A new restaurant is preparing to open at Renaissance Square, in the space formerly occupied by Tom’s Tavern and a yogurt shop. On December 2nd, Condesa will open its doors to the public, bringing life back to the busy street frontage along the north side of Washington between Central and 1st Avenues after nearly 2 years of vacancy.
Created by San Diego-based Legal Restaurants, Condesa gets its name and culinary inspiration from La Condesa, an immigrant-rich neighborhood in the historic center of Mexico City. La Condesa developed in the 1930’s as a haven for Jews and other immigrants escaping WWII, resulting in a unique fusion of multiple cultures with that of Mexico.
Condesa will play off that cultural fusion by combining Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, and American influences to create unique dishes like ‘Masa ball soup’ and their signature dish, a ‘Falafel Waffle’.
Legal Restaurants Partner and Chief Operating Officer Nick Sanderson describes the falafel waffle as being made in a traditional iron but with falafel instead of regular batter, and then opened up like a pita and stuffed with a variety of ingredients depending on the order.
Leading the kitchen cooking these dishes will be executive chef Ricardo Heredia who brings with him his experience as a chef in San Diego and also in The Las Vegas Cosmopolitan’s “China Poblano”, another fusion restaurant that serves Asian and Mexican-inspired dishes.
At 12,000 square feet, Condesa will easily rank among the largest restaurants in downtown Phoenix. The expansive footprint includes space for a bar and cocktail lounge, a Takeaway Cafe that will serve grab-n’-go meals during breakfast and lunch, an area containing arrangements from a local florist, a reconfigurable dining room, a second kitchen, and an art gallery facing the corner of 1st and Washington.
The second kitchen will serve the 20,000-square-foot event space on the third floor, as well as for catering other outside venues. The gallery will feature rotating pieces from local artists as well as more well-known figures such as Freida Kahlo, and even some controversial art as well.
Decor is bright and open with creative chandeliers, exposed-concrete columns and walls, an open/industrial ceiling, dark wood tabletops, and dark-green accents throughout. The kitchen includes a large window facing the dining area and the street beyond it, so diners and passers-by alike can watch food being prepped and cooked.
The restaurant plans to open at 7am and serve full-service breakfast, lunch, and dinner with grab-n’-go means available during breakfast and lunch.
After dinner Condesa will convert to a bar/lounge with a kitchen until midnight, and staying open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. “The weekend is a great time for us to really shine” adds Sanderson, mentioning that the 2am closing time could be extended into the rest of the week, depending on demand.
Doors will open December 2nd, dishes will range in between $12-$26.