Rose & Crown to close Nov. 21, but popular downtown Phoenix pub could reopen

Brusters serves old-fashioned ice cream plus waffle cones, sundaes, candy-filled blasts and milkshakes.

For more than a decade, The Rose & Crown Pub has been a downtown Phoenix destination for a cold pint and some of the best fish and chips in town. In particular, the bar has been a haven for soccer fans, who have counted on the English pub to host sometimes rowdy, often crowded viewing parties for English Premier League games.

General manager Donny Phillippi says the pub’s popularity has more than exceeded expectations. 

“It just kind of took a turn we never thought it would,” he says.

Ironically, that’s also the reason the bar will close at its current location in Heritage Square on Wednesday, Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. Phillippi is planning a “goodbye to Heritage Square party” for Saturday, Nov. 17.

“I mean, we came here when there was nothing around us,” says Phillippi, who was the pub’s original owner. “We just kind of outgrew Heritage Square,” which today also houses acclaimed restaurants Pizzeria Bianco and Nobuo at Teeter House. 

‘Our main goal is to stay downtown’ 

In October, pub regulars heard the bar would be closing when Phillippi, in a closed Facebook group, posted about the possibility of moving.

“At that point, we really had no idea what was going on,” he says. 

Now, however, he’s sure the bar will close. But he and the pub’s current owner, Jason Bell, are busy scouting new home’s for The Rose & Crown. 

“Our main goal is to stay downtown,” Phillippi says. “We’re looking at a few spots. But we’re definitely moving.”

According to a lawyer for the Heritage Square Foundation, which manages the property for the city of Phoenix, the bar’s lease is up at the end of November. 

The Rose & Crown currently occupies the Silva house, which, according to the foundation website, was built in 1900 by Phoenix liquor dealer A.K.C. Kirchoff. It was sold in 1906 to Alejandro Silva, a Glendale rancher and warehouse owner.

Phillippi says renewing the bar’s lease wasn’t an option, in part because the city was unhappy with having a bar tenant in the historic Craftman home. This led to liquor license woes two years ago, according to Phillippi. 

In late 2016, the pub had to stop serving alcohol when the city did not renew the pub’s liquor license. So the bar had to acquire a new license on its own, a process that dragged for months. 

“There’s just been a lot of stuff where we haven’t been dealt with fairly is the safe way to say it,” Phillippi says.

Young chef to open new restaurant 

After The Rose & Crown turns in the keys, they’ll be handed over to a new restaurant called Hidden Kitchen. It’s the first brick-and-mortar project from chef Ivan Jacobo. 

The 26-year-old has made a name for himself hosting weekly pop-up dinners for the last year and a half. Jacobo plans to serve lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and to create a high-end dining experience, including multicourse tasting menus like those offered at his exclusive dinner events. 

Jacobo told The Republic he plans to keep the “old-school 1900s vibe” while adding some “really modern flair.”

Phillippi says he and Bell are “excited” to know the space will be going to a new local concept.

More high-profile restaurant closures

The Rose & Crown is the most recent of a string of longstanding restaurants to close in metro Phoenix over the past three months.

The Rose & Crown Pub

Where: Heritage Square, 628 E. Adams St., Phoenix

Closing: Saturday, Nov. 21. Goodbye party on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Details: 602-256-0223, facebook.com/TheRoseandCrownAZ.

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