“It started with a phone call one night,” Owner Adam Hargett says about opening The Local.
Former manager of MercBar, Hargett worked his way up in the restaurant business, beginning as a bar back. Along the way, he met Executive Chef Chris McKinley. McKinley originally moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles to work at The Phoenician, later finding a home at Noca, and most recently as the executive chef at Atlas Bistro. The pair joined forces late last year to create a concept that fits perfectly into downtown Phoenix’s cultural vibe.
The Local officially opened its doors in April, on the northeast corner of Third and Roosevelt streets, in the center of the downtown Phoenix art scene.
Serving contemporary modern American cuisine, McKinley says the fare is a melting pot of the best America has to offer—specifically the best Arizona has to offer. “The way I like to cook is fresh ingredients—local providers and the freshest as possible,” he explains.
Visiting farmer’s markets and buying from local farms such as The Farm at South Mountain, McClendon’s Select organic farm and Duncan’s Trading Co., McKinley says The Local takes advantage of the freedom to use whatever ingredients he finds. Bringing in the standard of quality McKinley is accustomed to from previous establishments, the lunch and dinner spot aims to keep the price point affordable with dishes ranging between $10 and $30.
Hargett adds, “We both love being creative and trying new things, and we hate to get pigeon-holed and stuck with a menu that stays that way for six/eight months at a time.”