July Restaurant Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

A housemade pastrami sandwich at Nocawich.
A housemade pastrami sandwich at Nocawich.
Lauren Saria

Last month's biggest restaurant openings include the long-awaited location of Eliot Wexler's Nocawich in Tempe and a third Valley location of Snooze, An A.M. Eatery. On the downside, we said goodbye to three local dining spots — including Franks A Lot, a longstanding hot dog stand. 

Openings

  • The Hash Kitchen, Scottsdale
    This breakfast joint replaced Cuttlefish Ocean Kitchen at The Shops at Gainey Village in July, quickly transforming from an upscale seafood restaurant to a casual brunch spot. The focal point of this new restaurant is a DIY Bloody Mary bar, stocked with "50 premium toppings from cheeseburger sliders, egg rolls, beer-battered onion rings to king crab." 

  • Maverick Coffee, Scottsdale
    This neatly curated coffee shop on Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard is owned by a team of Australian athletes and businessmen. The shop serves beans from San Francisco-based Ritual Coffee Roasters, offering both brewed-to-order and batched-brew options. 

  • Snooze, An A.M. Eatery, Gilbert 
    Snooze opened its third Valley location in Gilbert last month. What can the East Valley suburb expect? A retro-futuristic diner with free coffee and games like cornhole and ping-pong. Snooze started in Denver, coming to the Phoenix area about two years ago. 

  • Nocawich, Tempe 
    Tempe is turning into the epicenter for breakfast joints these days. In late July, Eliot Wexler opened his first official Nocawich location on 777 South College Avenue in Tempe. Wexler calls the concept "fine fast food, or fast fine food." The spot is serving up all kinds of gourmet breakfast options from sandwiches to bagels from New York's famed H&H Midtown Bagel to burritos.

  • Cafe Rio, Phoenix 
    Cafe Rio opened its eighth location in Arizona at 2501 West Happy Valley Road. The chain boasts "fresh Mexican food," with no microwaves or freezers. 

  • Base Pizzeria, Phoenix
    Owned by three Aussies and an American, this family-owned pizza place is all about local, where even the olive oil is from Queen Creek. One owner estimates that 96 percent of the food Base serves is organic. 

  • Waba Grill, Avondale 
    Avondale welcomed a new Asian Fusion restaurant on McDowell Road. From its website, it appears that Waba serves grilled meat and rice and vegetable bowls.

  • Spartan Pita & Gyro, Phoenix
    This eatery on Thomas Road opened just a few weeks ago, serving Greek-themed gyro sandwiches and platters.

  • Petersen's Ice Cream 
    For years, the only location of Petersen's Ice Cream located outside metro Chicago was in Old Town Scottsdale. After the lease at that location ended, the ice creamery relocated to downtown Gilbert's Heritage Marketplace. The new shop is now open at 366 North Gilbert Road.

Closings 

  • Cuttlefish Ocean Kitchen 
    This upscale seafood place closed after less than two years at The Shops at Gainey Village in Scottsdale. Restaurateur Joey Maggiore shuttered Cuttlefish's doors, quickly turning it into brunch spot The Hash Kitchen. 

  • Franks A Lot 
    The family that owns this iconic Phoenix hot dog stand decided it was finally time to retire in July, saying goodbye to the Valley after more than 30 years. This stand served Chicago-style hot dogs, polish sausages, fries, and more. 

  • Castillon's Family Restaurant 
    Between a disconnected phone, a shuttered website, and Yelp, it looks like this crazy-cheap breakfast burrito spot has closed its doors. The first iteration of this restaurant came from Fort Collins, Colorado, which appears also to have closed.

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