For Tucson born and raised chef Tyler Fenton, BATA is a passion project come true.

The restaurant was designed to pay homage to his hometown by sourcing food from local farmers and incorporating culinary favorites into the kitchen.

Like a love letter to Tucson,” Fenton said. “We wanted to celebrate what we have here. We wanted to cook over a live fire and then really kind of push to elevate the culinary scene in Tucson.

Now, the place, only about 1.5-years old, is getting funding to add an outdoor extension.

As it is, the area of the side of the building is simply a dirt lot.

The BATA team pitched their idea to the Rio Nuevo board which agreed to cover half the expenses for permanent materials only, like ground leveling and other construction costs.

The designs are not yet finalized, but included features like added shade and misters to make dining more comfortable in the hotter months.

Customers will also get to enjoy an entirely new menu cooked on a wood fire in a full outdoor kitchen.

Its going to be a lower price point, so we might have guests that are maybe not super into the restaurant. It gives them a venue to come in and experience kind of what we do with a different lens, Fenton said.

He and his team are still working to submit plans and get building permits, but are aiming to open the space in 2024.

But Fenton says the goal for BATA will always be to bring a smile to people’s faces.

At the end of the day, I just want to make great food and make people happy. I think it gives us an opportunity to serve more people and make more people happy,” he said. “And thats what I get up for every day to do.