Harvest under new management - The Explorer: Business

Harvest under new management

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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 4:00 am

Harvest Restaurant, in Oro Valley, is under new ownership, with Reza and Lisa Shapouri, who took over in October.

With a background in restaurants, Lisa said they had been looking for an opportunity to run their own place.

“Having our own restaurant was always in our plans, and Harvest just kind of presented itself to us,” she said. “It seemed like the right time and the right place.”

In the 1990s the couple owned and operated Chelsea’s Bar and Grill, and over the past 18 years, Reza has worked in restaurant distribution and consulting.

After buying Harvest, located at 10355 N. La Canada, the couple hired executive chef Mario Ledezma and sous chef Alfred Beltran.

Reza said the focus on the menu centers around affordable, healthy eating.

“Both our chefs have what we are looking for in healthy, fresh cooking,” he said. “All food is made from scratch. We buy as much as we can locally.”

Under new management, about 60 percent of the Harvest menu is new, but some old favorites, including the braised scallops, braised beef, baby back ribs and some appetizers, are still available.

Reza said they have made some alterations to the side dishes to make them healthier, “without jeopardizing the taste.”

Some popular entrees on the new menu include the filet mignon, and mignon medallions.

The chef also has a background in sushi, and Reza said he hopes to expand on that in the future.

Lisa said just over two months into the venture, customers seem happy, and that’s the way they want to keep it.

While Harvest currently only opens for dinner, Reza said they are making plans to expand hours, and open to the lunch crowd in mid-January.

Harvest also offers a Happy Hour between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

When asked about the risk of buying a restaurant in tough economic times, Reza said it’s because of the economy that customers will continue coming out.

“On the surface it does seem like a risk,” he said. “But, people are spending less money to leave town these days, and spending more money here in town. I believe if you have a good product, people will come.”

Lisa has lived in Tucson her entire life, and Reza came to the northwest community in 1986. The couple was married in 1988.

Harvest is a true family restaurant, with the couple’s three children also working there.

The Oro Valley Town Council unanimously approved the liquor license for the facility on Dec. 7.

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