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Looking for the perfect butter-basted steak? The new Wren & Wolf on the ground floor of Renaissance Square might have just what you’re craving.
With a menu focused on locally-sourced ingredients, you’ll find flavorful cast-iron-cooked steaks, dry-aged meatloaf, house-made pastas, and fresh-caught seafood from Chula. But this is not your average, old-school steakhouse.
“We wanted to make a lot of noise with the interior design — give people a reason to come,” said co-owner Teddy Myers. He and wife Katie Myers also own Chico Malo, which is located across the street at CityScape Phoenix.
Large-scale murals mixed with taxidermy birds and “animals of the night” — including a coyote, wolf and fox — fill the space. Local artists contributed to the aesthetic, alongside hospitality designer Peter Bowden, who created the interiors for Chico Malo in Phoenix and Miami.
With the goal of creating a “stunning visual experience,” the restaurateurs are also making a lot of noise with their team, which they refer to as “an all-star cast.”
Wren & Wolf combines the culinary talents of Chef Jesus Figueroa of Tarbell’s, Café Monarch and Renata’s Hearth, with a cocktail program created by Libby Lingua and Mitch Lyons — known for their work at UnderTow and Highball.
Wren & Wolf soft-opened for dinner in December, with plans to expand to breakfast, lunch and brunch in the New Year.
The 10,000-square-foot space was briefly occupied by Condesa, a California-based restaurant concept that closed four weeks after opening in late 2019.
Approximately $3 million was spent on Condesa before shuttering, according to Teddy Myers, and they wanted to utilize as much as possible.
“We didn’t want to be wasteful,” he said. “We designed it around what was already here and then just added way more.”
The tables, chairs, cocktail and coffee bars, and many of the light fixtures were repurposed. An additional $1 million investment helped recreate the space into the “edgy, stylish surrounding” it is today. Instead of a cavernous food hall concept, the space has been broken up into distinct dining, drinking and lounging areas that feel warm and intimate.
The espresso bar is now open for morning coffee service, with breakfast and lunch options coming soon. Cocktails and dinner service started on December 3 with a limited number of reservations.
In the evenings, signature cocktails like the Ramos Gin Fizz (with an Arizona twist) will offer guests a little something special. To make this drink, the Myers purchased a Crawley Champion Shaker, a device that originated in the 1800s, and has been re-engineered with modern technology.
Other unique menu items include a specialty bread service, bone marrow, Frites Street French fries and raclette, a melted cheese dish experiencing a major renaissance in cities across America.
“I don’t know anybody else that’s doing it, and it seems like we’re overdue,” Myers said. “I think that there’s this yearning and desire to get out and experience new things, and things that are pushing the envelope. People will ignore ordinary, but they will go out of their way for extraordinary, and that’s what we’re trying to do in this space.”
Having a great experience at a fairly inexpensive entry point was an important component of the concept, according to Myers. It’s $16 for the burger, $18 for the meatloaf, and $39 for a filet mignon. Check the website for a full list of dinner entrees or to make a reservation.