‘Eat My Words’ is food editor Justin Lee’s new weekly take on notable Central Phoenix dishes, drinks and food-centric news. Below is the scoop on the pop-up restaurant introduced at this past weekend’s Devoured Culinary Classic.
Now you see it, now you don’t.
After much guesswork, Phoenix’s first official pop-up restaurant is now on a certain path to life. Murmurs of the “mystery restaurant” have generated momentum since first officially reported here last week. Confirmed to the public this past weekend at the Devoured Culinary Classic, the puzzle is finally connecting.
Accurately labeled as Cycle, referring to both the temporary nature of the restaurant, as well as its planned, continuous rotation of notable guest chefs and bartenders, it will exist inside the Lexington Hotel’s current dining and bar space, at Central Avenue and Portland Street.
Inside the cavernous physical space exists an underestimated front-row seat to the spine of Central Phoenix and Downtown: Central Avenue. Wedged between the Downtown core and Midtown, just south of Deck Park and directly across the street from the Roosevelt light rail station, optimal geography and traffic — pedestrian, bicycle, rail and car — will be paramount to maintaining Cycle’s intended pulse.
Set to debut April 1, and “expire” (as playfully described) this July, as ambiguous as Cycle will arrive into the world, it will leave equally so.
Cycle will be an entirely new, almost improvisational concept to Phoenix. Unlike other, similar dining trends circulating (namely underground dinner clubs), pop-up restaurants are fully functioning enterprises that are anchored in one location, are completely open to the public and advertise predetermined shelf lives. Talented chefs, established and up-and-coming, will be allowed to flex their culinary skill and inspiration instantaneously to the public, with little restriction to creative whims.
Currently being fine-tuned, the space’s inaugural chef and concept will be announced in the coming week. In the meantime, the makeshift facelift of the physical space is already underway.
Cycle will operate at the hotel’s interim restaurant space through mid-summer, when the entire property — Cycle included — will shutter, heading into renovation hibernation. Under recent, ambitious new ownership, the Lexington Hotel is set for a dramatic, modern transformation. The new boutique hotel and its accompanying, permanent restaurant concept (unrelated to Cycle) will open subsequently sometime next year.
Cycle will be located at 1100 N. Central Ave.