Proper Meats + Provisions, a new neighborhood butcher shop and casual eatery set to open this month, is one of a slew of new eateries and restaurants that is bringing renovation to downtown Flagstaff historic buildings. Opening in a Southside building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it will be the first butcher shop in the state to offer exclusively farm-raised meats from Arizona, like beef from Babbitt Ranches.The Arizona-raised meatery is the long-planned dream of the award-winning restaurateurs, Paul and Laura Moir, who are behind Brix and Criollo Latin Kitchen in Flagstaff and Proper in Tucson. Set to supply home cooks and chefs with fresh, artisan meats and charcuterie sourced from local farms, it also offers an inside look at the business of whole-animal butchery.
“We are so excited about Proper Meats and this opportunity to participate with the community,” said Babbitt Ranches President Bill Cordasco. “For a long time, Babbitt Ranches has been looking for a venue to make our grass-fed beef accessible to Northern Arizona. This is a dream come true for us to be able to promote healthy living in this way.”
Beyond the butchery goods, the Moirs plan to offer local cheeses, breads, house-made soups, sandwiches and light entrees in the charming, craftsmen-style building. A small but sharp beverage program will offer a curated list of local craft beers and Arizona wines will be available by the glass or the bottle.
“We take more of a socially conscious approach with our meats, and take great pride in promoting the relationship between the meat raised in Arizona and the people who prepare it,” said Paul Moir. His team is transforming the early 1900s historic building at 110 South San Francisco Street into the 1,600-square-foot butcher shop and 10-seat eatery.
An advocate for sustainable practices and procurement methods, Laura Moir says that the best meals feature the finest, freshest seasonal ingredients, and that the community benefits most when local farmers and ranchers supply a steady stream of fresh, pure ingredients and proteins. In addition, the team’s executive chef, David Smith, is developing partnerships with Arizona’s ranchers, farmers and farming community.
Next door, Ewa’s Thai Cuisine opened late last year to create Issan-style food that originates from northeast Thailand. Owner Ewa Buschmann was part owner of another downtown Flagstaff Thai restaurant before opening this new eating place with her husband, Tim, in a freshly repurposed building.
Just up the street, Kevin and Scott Heinonen, owners of the Tinderbox Kitchen and Annex, are renovating the historic Tourist Home at 24 South San Francisco Street as the Tourist Home Urban Market. The market will serve the community with house-butchered specialty meats, fresh produce and beer and wine.
“The Tourist Home Urban Market will represent the retail arm of the Tinderbox Kitchen restaurant, offering the same quality food, drink and soft goods in an urban neighborhood market setting, which will also serve as the cultural and civic hub of downtown Flagstaff,” said Kevin Heinonen in an earlier Flagstaff Business News story.
On the north side of the tracks at Leroux and Route 66, The McMillan Bar and Kitchen opened May 30. Housed in the historic McMillian building, the destination bar and restaurant that presents “globally inspired, locally sourced” food is already a locals’ favorite hangout. Months of restorative work to the Flagstaff landmark building seem to be paying off.
Il Rosso Italiane restaurant opened on July 25 after a major renovation of the small building on Beaver Street between Aspen and Birch. “We tried to keep the money in Flagstaff,” said owner Bob Verderame, the original owner of Tat-Fu Tattoo and long-time Flagstaff resident. For the extensive tenant improvements, he used local contractors Tim Womack Custom Builders, Chance and Sons Electric and Royal Plumbing. The 21-seat restaurant with 16 patio seats combines both modern-creative and traditional Jersey Italian cooking, including sandwiches, salads, pizza, pasta, burgers and fries. It also has a liquor license. “The patio is a nice hang out,” said the proud entrepreneur.
India Palace celebrated its opening with a Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on July 8. Owner Bobby Patel and chef Munna Patel bring the fresh tastes of Gujarat in western India to Northern Arizona. Views of the San Francisco Peaks can be seen from their upper dining room in the newly renovated space at 101 East Birch.
Red Curry Vegan Kitchen offers authentic Thai food and a full vegan menu at 8-10 North San Francisco Street, where patrons may bring their own bottles. Across the street, Na D Li Korean BBQ launched recently, with rave reviews on Yelp.
Soon, San Francisco Street may be called “Eat Street,” and will be known for its historical renovations that include earlier restorations such as the Lumberyard Brewery, Babbitt’s Backcountry Outfitters and the Flagstaff courthouse.