The region’s first student-run, full-service, open-to-the public restaurant has opened on the campus of Barry Goldwater High School.
Students and staff cut the ribbon and officially opened AVENUE 27, a new restaurant that allows students to have real-world experiences like none before, said chef and teacher Ryan Mattheis. The fine-dining restaurant can accommodate about 64 diners.
“We are teaching to the standards of any of the top culinary schools, and we aim to educate students about every aspect of the culinary industry, but our focus is also to provide true real-world experience through work-based learning,” Chef Mattheis said.
The restaurant, built by McCarthy Building Companies, was a complete remodel of the previous kitchen and classroom space, to create a new welcoming storefront with windows, a canopy, and accessibility from the exterior for the public to dine at the restaurant, said Andy Fillion, project manager for McCarthy Building Companies. Additional parking spaces were added, as well as new public restrooms.
Chef Mattheis, along with fellow chef and teacher Esther Skinner, were instrumental in the design and construction process with the teams. They provided feedback to truly make the layout work best for the students as they serve diners.
“From day one, Chef Ryan had a clear vision for an enhanced culinary arts program at Barry Goldwater High School. Working together, architect DLR Group and Deer Valley Unified School District crafted a cost effective and flexible solution that offers a range of menu options and allows students to learn all aspects of culinary arts, from menu planning to five star service in a new upscale restaurant that will be open to the public,” said Pam Loeffelman, FAIA, DLR Group K-12 education leader.
The project was funded through CTED Funds as part of the district’s membership in West-MEC, said Jayme Fitzpatrick, Career and Technical Education Manager.
The kitchen was intentionally designed with an open concept, where diners can watch students at work while their food is being expertly prepared.
“What this means for us, is that we can make learning even more relevant for our kids, and that our students have authentic experiences to apply what they are learning by running a business and serving actual customers,” Barry Goldwater High School Principal Anita Stulc said. “Avenue 27 provides a full-service restaurant experience. This opens up a whole new world for our students.”
Upgrading the space, technology, and equipment for students has enhanced the overall educational opportunities of the Culinary Arts students who will do everything from create menus to prep, cook, and serve meals to customers.
“The attention to detail and the overall experience for customers and students who aspire to become professional chefs was the most inspiring part of this project,” Fillion said.
Although the restaurant will be run by culinary students, it also serves as a unique way for other programs at Barry Goldwater High School to be involved.
“We have the opportunity to involve everyone on campus. Our marketing and graphic design students will produce advertising materials. Art students will have their artwork hanging in our dining room with the opportunity to sell them. Our law enforcement students will provide security and student musicians will provide entertainment,” Principal Anita Stulc said.
To start, AVENUE 27 will operate only on Friday evenings with tentative hours set from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dining is open to the public by reservation. To make a reservation email [email protected] or call 623-445-3227.
Guests can expect a fine dining experience unique to the Valley, Chef Mattheis said. Menus will change frequently and reflect the seasons.
“Our goal is to appeal to anyone and everyone in our community and offer a dining experience that is rare in our part of the Valley,” Chef Mattheis said.