Jerome, Arizona, has a unique and exciting history. In the late 1800s, copper was discovered and the mining boom began. During its heyday, the copper mine produced an astonishing 3 million pounds of copper per month (not to mention a nice bit of gold and silver as well) At its high point, Jerome’s population peaked at 15,000 inhabitants. War, depression and decline in the copper industry shattered the town. Eventually the mines fell silent, and Jerome became the largest ghost town in America.
But a few die-hard Jerome residents fought back. Today, Jerome is a booming tourist center, sporting fantastic shops including the work of some talented local artists, great places to eat, one of the finest mining museums in the world, and a mile-high view that is fabulous. To make a weekend out of a trip to Grapes there are a number of lodging and motel options in and around Jerome, along with a number of activities and things to do and see around Jerome.
If you get to Jerome, you must stop and eat at Grapes Restaurant & Bar! It’s out of this world. The building was originally the telegraph and Pony Express station built in the early 1900′s. In 1920 it became the Reese and Amster White Garage and Machine Shop. In the 40′s it was changed to a Shell station servicing travelers on historic 89A. Later it became the Jerome Volunteer Fire Department, until 1996 when Eric and Michelle Jurisin, the owners of the Haunted Hamburger in Jerome, opened the Jerome Brewery and, most recently, converted it to Grapes. The comfortable booths and great bar, warmly enclosed by brick walls, does give the feeling of dining in a former Pony Express station. A few intimate outdoor tables have a to-die-for view of the San Francisco peaks on a clear day.
This fantastic little bar, boasts a wide range of fine wines. The extremely knowledgeable staff can help you make the right select to complement their fine cuisine. On the menu, each food item is paired with a recommended choice of wine identified by its Bin #, making wine selection easy.
The food is outstanding — try the Zinful Shroom, the Turkey Cranberry or the Sonoma Chicken Salad sandwiches, or mix up a bowl of amazing pasta with any combination of pasta, sauces, vegetables and meats. A friend of mine is a salad aficionado and claims the Tuscan Berry Salad is the best she’s eaten anywhere in the world. It’s really doesn’t matter what you order, it’s all fabulous.
Prices are completely reasonable ranging from $8 – $10 for lunch and $14 – $17 for dinner. Grapes also offers daily specials and appetizers specials, plus a happy hour from 5 – 9 p.m. with $5 glasses of wine.
This is my pick for casual dining with an upscale experience!
Grapes Restaurant & Bar
111 Main Street