The Larder + The Delta is soon to return, and as chef Stephen Jones promised, it isn’t moving far.
In July, Jones parted ways with DeSoto Central Market, a food hall in downtown Phoenix where he ran the popular six-seat counter, and began searching for a dedicated space for his contemporary Southern fare.
It didn’t take long. The Larder + The Delta has landed.
Jones has secured financing and signed a lease for a storefront space in Portland on the Park, a luxury condo development on Portland Street west of Central Avenue. That's just around the corner from The Larder + The Delta's previous home at DeSoto.
In an exclusive interview, he told The Republic:
“I’ve looked at all of the restaurant spaces downtown. All of them. And this spot just made sense to me. It feels like a neighborhood.”
It’s that neighborhood feel Jones hopes to capture in his cozy new digs, one of the most anticipated openings of this restaurant season.
The Larder + The Delta is moving to this storefront space on the southeast corner of Portland on the Park, a downtown Phoenix luxury condo development. (Photo: Dominic Armato/The Republic)
The Larder + The Delta will seat 72 guests, split roughly in half between indoor and outdoor seating. The cooking will take place in an open kitchen surrounded by a U-shaped, 16-seat bar.
The restaurant will be able to utilize the adjacent Portland Parkway Park, which runs the length of the block, for special events, Jones added.
Construction on the space will begin this month, and Jones is shooting for a March 1 opening.
When it reopens, The Larder + The Delta will serve lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, along with brunch on the weekends.
The Larder + The Delta's take on hoppin' John omits the pork, but the crusty, peppery mix of Carolina Gold rice and Sea Island red peas is a winner. (Photo: Dominic Armato/The Republic)
Jones is keeping the menu tight: “It’s 18 items, including dessert. I never want it to get bigger than that.”
Fans can expect the return of some old favorites, such as the fried cauliflower, hoppin’ John and Low Country perlou.
But Jones has been researching and experimenting, and will also be introducing new items like Delta hot tamales and a charred corn dish that's spiked with cayenne peppers he has been fermenting for more than a year.
Before opening his own restaurant, Jones worked at a number of well-known spots in the Valley, including Tarbell's, The Boulders Resort and Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix.
Last year, he won $30,000 in “Guy's Grocery Games: Impossible," where he competed against British celebrity chef Robert Irvine in Guy Fieri's Food Network show.
Stephen Jones won $30,000 in Food Network's “Guy's Grocery Games: Impossible" in 2016. (Photo: David Moir)
But now, his eyes are on a different prize: his new restaurant.
“I can’t wait," he said. "I’m really eager to get in there and get cooking."
Details: 200 W. Portland St., Phoenix, facebook.com/thelarderandthedelta.
Reach Armato at email@example.com or 602-444-8533. Interact with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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