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Phx: Sol y Sambra

Leancuisine Aug 14, 2009 10:22 PM

Just read that Sol y Sombra is closing. Thoughts and comments appreciated.

  1. tastyjon Aug 15, 2009 12:26 AM

    DC Ranch seems to be a Bermuda Triangle.

    I went once when it was built but it was never again a destination for me. The Rep article seems to imply that the landlord wouldn't budge on rent. It seems many places have come and gone. Maybe they should work with the anchors.

    That said, Chef May has other things in the works and I'm excited to try his new and nearer locations.

    1. themis Aug 15, 2009 11:36 AM

      I'm crushed, I loved Sol Y Sombra, I am a big fan of Aaron May's and David Johnson's. I always had terrific food and service there. I hope their collective creativity is put to good use at the new venues -- let's hope they're successful and stable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: themis
        danieli10 Aug 15, 2009 01:00 PM

        This sucks. Sol Y Sambra was the best place in DC Ranch. We loved it for great dinners, good drinks, and it was fun to either hang out and eat a little, or have a nice long feast of a night. Totally bummed. What is the deal with these landlords? My family owned a place out on the west side and the landlord refused to give them any relief, even while losing all of the restaurants/anchors.

      2. ejs1492 Aug 15, 2009 03:26 PM

        I, too, am disappointed. I liked Autostrada as well. However, Aaron May isn't in the kitchen much at any of his establishments. We were told that he stops by Sol y Sombra "once or twice a week." The Happy Hour at the bar at Sol y Sombra wa a particularly good value. Dave Johnson is integral to the operation and made it a better restaurant.

        My wife and I were at the bar at Sol y Sombra last night when Aaron May arrived and the staff first learned that they were closing, at about 7:30 pm. I think it sucks that major news outlets already had the news before he told his employees. Considering that all are now scrambling to look for employment, the least he could have done was tell his employees first.

        Kudos to New Times for breaking the news. Shame on Sol y Sombra for not giving its employees a bit of respect.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ejs1492
          Poerz Aug 15, 2009 03:40 PM

          Look for news very shortly on two new restaurants Aaron has been working on "under the radar" that are relatively close to Sol y Sambra and should be open in about 30 days or so. Hopefully - and likely - that some or all of those employees may end up there.

          1. re: Poerz
            ejs1492 Aug 15, 2009 03:42 PM

            Allegedly, one is called 18 Degrees and is slated to open in the space previously occupied by Peter Piper Pizza near the Ice Den.

        2. c
          crsin Aug 15, 2009 04:52 PM

          Why does one chef need so many restaurants in operation or development at one time? With some of the more publicized chefs in Phoenix birthing litters of restaurants--May's 4 previously existing spots plus umpteen new concepts, Matt Carter going onto 4, Benie Kantak opening 5 simultaneously, etc.--in a less-than-healthy economy no less, it makes me wonder how more of their restaurants don't or won't go the way to Autostrada.

          3 Replies
          1. re: crsin
            Poerz Aug 16, 2009 03:29 PM

            With respect, that's like saying why does Whole Foods have to open more markets or Wahlgren's more drug stores? A down market is actually a great time to open a restaurant if you have the chops to do it. Rents are much lower, deals are much better with most devlopers paying dearly one way or another for a name chef, and there is no shortage of experienced, highly qualified employees. All of that changes the economics significantly and actually reduces the risk. From what I saw, the closure of Sol and Autostrada were not execution related but location/economy related. The market tier that Sol competed in is down 20-25% revenue nationally and that is huge in the restaurant business where margins are tight to begin with. Morton's just closed three of their restaurants and the Oceanarium (is that the right name? It's a high end seafood place with 16 branches and one planned for Phoenix) just closed four restaurants. Drop this on top of DC Ranch's location and you have a problem. Just looking at the empty commercial space there tells you that.

            1. re: Poerz
              firecracker Aug 16, 2009 08:37 PM

              Poerz, are you thinking of Oceanair? They closed several restaurants. The flagship and original is in Minneapolis.

              1. re: firecracker
                Poerz Aug 17, 2009 07:43 AM

                Yes, thankyou. Momentary brain cramp.

          2. b
            Booger Aug 16, 2009 06:53 AM

            Recently went for the first time (for the Yelp Eats promotion). I found the food and service well executed.

            The place was very packed, so I am surprised they would close (but sounds like it was circumstances other than poor business). I thought the location wasn't great (upstairs, out of the way), so probably best to move somewhere better (although, I personally don't think the Ice Den location is particularly great either).

            I am confident Aaron May will show up elsewhere, as he is clearly involved in the Phoenix food scene. I am sure his next incarnation will be great - I expect starting new concepts is invigorating for a talented chef.

            1. p
              Poerz Aug 17, 2009 05:43 PM

              Just heard that one of his new restaurants will be a second version of Over Easy, the incredibly popular breakfast place on 40th street. Supposedly this will be a little larger than the original but will have the same menu. It will be in the Ice Den on Bell Road.and should open in about a month. This is great news. Over Easy is really good.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Poerz
                Phoenix99 Aug 18, 2009 09:37 AM

                That's fantastic news. Over Easy has always been busy but since it was on the Food Network the waits are ridiculous. Hopefully this will help. Any idea what the other restaurant will be?

                1. re: Poerz
                  danieli10 Aug 18, 2009 02:40 PM

                  I spend a lot of time over at the Ice Den/Mtnside Fitness and I would love a nice upgrade to the Peter Piper Pizza, especially if they service for all three meals and a nice bar to chill at.

                  1. re: Poerz
                    ejs1492 Aug 18, 2009 02:43 PM

                    I heard, from one of Aaron May's employees at Sol y Sombra, that the concept at the Ice Den will be called "18 Degrees"...not Over Easy.

                    1. re: ejs1492
                      Poerz Aug 19, 2009 08:10 AM

                      There are two restaurants going into the former Peter Piper space. One is Over Easy and the other is 18 Degrees.

                      1. re: Poerz
                        danieli10 Aug 19, 2009 08:21 AM

                        Nice! I saw them moving in equipment last night. I hope people don't get confused between 25 degrees and 18 degrees.

                        1. re: danieli10
                          Poerz Aug 19, 2009 09:43 AM

                          Me too. I have no idea what 25 degrees stands for but interestingly, 18 degrees is apparently the temperature the ice rink ice needs to be kept at.

                          1. re: Poerz
                            ejs1492 Aug 19, 2009 10:15 AM

                            Apparently, 25 degrees is the difference between medium rare and well done....or so I've heard. Not that anyone but the health department is counting...

                            1. re: ejs1492
                              Phoenix99 Aug 20, 2009 09:39 AM

                              Interesting. Any news on what kind of restaurant it will be or an opening date? We love Over Easy on 40th Street but this one will be so much more convenient and (hopefullly) less crowded.

                      2. re: ejs1492
                        azhotdish Aug 20, 2009 10:53 AM

                        i heard last saturday night at their farewell not to completely give up on the sol y sombra concept...it may find new life somewhere else.

                        i wasn't thrilled with the food at all. but then again it was their last saturday night, and they really didn't seem to be trying very hard. sad.

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