"Choosing a restaurant is like choosing a husband," says Hanna Gabrielsson, "you just know which one is right for you."
Gabrielsson, owner and chef of Beaver Choice, the quirky eatery in Tempe serving seriously delicious Polish, Canadian, and Swedish food, should know. She looked at over 30 husbands, er, restaurants before landing on what will eventually become her new home.
And Gabrielsson's decision to relocate couldn't have been more necessary.
Since it opened in late 2010, word of the unusual little restaurant with killer, one-of-a-kind cuisine quickly spread through the Valley's food community making it an instant underground hit. Soon, everyone was talking about it, including the Cooking Channel, which put several of Gabrielsson's recipes on its website.
"My restaurant is unstable now," Gabrielsson tells me. "Many nights there are 30 or more people in line and the wait time is around two hours. They go home and they don't come back the next day. I had to move."
Beaver Choice will relocate next February from its current Tempe strip-mall home to 745 West Baseline Road (Baseline and Extension Roads) in Mesa. The space was formerly Ripe Tomato Cafe before sitting vacant for years.
Gabrielsson says the future home of Beaver Choice is three times the size of its current location with a much larger kitchen space and a dining patio. She's excited about the opportunity to completely remodel the space, but is more excited about another feature: a liquor license. That's right. The new home of Beaver Choice will also include a bar. That means Gabrielsson (and her equally friendly family) will be serving Swedish, Polish, and Canadian beers to go along with the meatballs, schnitzels, and cured fish.
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"It will be a beautiful place," Gabrielsson adds. "Very romantic."