The County Seat brings fast-casual dining to downtown Prescott

Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine, July 7, 2021

Story and Photos by Gail G. Collins

When most people see a gap in the landscape, they shrug. Serious few would decide to fill it with a wholesome gathering place overlooking bustling Prescott’s Courthouse Plaza.

Skyler Reeves, owner of The County Seat, is that inspired kind of fellow.

“Prescott is usually thought of as this small Old Western town, but in recent years there’s been an influx of young families and professionals who have moved to the area looking for a new, hip hangout spot with a comfortable, yet contemporary, vibe to dine and socialize,” Reeves said.

The County Seat, an expansive 6,500-square foot coffeehouse with healthy karma, held a soft opening last November. It is situated on the upper floor of the historic Burmister Building. A wall of windows floods the room with light and provides a view of Yavapai County Courthouse, a striking Classical Revival granite structure built in 1916. Pragmatically, it also provides the eatery’s namesake.

With an aim of sustaining locals with good food and good health, Reeves crafted a menu of hearty sandwiches, robust salads and grab-and-go items combined with a full coffee bar, fresh-pressed juices and low-ABV cocktail menu. Reliable, consistent, familiar and delicious dishes are foremost. Support comes from scratch kitchen manager Chris Osante, emphasizing quality ingredients, local resources — like FreeForm Coffee Roasters in Sedona — and attention to dietary needs. A hybrid of kiosk to full-service ordering options fills the bill.

Here are the top hits: the Madras curry chicken sandwich loads toasted focaccia with baked, diced meat in curry mayo, apples, golden raisins, red onion and lettuce served with kale or sweet potato salad. Tony’s Rueben stacks shaved corned beef, sauerkraut, caramelized onion, bacon and Swiss with a slather of secret sauce on toasted marbled rye for a messy, marvelous mouthful.

The turkey Cobb salad mixes Romaine and fresh greens with avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber plus pickled onion and fortifies it with turkey roulades, bacon and generous blue cheese crumbles. An herbal green goddess dresses it all for a lunch punch to hunger.

Continue reading “The County Seat brings fast-casual dining to downtown Prescott”

Prescott’s The Barley Hound is ‘like being at a friend’s house’

Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine, July 2020

Written by Gail G. Collins

Despite difficult circumstances, good things still thrive. Like many towns, Prescott has seen its share of hazards, since its founding as the territorial capital of Arizona in 1864. A fire devastated the city in 1900, ravaging the bulk of its wooden Victorian architecture. A dozen hotels and 20 shops were lost. This inspired decisions to replace them with brick, stone and concrete buildings and to pave the dusty streets. Time and time again, it’s been shown resilient people suffer loss and come back stronger. And so it has been for forward-minded businesses in the face of 2020’s havoc on health and economic vitality.

The Barley Hound, an American gastropub celebrating its fifth anniversary, has repositioned itself to bloom and grow.

“It goes without saying that these last few months have been beyond challenging, but it gave us the time we needed to reevaluate who we are and what we can do operationally to create a more functional and enjoyable experience for our guests,” owner Skyler Reeves said.

Located just a few minutes’ walk from historic Whiskey Row in Prescott, the restaurant resides in the rich character of a Victorian home. Its convivial atmosphere says:  Come on in and relax with friends. The dog-friendly front garden long beckoned passersby, but the 1,800-square-foot backyard expansion has doubled patio possibilities. Games, like cornhole and ping pong, provide a neighborly feel. A shaded area covers a reimagined living room with communal tables, chandeliers and draping. A bar housed in a shipping container completes the funky scene, suggesting any night is a happy party night. Guests are welcomed back.

“Everyone has had open arms,” Sarah Bauder, general manager, said. “People quizzed us about opening and gave positive feedback.”

Like most other eateries downtown, The Barley Hound is closed on Monday and Tuesday, but opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays, serves lunch and dinner on Saturdays with brunch on Sunday. Hours will expand and seating is currently only outside, but that is ample, and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in place to protect staff and customers.

The Barley Hound has been a place for adventurous eating and familiar favorites, like duck fat fries. Hand-cut russet potatoes are fried in duck fat to showcase the flavor before they are scattered with fresh parsley and Malden sea salt flakes for a super savory side, according to co-owner and chef Tony Burris.

Continue reading “Prescott’s The Barley Hound is ‘like being at a friend’s house’”