Downtown coffee shop closes, moving east

Brewd, A Coffee Lounge is moving to the Foothills.

After a year of struggling against the tide of downtown streetcar construction, husband-and-wife owners Phil Bryson and Kate Preble decided to close shop at 39 N. Sixth Ave. in late March and move northeast.

Bryson said he hopes to open at 4960 N. Sabino Canyon Road by early August.

In a blog posting on their website ( on Friday, the owners said they were taking this time to spruce up their menu, including adding a single-serve layered coconut cream cake.

AIMS testing breakfast is on McDonald's

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that probably holds most true when young kids are taking tests.

McDonald's restaurants in Tucson and throughout Arizona are offering kids in the third through eighth grades free breakfast from 6 to 9 a.m. Monday and Tuesday to help get them ready for the state-mandated AIMS exams that begin on Monday.

The deal is good for an Egg McMuffin, apple slices, and choice of milk or orange juice. Students must be present and accompanied by a parent.

Bella D'Auria launches W.O.P. Lunch service

The year-old Bella D'Auria Restaurant & Bar on East Broadway has rolled out a new speedy lunchtime program.

Chef-owner Lorenzo D'Auria introduced the W.O.P. Lunch and Bar at Bella D'Auria last week with promises to get diners in and out in 15 minutes.

The streamlined menu features four made-to-order sandwiches ($7) including the Italian Went French Dipping made with fresh roasted Angus beef and La Brea bread; a trio of pasta dishes ($7.99) including spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce; and a meal-sized salad ($7).

This is D'Auria's second stab at serving lunch since he opened the restaurant April 27 at 4445 E. Broadway. He said that his original idea of serving the full menu during lunch proved too time-consuming so he quickly scrapped it and focused on dinner.

The W.O.P. Lunch and Bar is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Call 867-8213 or visit for details.

The Abbey goes pop-up to welcome back family

The Abbey will convert itself into a pop-up Mexican diner on Monday to welcome owner Brian Metzger's twin brother back to Tucson.

Jay Metzger helped craft the five-course menu for Los Gemelos (The Twins) Mexican Bistro, which will take over the Abbey, 6960 E. Sunrise Drive that day.

The party is much more than a homecoming and reunion for the Metzger brothers. It's a celebration of life after Jay Metzger's successful battle last year with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Brian Metzger hosted fundraising events to help with his brother's expenses.

Monday's dinner begins at 6 p.m. and reservations are encouraged by calling 299-3132. Details:

Sonoita vineyard focus of next Epazote dinner

Sonoita's Dos Cabezas WineWorks takes the spotlight for the second installment of Epazote Kitchen & Cocktails specialty dinner series.

The four-course prix-fixe menu opens with a chilled chayote soup paired with Dos Cabezas's lively and tart Pink. The main course - Berkshire pork tenderloin with whipped yellow beets - paired with a crystalline Dos Cabezas red wine.

Dessert will pair Boxcar, the vineyard's dessert wine, with an apricot chocolate torte.

The dinner is from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday at Epozote, 10000 N. Oracle Road at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Oro Valley. The cost is $49 and reservations are recommended by calling 544-1705 or online at

Cabezas WineWorks was founded in Willcox in 1995. The operation moved to Sonoita after a change of ownership in 2006.

Epozote's series focuses on locally and regionally grown foods and wines.

SLOW FOOD launches tasting event

Slow Food Arizona is launching a Food, Beer & Wine Tasting event on April 18.

Hosted by Lodge on the Desert, 306 N. Alvernon Way, from 5 to 7 p.m., it will also feature Acacia, Feast, Pasco, Nimbus, 1055 Brewing, Dragoon, Borderlands, Dos Cabezas, Callaghan Vineyards, Kief-Joshua Vineyards and Flying Leap Vineyards

The idea is to show that Southern Arizona has high-quality locally brewed beers and wines, in addition to locally owned and operated restaurants.

Plus there'll be live music.

The cost is $25. Attendance is limited to 250 guests. Sign up at

Chef kudos

The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain's David Serus has a new title: Maître Cuisinier de France.

The chef was given the title by the French culinary community during recent induction ceremonies in France, making him the only Arizona-based French chef to achieve this coveted status this year, the Ritz announced in a press release.

The designation does not come easy. A chef has to be nominated by others with the maître cuisinier title - aka "master chef" in English - and needs to have achieved superior levels of culinary skill, artistry and commitment. And once a chef has it, the doors open to reviews in high-profile foodie publications and invitations to jury prestigious food competitions.

Serus is executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, where he leads culinary activities throughout the property including the upscale Core Kitchen & Wine Bar, Cayton's CB2 Burger Bistro, Ignite Lobby Lounge, To Go and Turquesa Grill.

Closed, for now

The Krazee Chef is taking a hiatus to attend to some home repairs.

The 4-month-old restaurant will close Friday so that the owner Daniel Ortiz can make some much-needed plumbing repairs and fix an old grease trap.

Ortiz opened his restaurant at 1012 E. Sixth St. in early January, serving up burgers, wings and an American menu with a Southwest twist.

He initially planned to be closed a month, but Ortiz said he might not reopen until the University of Arizona begins fall classes in August.

"I'm not sure if it would be wise to open in the summer when all the students are gone," Ortiz said.

Looking for dining deals on Mother's Day

Attention restaurants: We're looking for your Mother's Day specials. To include your dining plans in our roundup, submit your information at and enter your information under "holiday dining." The deadline to make the roundup is April 22; it will run in Caliente on May 2.

Cathalena E. Burch