluefin Seafood Bistro announced that they would be calling it quits at Casa Adobes Plaza. The seafood-centric spot will be serving their last crab cake on Sunday, May 24. According to a statement from owners Jeff Azersky and Jim Murphy, their lease was under re-negotiation and they could not "come to an equitable deal" with the center's new owners. Bluefin will be moving forward and serving a new spring menu soon, despite the imminent close of the location entirely. Fans of Azersky and Murphy's take on fresh seafood can still get a taste at Kingfisher Bar & Grill after May 24 and onward.

Finally, downtown's top spot to eat vegan is soon going to leave the scene. On Friday, March 27, Urban Fresh, located at 73 E. Pennington St., will shutter. The restaurant specialized in vegan and raw foods with a full menu of salads, wraps and fresh juices, catering to the downtown lunch crowd. 

Owner Kathy Iannacone says her and her staff are ready to move on to other things. Her daughter and business partner will be moving out of the state and she plans to focus on being an integrative nutritionist and certified raw foods chef. She plans to continue teaching classes on both topics. She says she hopes other people will pick up the torch for vegan fare downtown. 

BOTTLED JAVA

If you're anything like me, you like your locally-roasted coffee and you like it every day. Sometimes it's hard to make that time commitment to the third wave on a busy day, but, luckily, EXO Roast Co. has a solution for you time-crunched, Type A coffee shop junkies. EXO just started selling two varieties of cold brew in bottles for a little over $4 including tax at their cafe and roastery located at 403 N. Sixth Ave. The regular cold brew and chiltepin and chocolate bottles are available at Tap & Bottle, Food Conspiracy Food Co-Op and the Rillito Park Farmers Market this week as well.

Coffee, of course, is great and EXO does a beautiful job roasting, but the real showstopper here is the bottle chocolate and chiltepin cold brew. Made simply with coffee, cream, dark chocolate and chiltepin chilis, the flavors are extraordinarily well balanced, with not too much heat, cream or cocoa to overpower any of the other elements.

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