Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Bashful Bandit is Back (tomorrow)

Bashful Bandit is re-opening tomorrow, December 27, after a long makeover from a biker bar to a unique barbecue restaurant. The December 23 Arizona Daily Star article Tucson's iconic Bashful Bandit is now home to a new barbecue joint, for subscribers only, has a lot of history and background. In case you don't subscribe to the Star, here'a a bit of info from the article:
  • The new owners — Toby Kyte and his sibling partners, brothers Terry and Trevor and sister Leslie Frost — wanted to celebrate the existing Bashful Bandit name.
  • 2½ years after buying the 76-year-old building in June 2021, the partners will officially open the restaurant on Wednesday, Dec. 27.
  • They kept the old bar that likely dated back to 1947, when Bertha Lester built the 2,875-square-foot building to house Rio Rita Bar. Under the drywall, they found the original aqua-colored wall from Rio Rita — and some 1960's wallpaper that will be preserved. One wall has lots of memorabilia.
  • The food has its roots in Texas but is Tucson-style with menu items like green chile pulled pork and chile relleno sausage made with poblano peppers.
I stopped by during renovations — on April 6, 2023. The blog post Bye-Bye, Bashful Bandit? shows the repaired front wall with two murals. It also shows a photo of the best-known old mural, originally shown in a 2009 blog post.

The biggest difference you'll see outside is a new patio behind. I took two photos while the patio and outdoor fire pit (cooking) area were still being touched up on December 17th:

They actually opened, for lunch only, on Christmas Eve. Though we usually don't show photos inside a business or someone's home, why not? 😁
Their regular hours start tomorrow, from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Their website, BashfulBanditBBQ.com, currently has almost no information — not even a link to their Instagram page www.instagram.com/bashfulbanditbbq, which tells a bit more.

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