Introducing Across The Pond: Clever Koi owners to open Japanese cocktail bar

PHOENIX - When Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano, the founders of Born & Raised Hospitality, opened their Asian-inspired restaurant Clever Koi in 2013, they nicknamed it "the pond."

Now, the duo is opening a craft cocktail bar next door to their Phoenix restaurant and naming it "Across the Pond."

Despite the reference, it is not a British-style pub.

The 35-seat bar will have a rotating menu of 10 custom cocktails, according to a news release, along with Japanese whiskey, craft beer and wine. 

Clever Koi's kitchen will helm the food menu: steamed buns and dumplings, along with a chef's choice (called omakase) of nigiri, sashimi and maki from Chula Seafood. (Chula is working to open a second location at Uptown Plaza.)

Later, they plan to offer oysters on weekends.

Related: Clever Koi owners plan to open Italian restaurant in Scottsdale

"We've been looking to add a cocktail bar to the [Born and Raised Hospitality] portfolio for a while now, and had been looking all over the Melrose district," said James in a news release. "But we always kept an eye on the Central Wine space."

Central Wine, a local wine bar, closed on June 1. In a Facebook post, they said: "the space has been sold." They have since partnered with The Market by Jennifer's to hold classes.

Construction at Across The Pond has already begun. They plan to open in the fall.

The inside is described as "tropical meets mid-century modern" with light and dark woods, and tropical wallpaper behind the bar. 

The duo is also opening an Italian restaurant at ASU's SkySong Complex in Scottsdale. Fellow is slated to open in the fall.

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