Culinary Dropout finds Tempe home at new Farmer Arts District


“Dropout” isn’t exactly a word you want to hear around a college campus, but Culinary Dropout, one of local restaurateur Fox Restaurant Concepts’ most popular properties, is about to get all up in Tempe’s face with it.

The restaurant, Culinary Dropout at the Yard, recently announced that it will open doors to its Farmer Arts District location December 9. The Farmer Arts District is a development devoted to the arts and nightlife, situated across the street from the former Sail Inn on Farmer Avenue and First Street.

The vision for the Farmer Arts District is a big one. When completed, there will be a pedestrian pathway to Tempe Town Lake, The Lodge Bar & Grill will occupy the space that once housed Sail Inn, and a high-rise condo tower will find a home next to a new Whole Foods Market. A game area will be at the center of the project, as well as a coffee shop, music stage and a private room for art viewings.

“We were inspired by the building,” says Anita Walker, vice president of marketing for Fox Restaurant Concepts. “Years ago Sam (Fox) looked at it and he was going to move our home office there, but at the time we didn’t have any East Valley locations … so we moved our home office elsewhere, but he was so inspired by the building and the feel of it and the location and being in Tempe, so for a couple of years we kind of held it in our pocket to see if an opportunity would come up and it finally did when we thought it would be a perfect location for a new Yard.”

The 14,757 square foot space will include the Showcase Room, a private dining area meant to cater to parties, art shows and musical guests, and holds up to 250 people, but the Tempe restaurant will also cater to a Tempe-specific audience—aka students.

“The great thing about Culinary Dropout is it’s perfect for everyone, and everyone can come and enjoy the food and the beverage program, but we love for the new offices in the area, like State Farm, to be able to come… and of course the students at ASU,” Walker says.

For students looking for part-time jobs, Culinary Dropout will host a career fair during the first two weeks of November and is looking to hire for 250 jobs, including servers, bartenders, hosts, cooks and more. Hiring will take place between Monday, November 3 through Saturday, November 8 and Monday, November 10 through Wednesday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Applicants are encouraged to let their personality shine through the way they dress, since the restaurant has no official dress code.

“We are very adamant about the personality that works for Culinary Dropout,” Walker says. “They’ve got to be fun and interesting and eclectic and artists and individual, really.”



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