Barbecue lovers, rejoice. Reggie’s ribs are back. Reggie Payne, former owner of R&B Ribhouse, is back in Mesa, serving up his delicious spare ribs, beef brisket and fried catfish at Home Plate Café.
It was just over a year ago the transplanted Mississippian’s popular restaurant on East Main Street unexpectedly closed, leaving customers all over the East Valley wondering what happened.
The closure, says Payne, was the result of several factors, but the main reason was he moved his family to California to care for his father-in-law, who ultimately lost a battle with cancer. Now, the family has moved back and Payne has partnered with Diane Turley, former owner of Waldo’s BBQ in Scottsdale, at Home Plate Café, a cozy eatery attached to a car wash on the southwest corner of Country Club Drive and Guadalupe Road.
Home Plate, formerly a baseball-themed restaurant, is a work in progress. Besides all the barbecue and Southern entrees, sides and desserts diners enjoyed at R&B, the menu includes burgers, cheesesteaks and BLTs. There’s also a full breakfast menu with chicken and waffles — just as good as Lo-Lo’s, Payne says — country-fried steak, omelettes and biscuits and gravy.
Restaurant hours will be expanded in January, Payne says, and the space may be enlarged.
Home Plate Café, 2828 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa, is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Info: (480) 632-0600 or www.homeplatecafe.com.
RA OPENS MONDAY IN MESA
Ra Sushi will open its fifth East Valley location Monday at Dana Park Village Square on the northwest corner of Val Vista Drive and Baseline Road in Mesa.
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant will feature a sushi bar, a dining area and a lounge area. Besides sushi, the menu includes Japanese dishes with chicken, pork and beef.
Ra, which opened its first sushi restaurant in 1997 in Scottsdale, also has locations in California, Nevada, Texas, Illinois and Florida.
Ra Sushi, 1652 Val Vista Drive, Mesa, will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (with bar open to 1 a.m.) daily. Info: (480) 632-9500 or www.rasushi.com.
2ND OLIVE GARDEN OPENS IN CHANDLER
The East Valley’s seventh Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, and Chandler’s second, opened Monday at Chandler Crossroads Towne Center on the northwest corner of Gilbert and Germann roads.
The menu offers salads, pastas, pizzas and Italian entrees, such as pork filettino and steak toscano.
Olive Garden, 2930 E. Germann Road, Chandler, is open at 4 p.m. daily for dinner, and will add lunch hours beginning Monday. Info: (480) 726-5137 or www.olivegarden.com.