One of Chandler’s finer dining options is undergoing a revamp that will result in a new interior and a more comfortable menu for diners.
Cork, which is located at the intersection of South Alma School and East Chandler Heights roads, will undergo an $80,000 remodel during its regular two-week summer break starting July 1 and will reopen with a new name, Earnest, on July 16.
Cork first opened in 2008 when co-owners Robert Morris, his wife, Danielle Morris — Cork’s pastry chef — and executive chef Brian Peterson wanted to bring a fine-dining-style restaurant to an area that lacked one.
“The problem was living out here in Chandler and Ahwatukee was there were no good dining destinations or restaurants; we’d always have to drive to Scottsdale. So we thought we’d do something great out here and people would flock to it,” Peterson said.
Even the name offered that connection, as the owners picked Cork because of their love of fine wine.
Cork has won several awards, including AAA’s Four Diamond Award from 2011 to 2013. The restaurant was also named Phoenix Magazine’s best new restaurant when it opened in 2008.
But after six years, Morris and Peterson decided to change course and keep up with the city’s ever-evolving dining scene.
“It’s a more casual concept where you can do good food and not have so much high-end, fine-dining standards but still produce quality food in a more relaxed, personable, friendly manner,” Peterson said.
One of the changes the owners will incorporate is the addition of craft beers to accompany the wine selection.
The menu is also undergoing an overhaul to make it less dependent upon French verbiage and more familiar to the average diner.
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