Six weeks after changing the name and tweaking the menu, the owners of the northwest side Southern comfort food restaurant Bird have called it quits.

Bird Bar & Chicken — formerly Bird Modern Provisions & Bar in Casas Adobes Plaza, 7109 N. Oracle Road — served its last plate of shrimp and grits and spicy fried chicken on Sept. 14 before owner Brandon Katz and his partners decided to close for good.

“We financially could not continue to support the bleeding. It was a decision made on the financials,” said Katz, whose Fukushu Restaurant Concepts also operates Goodness and downtown’s popular sushi and ramen restaurant Obon. “We took a chance in an area of town that was lacking a certain demographic and food, and I think we accomplished what we set out to do, but we failed to message it.”

In the end, diners were confused with the Southern comfort food concept, and by the time Katz pivoted to a more social house vibe six weeks ago, with a menu that included burgers and chopped salads and sports blaring from TVs in the dining room, it was too late.

“The reality is we ran out of time,” Katz said. “It just came down to a point where (we) had to make a hard financial decision.”

In many ways, Bird was flawed early on. Construction costs for a pricey build-out came in $120,000 over budget, Katz said, bringing the total cost to around $1 million. The work dragged on seven months — seven months of paying rent with no income coming in, he noted.

“We started out with a very rough road ahead,” said Katz, who said the restaurant struggled from the day it opened in July 2017 through its final months despite the changes.

“We went down the rabbit hole and we couldn’t dig ourselves out,” he said.

Fukushu Restaurant Concepts runs the 3-year-old Obon Sushi Bar Ramen at 350 E. Congress St. downtown and a second location in Scottsdale; a third Obon is set to open next spring in Scottsdale’s Grove at McCormick shopping corridor. Fukushu also owns Goodness Fresh Food and Juice Bar at 2502 N. Campbell Ave.

Anyone holding a Bird gift card can email Katz at to have the card transferred to Obon or Goodness.

These Tucson restaurants closed their doors in 2018

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