Cibo, a local Italian restaurant in downtown Phoenix, will finish a renovation at the end of February, revealing a larger dining room and kitchen.
The small restaurant on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fillmore Street is currently renovating its kitchen and dining area to add appliances and more room for guests. The renovations will cost about $100,000.
The kitchen will be expanded by roughly 300 square feet and will accommodate a larger ventilation hood and a six-burner stove, manager Michael Krassner said. The improved kitchen will put in motion the long-term plan of serving pasta on more days than just Tuesday and Wednesday.
The interior dining area will be enlarged by 600 square feet, making room for more tables inside, Krassner said.
The renovations will make room for 40 more seats, chef Guido Saccone said in an email.
“(The space will) give a little better comfort level in the summer months,” he said.
All of the renovations will be additions to the existing restaurant, which has been open for business during construction. The new dining area also has a highlight of its own.
“The new dining room faces downtown,” Krassner said. “There will be a great downtown view.”
The restaurant is located in a 1913 bungalow, restored for use as a restaurant. Tables fill the house and much of its front yard.
Dietetics junior Haley Mollhagen said Cibo is one of her favorite restaurants in downtown Phoenix. She celebrated her 21st birthday there and had a meal of bruschetta, pizza and fresco.
Mollhagen is not looking forward to the renovations being made to the inside dining area.
“It kind of ruins the small-restaurant feel,” she said.
The restaurant is known for more than just its Italian cuisine. Cibo is notorious for its long lines, which Krassner believes have deterred some customers on busy nights. But server Claudia Monjaras disagrees.
“I think even more people would come and ask when we are going to open the expansion,” Monjaras said.
The waiting area in the bar section of the restaurant will also be improved, making it less crowded and more comfortable for customers, Krassner said.
The expansion of Cibo, which began last fall, is scheduled to be completed by the end of February.
“We’re still on track,” Krassner said.
Cibo also expanded its menu in December, opening at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays to serve breakfast.
“We thought it would be good for the neighborhood,” Krassner said.
The menu features a variety of breakfast dishes, from omelets to sandwiches. Savory and sweet crepes are also on the menu.
The restaurant appeared to be empty shortly after opening Saturday. The waiting staff had no customers to serve and seemed to be doing preparation work for the lunch and dinner crowd.
Krassner said Sunday is the big day for breakfast sales.
There are no plans as of now to start serving breakfast on more days of the week, Krassner added.
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