New all-day restaurant Meridiem scheduled to open May 10 in south Chandler

BY Jess Harter Monday, May 1, 2017

Post image for New all-day restaurant Meridiem scheduled to open May 10 in south Chandler

Ante meridiem – better known by the abbreviation a.m. – is Latin for ‘‘before midday.’’ Post meridiem, or p.m., is ‘‘after midday.’’

I mention this not as a language lesson, but an explanation for the name of Meridiem Kitchen & Lounge, a new all-day restaurant scheduled to open May 10 in south Chandler.

‘‘The most important thing we want people to know is we’re an all-day destination’’ says Ryan Watson, general manager and co-owner with Anthony Fiorentino.

‘‘We’re upscale in decor, but casual in pricing and atmosphere.’’

Located on Price Road just south of the Loop 202 (map), Meridiem is a striking structure enclosed on three sides by high glass walls (shown below) with six sets of sliding doors opening to a wrap-around patio.

There obviously was a lot of work still to do when I visited last week, but the cement floor was about to be polished, and tables, chairs, and sofas had arrived and were waiting next door.

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The space

The 5,000-square-foot building (not counting the patio, which adds another 2,500) sits off a large greenbelt and is divided into two main areas.

The ‘‘a.m. side,’’ accented in gray and light blue, seats 40 inside, including 10 at a pewter maple breakfast bar, and another 30 on a small patio.

The larger ‘‘p.m. side’’ (shown below), in gray and dark blue, has its own 22-seat dark maple bar, a glass case for 700 bottles of wine, and seating for 100 inside and 100 outside.

The space, however, will be flexible. During the week, the ‘‘a.m. side’’ will be available as a private meeting room in afternoons and evenings. Both sides likely will be used to accommodate weekend crowds.

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The pedigree

Watson, a Scottsdale native and Chandler resident, has 17 years of experience in the Valley’s food and beverage scene, starting at Flo’s and now-defunct Barcelona.

For the past seven years he’s been at The Living Room, where he’s one of several partners in the group that also operates Humble Pie, Chop, and Rock Lobster.

It was at The Living Room he developed a friendship with Fiorentino, an Intel engineer who’s a frequent patron of the Chandler wine bar.

Jeremy Lopo, a chef Watson worked with at The Living Room, will head Meridiem’s kitchen. The menu, Watson says, will be American Southwest.

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Food & drink

Don’t look for anything overly fancy or expensive. Breakfast, for example, will focus on basics like eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. ‘‘I like a traditional breakfast,’’ Watson (pictured above) says.

For his beverage program, Watson is doing 60 wines by the bottle and 20 by the glass, a lineup of craft cocktails and a separate lineup of Old Fashioneds, and six beers on tap.

While wine lounges like Postino and The Living Room have popularized the $5 glass of wine special, Meridiem will offer a $4 glass.

There will be DJ music Thursday through Saturday, and acoustic performers during weekend brunch.

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