Downtown Dress-Up Date Night: For When You’re Feeling Fancy

January 15, 2015

Cafe Poca Cosa at 110 E. Pennington features world renowned home-cooked Mexican dishes created by Suzana Davila. She will surprise and delight your taste buds with a custom made meal.

Cafe Poca Cosa at 110 E. Pennington features world renowned home-cooked Mexican dishes created by Suzana Davila. She will surprise and delight your taste buds with a custom made meal. Photo by Cristina Manos.

By Cristina Manos

 When You’re in the Mood to Be Fancy:

Downtown Tucson is the kind of place where you can wear jeans and a tee-shirt to the fanciest restaurant and nobody looks twice at you. Tucson is known for its “live and let live” attitude, and it’s one of the things locals and visitors appreciate. Fortunately, when you want to dress up and sport your fanciest attire you may appreciate the second glances, as on-lookers acknowledge the beauty of your esthetic effort and you may be prone to “the double-take” while you’re out.

A dress-up date is good when you want to make it special but don’t want to spend a lot of energy while on the date. You both look dapper and don’t want to get dirty. Everything should be done for you and enjoying the evening should be a breeze. You’re going to spend a little money on this kind of date.

The upscale vibe at R Bar is sure to get you in the mood for a little romance.

The upscale vibe at R Bar is sure to get you in the mood for a little romance.

 Pre-Dinner Cocktails are a must:

  • A craft cocktail prior to dinner is sure to make you feel fancy in a hurry. Scott & Co. (47 N. Scott Ave.) features a changing menu of uniquely made cocktails within a quaint, speakeasy style environment.
  • The R Bar (350 E Congress) is tucked behind The Rialto and makes a super slinky environment for those who want to hide away in a psychedelic red bar with a vibe like Pulp Fiction meets Pink Floyd. Hipster bartenders will create tasty cocktails to get you fueled up and ready for your fancy evening.
  • If you like a little wine before your dinner, try Unplugged (118 E Congress St.), Tucson’s premier wine bar. Unplugged offers selections from around the globe, a variety of prices, and certified organic and natural wines.

Dinner for Two:

For recommended fancy-eats make a reservation, the following fine dining establishments are sometimes booked in advance:

  • Café Poca Cosa: (110. E. Pennington St.) The menu changes twice a day & features unique home-cooked Mexican food. For those with an adventurous spirit, Suzana Davila will choose a variety of menu items for you and she will surprise your taste buds with a custom made meal. The lighting is dim, the environment is cozy and the dining experience embodies romance.
  • Inside the historic Hotel Congress at 311 E Congress, The Cup Cafe is quaint, eclectic and authentic. Following drinks, dinner and dessert at The Cup, the Hotel offers several bars and environments for your date night needs.

    Inside the historic Hotel Congress at 311 E Congress, The Cup Cafe is quaint, eclectic and authentic. Following drinks, dinner and dessert at The Cup, the Hotel offers several bars and environments for your date night needs. Photo by Cristina Manos.

    Maynard’s Kitchen: (400 E. Toole Ave.) As an appetizer, the Poutine is a Maynard’s favorite and may be one of yours if you like your fries covered in duck and cheese. The menu offers something for everyone, even if all you really want is a fancy burger. Specialty cocktails are available. The staff will treat you like royalty and you will feel pampered by the professional service.

  • Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails: (135 S. Sixth Ave.) James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos combines ingredients in ways that are hard to imagine. Each offering on this French-inspired menu is complex, unique and artistic. Specialty cocktails are available. The environment is modern, and the dining room is a wide-open space with high ceilings and unique tables and chairs.
  • The Cup Café: (311 E. Congress St.) The Cup Café is a long-time favorite for many locals and visitors. It is located inside the historical Hotel Congress, making dining, site seeing and entertainment a one-stop-evening-experience. If one of you are wearing uncomfortable shoes and walking around Downtown isn’t a cozy option, Hotel Congress may feature a complete date-night for your needs. The menu at The Cup Café is diverse and offers eclectic American fare. The desserts are to die for and specialty cocktails are available at The Cup and at three other bars within the hotel.
The historic Rialto Theatre hosts great shows most nights of the week. Photo by David Olsen, courtesy of TPAC.

The historic Rialto Theatre hosts great shows most nights of the week. Photo by David Olsen, courtesy of TPAC.

After Dinner the Night is Yours:

Downtown has a lot to offer in the way of entertainment. The choices are endless and each of them depends on your mood.

Within close proximity to the recommended restaurants are Club Congress at Hotel Congress and The Rialto. Both venues offer music, and depending on the night, live entertainment is sure to get you dancing.

A walk up Congress Street can help you get a sense of which venues are offering the kind of date night you’re feeling. The Screening Room may offer a rare flick whereby sitting down instead of dancing feels like a luxury. The Playground often has live music and, when the weather is nice, the rooftop patio is a favorite for locals to hang and dance.

If you don’t mind driving or taking the Sun Link streetcar around the corner to 201 N. Court Ave., there is always a party happening at La Cocina Cantina at Old Town Artisans. Local musicians play eclectic world tunes and dancing is known to take place all night long.

We hope you enjoy all of your date nights in Downtown, there are a range of options for whatever your mood. Hint: Two enhancements to dress-up date night are a cab for the night and flowers.

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