Restauranteur Paul Moir is integrating his passion for sustainable, local and organic food with the new Grand Canyon Café. The Route 66 landmark has been serving locals since the 1940s, and on Saturday, Sept. 23, the diner will officially celebrate its renovation and new ownership.
Moir, who owns Brix, Criollo Latin Kitchen and Proper Meats and Provisions, says the Grand Canyon Café remodel maintains the flavor of the iconic Route 66 diner. The menu does, as well, by continuing to offer long-time favorite dishes – half Chinese food, half American food – made popular by previous owner Fred Wong.
Paul and Laura Moir, along with Michael and Alissa Marquess of Mother Road Brewery, bought the restaurant from Wong last October and have been renovating since. “We all individually had the idea that the restaurant had to stay and that it was important to preserve the historic values,” said Paul.
He added that Proper Meats and Provisions will supply the Arizona-raised meat for the Grand Canyon Café, as it does for his other eateries.
He and Laura started SLO Restaurant Concepts – SLO meaning sustainable, local, organic – with the creation of Brix in 2006. Paul says he started paying attention to where food was coming from and the quality of what was being served in our country while he was in culinary school.
“The more we learned, the more it started shaping our belief about how we want to eat, how we want to source foods and eventually, the kinds of restaurants we want to open. It’s how we live and how we feed our kids,” he said.
Moir also believes dining should be a savored experience. “It’s about the people that you’re dining with, the food that you’re eating and the atmosphere that you are in. It’s about turning your phone off and putting it in your purse and not paying attention to the outside world, but really enjoying the full experience and ritual of dining and what’s it’s meant to be.”
The Grand Canyon Café is located on Route 66, near San Francisco Street in downtown Flagstaff. FBN
By Bonnie Stevens, FBN
Hear more about the Grand Canyon Café and SLO Restaurant Concepts with FBN’s podcast, On the Grid. Visit FlagstaffBusinessNews.com
Photo by Betsey Bruner