According to Frida's Taqueria & Grill co-owner Jack Pickett, it was "a legal situation" with the building's owners that forced him and Josh Bard to close the popular restaurant last September. But the Frida's team had a trick up its sleeve: Pickett and Bard were already renovating 1652 Mountain Road, former home to Whiskers and Gracie's restaurants. Soon the long-dormant space will rise again as Phoenix Table & Bar.
Bard calls the menu "regional American" with local ingredients. "We don't want to be tied to any one thing, but we don't want it to be schizophrenic, either," the chef explains. Instead, the fare will be a trip across the U.S. The menu hasn't yet been solidified, but Bard hints that fried chicken and fried green tomatoes will represent the Southeast, while Frida's fans will enjoy Southwestern fare. New England classics will be on offer, too.
Bard says the unifying thread between Phoenix and Frida's is reasonable pricing, though he plans to feature a few dishes on the higher end, as well. The team hopes to transport Frida's bustling downtown cocktail scene to the Mountain Road with a new "big, nice, open bar," Bard adds. Expect Phoenix to take flight before spring.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Rising Up"