American Eat Co. officially opens on Tuesday, April 3, nearly 18 months after Tucson developers The Common Group began transforming the former American Meat Co. into an indoor food court.

Tenants, which include six restaurants, an ice creamery, coffee shop, market and bar, held a friends-and-family night Thursday as a trial run leading up to the opening, said The Common Group’s Jesus Bonillas.

Hours effective April 3 will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

American Eat Co., 1439 S. Fourth Ave., was expected to open in February but was held in limbo while gas lines were replaced, tested and inspected. The final inspections and permits came this week, Bonillas said.

The Common Group invested more than $1 million to buy and renovate the 8,000-square-foot building, which they bought from the Islas family in late 2016. Generations of the Islas family had run American Meat Co., a popular neighborhood butcher shop and market, for 62 years until it closed in 2015.

American Eat Co. is the latest and largest venture for The Common Group, which includes Bonillas’s partner Guillermo Gallegos. The south-side developers for the past several years have bought and renovated distressed commercial properties mostly in the core south side area near Interstate 19. Projects include the sprawling Shoppes at Irvington in a former car dealership on West Irvington Road and Plaza Prieta Linda on South 12th Avenue.

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Workers at Great American Eat Co. label plastic cups in preparation for a soft opening. The former American Meat Co. at 1439 S. Fourth Ave. has been transformed into an indoor food court with six restaurants, an ice creamery and a coffee shop.

The concepts:

  • Isabella's Ice Cream, the second outpost of the popular ice cream shop.
  • Cafe con Leche, a coffee shop serving traditional Mexican pastries.
  • Dumb Fish, a poke and rice bowl restaurant.
  • Upper Crust Pizza, specializing in slices.
  • AZ Rib House, serving ribs and handmade chicken tenders.
  • Market Bar, serving Tucson craft brews and Southern Arizona wines.
  • Opa, the second outpost of the popular Campbell Avenue Greek restaurant.
  • Avenues, specializing in "Chicano comfort food" including deep-fried hamburger patty tacos.
  • Dos Amigos, a butcher shop and market.
  • The Bite, serving inventive sliders from burgers to seafood.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch