Clarendon Hotel debuts brand-new dining destination: Gallo Blanco Cafe (Now Closed)

Clarendon Hotel

Update 2015: Gallo Blanco Cafe at the Clarendon Hotel has since closed. Expect a new stand-alone location to finally open in downtown Phoenix.

This past week, it finally happened. A “real” restaurant finally opened inside Midtown’s Clarendon Hotel.

Since its previous and most significant transition from the critically-successful Camus restaurant a few years ago (and the resulting drama that set local gossips afire), subsequent restaurant ventures at the Clarendon Hotel (one known as “C4,” then another as “Clarendon Kitchen”) have unfortunately consistently failed to deliver in the food, atmosphere and concept departments. Despite all the ballyhoo along the way, following alterations over the months and years were never executed thoroughly, with ideas never truly focused.

I guess I should disclose that I do have a close, loyal personal history with the hotel and its owners. Though I admit I may be a little biased here, I’ve never been shy about my desire for constructive critique – most notably in regard to this seemingly cursed restaurant space (up until now).

Doug Robson, circa LGO days (Cheryl Evans/Arizona Republic)

Enter Gallo Blanco Cafe, and its new leader Doug Robson.

Hotel owner/GM Ben Bethel had sold the rights of the hotel’s in-house restaurant to Robson for a complete overhaul of the space’s design, concept and menu. Thankfully, it’s in good hands. With a resume that includes associations with the likes of Phoenix restaurant dynasty LGO Hospitality, there finally appears to be hope on the horizon. Expect Mexico City-centric, regional Mexican cuisine.

Renovation photos recently posted by Robson on Urbanspoon

Interior picture taken during rennovation, illustrating some of the drastic changes.
Menu circa April 2009.

Gallo Blanco Cafe | | 401 W. Clarendon Ave | Midtown Phoenix | 602-252-7363

Gallo Blanco Cafe on Urbanspoon

  1. Justin!
    Your review popped up on my google reader feed. At first I didn’t make the connection, however that distinctive writing style.. the “over and out” confirmed it.

    Great piece, please keep up the good work – I’d love to read more!

    Cheers for fears,



  2. I’ve been holding back on trying to figure out any restaurant at the Clarendon because the concept seems to change every six months. Gallo Blanco, however, seems more promising. I haven’t seen a bad review anywhere yet.


  3. Me either, and it’s good to hear. That particular restaurant space has always needed serious, professional, outside help, but never fully received it. Thankfully, it appears as though it may have finally found that. As of today, I still unfortunately haven’t eaten there, but admit I’m really looking forward to it based on all the genuine positive feedback. Hopefully this week. I will definitely post about it.


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