1st of 3 eateries opens in downtown Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

1st of 3 eateries opens in downtown Chandler

March 2nd, 2022 development
1st of 3 eateries opens in downtown Chandler

By Ken Sain, Staff Writer

Chris Field says he has a hard time saying no. That might explain why he’s on the verge of opening up three different restaurants in Downtown Chandler.

The first, Recreo, just opened at 28. S. San Marcos Square. They hope to get the other two, The Uncommon and the Tipsy Egg, open within a month or so.

Each has a different concept, one the owner says brings something new to the Downtown area.

“I was down here in 2007-2009, … and really fell in love,” Field said or his previous job managing Murphy’s Law. “When we think about Arizona, and we think heritage, like when I bought a new house, I wanted an old house. I wanted something that had history, that you could touch, … you could ask questions and stories.

“Finding truly unique things that have historical character, there’s only a handful of places in the state where you can do that,” Field said. “And Downtown Chandler is authentically, exactly that.”

Recreo is a restaurant first with a recreation theme, but it does include a bar. You can play ping pong, cornhole or even with a giant Connect Four game on the patio. The outside bar has swings patrons can sit on while sipping their drink. Recreo also offers live entertainment.

The Tipsy Egg is a brunch place for people who want to brunch on a day other than Saturday. And The Uncommon is a bar first that will also offer live entertainment as well as serve food.

Recreo is on the west side of the square. The Uncommon and Tipsy Egg are next to each other on the southeast corner of Boston and Arizona Avenue. The ownership group also owns another well-known Arizona restaurant, Tortilla Flats.

PJ Baron, the bar director, said they came up with the theme for Recreo based off the menu by chef Jason Bray.

He wanted to incorporate fresh herbs and fruits and vegetables, so the garden patio became a key element of the restaurant. They grow thyme and rosemary, as well as blood red oranges on the patio.

“The bartenders every day come out and cut their own herbs, and they look forward to that,” Baron said. “It’s not a chore, it’s like there little Zen moment.”

All four of their restaurants will be in buildings that are more than 100 years old.

The restaurants have been three years in the making. The sign for Tipsy Egg says it was estabilished in 2019, which it was even though it has yet to open.

The first issue the owners faced was the loss of one of their financial backers. When they finally got new backing, it was March 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic was shutting down the world. So, once again they lost investors.

“Two days before [Gov. Doug] Ducey shut the state down, we had literally said, ‘Sign here, wire there,’” Field said. “We were like, ‘yeah, we did it!’ And then Ducey shuts the state down, and we call our business partners, and they were like, ‘No.’ Reasonable, very, very reasonable.”

So they operation was put on hold again. Three weeks after Field and his wife took ownership of Tortilla Flat, it was damaged in a 100-year-flood event. That led to a major remodel of the restaurant that first opened as a stagecoach stop in 1904.

“The place is falling apart, we had to do it,” Field said.

“So I’m running four construction sites, and I’m a restaurant operator, … I pour beer for a living, these are very soft hands,” he said. That’s about $4 million in investments from his ownership group.

One thing Field says he likes about running a restaurant and entertainment business in Downtown Chandler is that all of the businesses around the square are independent, and not part of some national chain.

He said the owners meet and they genuinely work together so that all of them thrive, saying their businesses are different enough that they really aren’t in competition with one another.

“The last 10 years of my operating history, this has been a hole,” Field said. “I miss it.”

Information: recreoaz.com.