5 Points Market and Restaurant Swings A Five-Star Brunch Hammer
January 8, 2014
by James J. Jefferies
It is no secret that Downtown Tucson is in the middle of an extraordinary revival that is long overdue, in the eyes of those of us who’ve called the Old Pueblo home for an extended amount of time. The array of eateries, bars, new events, and influx of people coming in to let their hair down at night and on the weekends is fantastic to watch unfold.
That isn’t to say, however, that everything is perfect. There remain a number of unfulfilled needs at the neighborhood level, chief among them places to regularly shop for personal needs and groceries. Retail remains a high priority for those looking to cement Downtown as a viable and thriving place for people not only to party, but to call home.
Answering this community need is the brand-new 5 Points Market and Restaurant. Sitting right at the Five Points intersection next to the well-regarded Ethiopian restaurant Cafe Desta, 5 Points is in the middle of what they call their ‘soft opening’. Officially, the doors are open, bright and early at 7am, and they are offering a small but varied selection of brunch options, ranging from the Smoked Salmon Benedict to The Giant Pancake. The pancake lived up to its ample billing, a hefty, plate-smothering behemoth whose size belied the delicate, crispy outer texture gently dusted with cinnamon, while the soft interior exploded with blueberries and toasted walnuts. The entire thing had a buttery richness that was incredibly flavorful and subtle for its size, and came served with a small metal shot of real maple syrup. Just perfect.
“The recipes here are ones we’ve been working on for a long time,” said Jasper Ludwig, who operates 5 Points along with her sweetheart, Brian Haskins. “We’ve served the Smoked Salmon Benedict to friends over Christmas for years, and they’ve been very insistent, saying, ‘You’ve got to put this on a menu somewhere!’, and this is the result.” In tandem with their chef, Conor Jensen, the menu they’ve created is reasonably varied for its size, with a variety of classic breakfast entrees and a la carte offerings bearing exceptional twists, and will continue to evolve, along with a forthcoming lunch and dinner menu.
At this point, the Market portion of the establishment is also early and evolving, with a variety of very fresh-looking produce, bottled waters, soft drinks, bread, and milk, along with crucial personal necessities such as toilet paper, toothpaste, tortillas, and hot sauce. (That was no typo.) Ludwig was adamant about the fact that they will fill the market in ways that reflect the conversations they have with their growing customer base. “We know what a need there is for this kind of thing in the area,” said Ludwig, “and we want to listen to people.”
The space itself is a very warm and inviting, wide-open affair, taking in a ton of sunlight, with framed artwork occupying spaces between the high windows. Brick walls and wooden floors create an ambiance that puts 5 Points very much within the modernistic, self-made interior ethos that seems to be the rule among the the new breed of exciting establishments that have arisen in the area. The breakfasts here are fantastic takes on well-worn American classics, and everything else seems poised to fill a very pressing need within our expanding community as the market area becomes firmly established. 5 Points Market and Restaurant is open daily from 7am to 9pm at 756 S. Stone Avenue.