GSN news  Staff

Culinary Dropout at the Yard opens Wednesday to the public at the corner of Gilbert Road and Hearn Way in the Heritage District.

This will be Fox Restaurant Concepts’ fourth location in the Valley with others in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. There’s also a Culinary Dropout in Tucson, in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Austin, Texas. Fox Restaurants Concepts already has a presence in the downtown with its Zinburger restaurant.

“We are excited to be opening another one of our restaurants in downtown Gilbert,” Sam Fox, founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, said in a news release. “The city is experiencing vibrant growth, and with Zinburger down the road and so many other great businesses as neighbors, it feels like the perfect fit for Culinary Dropout.”  

Opening day includes a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and an inaugural “pretzel dunk” with Mayor Jenn Daniels and other guests.

A portion of proceeds from opening day will benefit Open Arms Care Center, a Gilbert-based charity that provides food and clothing monthly to individuals and families in need.

People who come out Wednesday can take home a customized button or sticker – made by Jar of Buttons exclusively for Culinary Dropout’s opening.

Also, for those 21 and older, they can sample select craft brews from local and woman-owned Greenwood Brewing from 5-7 p.m. Patrons also can enter to win a raffle basket with a Culinary Dropout gift card, Greenwood beers and swag items.

The restaurant’s menu offers classic American foods, including 36-hour pork ribs, beer-battered fish and chips, meatloaf, spicy vegan curry and rainbow trout.  

There are also crowd favorites like pretzel bites and provolone fondue and Culinary Dropout’s acclaimed fried chicken and biscuit drizzled with honey. 

Besides appetizers, salads and sandwiches, there’s an antipasti menu showcasing hard-to-find meats, cheeses and vegetables.

The menu also will offer seasonal items such as Gochujang cauliflower, bacon cheddar pretzel chips, and a pesto shrimp orecchiette with roasted mushroom, broccolini and heirloom tomato.

Two-thirds of the menu is dedicated to wine, ice-cold craft beer and house-made cocktails such as Ships in the night, a concoction of white rum, plymouth gin, Hennessey, velvet falernum, orgeat and three citrus.

Besides food, patrons can play games like ping-pong, cornhole and foosball, watch a game on a giant screen television or listen to live music from local bands.

The 25,000-square-foot restaurant includes indoor and outdoor seating and two private dining rooms named The Coop and Heritage Room.

The restaurant’s design incorporates rock ’n’ roll-themed artwork and murals painted by local artists Andy Brown and Kurt Schlaefer. 

From the “Ladies & Gentlemen” painting on the outside of the Heritage Room to the exterior mural on the south side of the building featuring famous song lyrics and a gallery wall with black-framed artwork of celebrities and musicians, almost every wall of the restaurant tells a story. 

One wall features an art installation comprised of musical instruments donated from Valley residents along with the words “We’re Getting the Band Back Together” painted alongside.

Culinary Dropout joins an already impressive offering of restaurants in downtown Gilbert, which includes Joe’s Real BBQ, Clever Koi, Farmhouse Restaurant, Postino’s Wine Café and Liberty Market. The Heritage District was noted for being one of the top five foodie neighborhoods in metro Phoenix.

Fox Restaurant Concepts, based in Phoenix, has more than 50 restaurant locations nationwide, which include brands such as Flower Child, Blanco, Zinburger and The Arrogant Butcher.