KGUN 9NewsCommunity Inspired JournalismMidtown & Downtown News


Black Iris Cafe brings a greasy-spoon twist to Fourth Ave.

The new diner-inspired restaurant sports classic dishes and unique takes
Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 23, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Nestled on the southeast side of Tucson's entertainment hub that is North 4th Avenue, a new diner has emerged, breathing fresh, breakfast-and-brunch life into the district's dining scene.

Black Iris Cafe, the avenue's first diner in years, has opened its doors, offering a fusion of classic comfort fare and inventive delights.

The spot that houses Black Iris has been home to various other establishments, from a donut haven (Holy Donuts) to a French bistro (Blush).

Now, the space has the aroma of biscuits and gravy and the sizzle of corn ribs wafting through.

Tom Struck, one of the cafe's owners, shared insights into Black Iris' culinary vision, explaining how the partners landed on their classic diner concept.

"We decided we wouldn’t go with ethnic-style food, because um… Well, neither one of us is very ethnic to begin with," chuckled Struck, encapsulating the cafe's approach to dining.

Since its grand opening, Black Iris has already stirred excitement among Tucson's food enthusiasts.

According to Struck, plans are underway to expand the experience with a bar at the restaurant's rear, promising patrons an extended rendezvous into the night.

As the buzz grows, locals and visitors alike eagerly anticipate indulging in Black Iris Cafe's culinary creations, drawn not only by its tantalizing menu but also by its contribution to the ever-evolving tapestry of Tucson's dining culture.

Currently, Black Iris is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Eddie Celaya is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born in Tucson and raised in the Phoenix area, Eddie is a life-long Arizonan and graduate of the University of Arizona who loves the desert and mountains and hates the cold. Previously, Eddie worked in print media at the Arizona Daily Star. Share your story ideas with Eddie at, or by connecting on Facebook or Instagram.