With Help From His New Partners, Julian Wright Is Taking Over Mill Avenue: Revitalizing Robbie Fox, Re-Opening Canteen as El Hefe Super-Macho Taqueria and Opening a Tiny New Speakeasy Called Nickel
You really do have to wonder if Mill Avenue mogul Julian Wright (who owns La Bocca Urban Pizzeria, Canteen Modern Tequila and The Handlebar on that street) ever sleeps. The restaurateur and CEO of Fork & Dagger Restaurant Group just opened Gringo Star Street Bar (also on Mill) not much more than two weeks ago, and earlier this spring, he debuted Modern Margarita in CityNorth.
Courtesy of Julian Wright
And already, he has three more ideas for turning Tempe's main drag into the Wright Stuff. Here's how he plans to stay busy for the next few months.
Courtesy of Juilian Wright Robbie Fox Public House exterior
A few weeks ago (right around the time he was opening Gringo Star, in fact), Wright and his new 50-50 partners Ryan Hibbert, John Wright and Mike Troyan (who own El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria in Scottsdale) bought Robbie Fox's Public House, which they plan to revitalize.
Wright says he and his partners plan to "breathe new life" into Robbie Fox -- ironically, by taking it back to its original concept: an Irish pub. The first order of business? Scrap the DJ's for Irish bands. In fact, a band has been booked for this coming Saturday.
Meanwhile, the large menu (which, Wright says, was becoming more and more watered down from its original Irish inflection), will be reduced, featuring half Irish specialties and half American dishes. Recipes, he says, will also be tweaked for improvement.
He promises a nice brunch down the road and he's toying around with the idea of adding games as "something to keep people occupied." He says he and his partners will also do some renovating, possibly adding garage doors and opening up the small, seldom used front room. We're going to "throw more love" into the concept, Wright says, adding that they hope to roll out many of their ideas this very week.
"I love partnering with people and these guys are young and full of ideas," Wright says.