With a name like Pie Bird Bakery and Cafe you had best have pie on the menu.
Don’t worry, says owner Maren Christensen, she and partner Will Moyer have it covered. Pies, pastries and brownies share top billing with fresh salads, sandwiches and an extensive beverage menu — all scratch made — at the soon-to-open restaurant in the Transamerica Building, 177 N. Church Ave.
The pair have taken up residence in the space that was home to Arizona Bagel and Deli Company. The building’s owners have renovated it and opened up the adjacent conference room as a dining room to seat 75 to 100, said Christensen, the pitcher for the 2001 Sahuaro High School state championship softball team.
Christensen, who took a breather from graduate school at the University of Arizona to stay home with her young kids, has no restaurant experience. But she ran a successful catering business from home, delivering to downtown businesses in the Transamerica Building as well as Raytheon Missile Systems, she said. Her partner was trained in culinary school, she said, and has restaurant experience with an emphasis on desserts.
Christensen, a Tucson native who went on to play softball for Colorado State University, said she decided to take the plunge and open Pie Bird Bakery mainly because of the location. She will have the potential of a built-in clientele among the 480 tenants as well as the downtown courthouse audience of attorneys, jurors and court officials.
Pie Bird Bakery & Cafe is expected to open Feb. 2. Hours will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.