BRUNCH & BON
The Five Points area, just a skip from downtown Tucson, has recently emerged as a destination for a leisurely weekend outing, complete with top-notch dining, fun shopping, and a relaxed neighborhood stroll in the four historic neighborhoods it divides (Barrio Viejo, Barrio Santa Rosa, Armory Park, and Santa Rita Park). The Territory Team agrees that there are two destinations at this downtown crux not to be missed: 5 Points Market & Restaurant and Bon Boutique.
Opened in January 2014, 5 Points Market & Restaurant has quickly become a Tucson favorite, and for good reason. Large east facing windows at the wide five-way intersection flood 5 Points with natural light in the mornings, adding warmth to the simple and rustic interior of hefty wooden tables and steel counters and shelves. This is fortunate, because every dish on the brunch menu warrants a photo. Their take on huevos rancheros is not to be missed—hired ranchero sauce, green pesto and avocado blanket eggs in a concoction equally easy on the eyes and palette. Also a perfect balance of color and flavor is the breakfast salad with creamy butternut squash, juicy heirloom tomatoes, nutty toasted pepitas and eggs over medium on a bed of arugula.
In addition to the brilliant dishes, which use local ingredients, the secret to 5 Points’ success may be the sense of community fostered among the staff, who seem genuinely happy to be there. “We’ve been on the other side of the employee-employer relationship and try to be the employers we’d want to have,” said Brian Haskin, referring to himself and co-owner Jasper Ludwig. For instance, their baker, Elianna Madril, began as a server but became a baker when her knack for making pastries was discovered, and former server Sharon Moon, a tattoo artist, illustrated the menu by hand.
Before leaving, be sure to peruse the counter for the always-divine desserts made by Jasper and Elianna, and just try to walk away without a buttery shortbread cookie or slice of pie (and maybe a lively bouquet expertly assembled by Brittany Péna of Best Buds, too).
After breakfast, head over to the neighboring shop, Bon, and enter the irresistibly whimsical and urbane world of mother and daughter team Bonnie and Crystal Flynt. At the door, you will be greeted by neatly wrapped cacti and succulents soaking up sun in the window, the smell of fine soaps and incense, innumerable charming objects for the home, and, of course, a warm welcome from two generations of lovely women.
The store is the perfect extension of them, both elegantly lanky and always dressed in timeless perfection in breezy Pipsqueak Chapeau button downs, Levi’s vintage collection jeans and Repetto flats, accented with crimson lipstick and perhaps a vintage turquoise brooch at the collar (on Bonnie) or a signet ring (on Crystal). This distinctive Bon garb is available for purchase so you, too, can perfect a look of effortless grace equally appropriate for a countryside picnic or a day in the office.
“Our goal was to create a space that feels like what the desert means to us,” Crystal told me. “The white space, natural light, and organic elements are a representation of where we live, and the objects we love come to life in this desert context.” This vision comes through; Bon is an elegant distillation of modern desert living. Simple furnishings and white walls elevate carefully made and selected goods, skillfully displayed on rustic tables and in hand-woven baskets.
In addition to annual buying trips to New York, Bonnie and Crystal regularly trek to faraway places to find special things that they love and that otherwise would never be available in Tucson. Crystal explained, “This allows us to support small makers, wherever they may be, and to find the unexpected treasures that speak to our sensibility.”
Bon has been a Tucson gem for 10 years and celebrates one year in its new location this April. “Coming downtown was a wonderful move”, Crystal said. She loves the vibrancy of the area, and how the old and new blend seamlessly. “Tucson feels unfinished, in a good way,” she continued, and she is excited to be part of the Five Points community downtown, which will surely grow with her and Bonnie in the coming years.
photography: rebecca ranta