On Wednesday, April 3, Culinary Dropout at the Yard, founded by creative visionary and restaurateur Sam Fox, will open the doors to its fourth Valley location in downtown Gilbert at Gilbert Road and Hearn Way. To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant is teaming up with several local companies, including Open Arms Care Center, Jar of Buttons and Greenwood Brewing.

“We are excited to be opening another one of our restaurants in downtown Gilbert,” says Sam Fox, founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts. “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. The community has been very supportive, and we’re excited to be able to provide a space where friends and families can get together for good food, drinks, music and maybe even a round of cornhole.” 

Housed in a 25,000-square-foot space, the new location includes indoor and outdoor seating in an energetic environment designed for guests to meet friends and family; listen to live music; and play backyard-style games such as cornhole, ping-pong and foosball. Additionally, the space features two private dining rooms named The Coop and Heritage Room. Adding to the spirit of the restaurant, the 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 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 such art installation is comprised of musical instruments donated from Valley residents and arranged along one wall with the words “We’re Getting the Band Back Together” painted alongside. 

In honor of opening day, “Dropouts” can celebrate with fun surprises being offered at the new location, including:

• Good Food for a Good Cause: A portion of proceeds from opening day will benefit Open Arms Care Center, a Gilbert-based charity that provides food and clothing on a monthly basis to individuals and families in need.

• Rock Your Dropout Pride: Take home a customized button or sticker—made by Jar of Buttons exclusively for Culinary Dropout’s opening in Gilbert—to rock on a jacket, water bottle or notebook.

• Sip and Sample Local Brews: Guests 21 and over can sample select craft brews from local and woman-owned Greenwood Brewing on opening day, 5–7 p.m. That day, guests can also enter to win a raffle basket with a Culinary Dropout gift card, Greenwood beers, and swag items from Greenwood Brewing and Culinary Dropout.

The grand opening celebration includes a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and an inaugural “pretzel dunk” with Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels and honored guests. The restaurant will officially open to the public at 11 a.m.

Additional local partners include Gilbert-based Prickly Pear Paper, which created custom postcards with a “Greetings from Culinary Dropout” message for the soft opening, as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of Gilbert.

The Gilbert community can look forward to a menu of classic American dishes done right, including house-made Soft Pretzels & Provolone Fondue, BBQ Pork Belly Nachos, Fried Chicken with a buttermilk biscuit and honey drizzle, and the Turkey Pastrami Sandwich. In addition, the menu will feature seasonal items including Gochujang Cauliflower, Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Chips, and a Pesto Shrimp Orecchiette with roasted mushroom, broccolini and heirloom tomato.

With an extensive list of signature cocktails dubbed the “Vices” menu, Culinary Dropout has a cocktail (or two) for everyone. Staples include the After School Special, a raspberry tea–infused tequila cocktail topped with Modelo Especial; Room Service, which is a twist on the classic French 75; and La Vida Verde, a spicy vodka cocktail with fresh green juice. Guests can also choose from a menu of local beer and wine.

Culinary Dropout is located at 383 N. Gilbert Road and will be open from Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and weekend brunch will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and to view the full menu, visit www.culinarydropout.com. Get social on Instagram at @culinarydropout.