Summer was once a season of slow business, with shortened hours and no waits. In many ways, this is still the case, but the Valley has grown, and the Phoenix restaurant scene with it.
In June, metropolitan Phoenix welcomed 18 new bars and restaurants, as well as resurgences of places like Myke’s Pizza. But we also saw closures like Glass Half Full Hospitality concepts Camp Social, Hatter and Hare, and Old Town Gringos. Let’s dig in.
Agave del Scottsdale8390 East Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
Scottsdale’s Mercado Del Lago Mall welcomed a new tenant in June. The Mexico City-inspired Agave del Scottsdale opened in the former Butters Pancakes & Café spot at the southeast corner of Hayden Road and Via de Ventura. Its menu lists high-end Mexican cuisine as well as margaritas and tequila-based cocktails. There’s also a fully renovated, Mexico City-inspired dining room with shimmering pink chandeliers
Burros & Bowls154 North Country Club Drive, Mesa
We apologize to those who can’t say no to Flaming Hot Cheetos in advance, because something called the Hot Cheetos Burro has come to Mesa. It’s found at Burros & Bowls, a fast-casual Mexican joint in a spot that once was 5 Star BBQ, SuperBurrito, La Palapa, Sodalicious, and a Taco Bell. The menu lists more than 20 burros, as well as bowls (duh), loaded fries, tacos, quesadillas, and sides of hot carrots.
Chupacabra Taproom14 North Robson, Mesa
Historic downtown Mesa has welcomed yet another beer shop, this one at Robson and Main Street. Chupacabra Taproom is a 28-tap craft beer and wine bar housed in a 900-square-foot, 1949 brick building. And does it sell Montucky Cold Snacks? You better believe.
Dilla Libre8018 East Thomas Road, Scottsdale
Dilla Libre opened a south Scottsdale spot to kick off June with its second physical location. Dilla Libre — formerly known as United Lunchadores Street Gourmet — serves gourmet quesadillas as well as horchata, elote, and chips and salsa.
El Autentico 10101245 West Guadalupe Road, Suite B7, Mesa
The second location of El Autentico 1010 recently opened at the southeast corner of McKellips Road and Alta Mesa Drive. The eatery offers Mexican, Colombian, and Peruvian dishes in northeast Mesa.
Fusion Tea Lounge1806 East Southern Avenue, Tempe
If you’re looking for small plates, look no further than the new Fusion Tea Lounge in Tempe. The Asian fusion tea room serves tapas-style shareables, full dishes, and milk teas at the northeast corner of McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue.
GrindTime Coffee1430 West Warner Road, #148, Gilbert
It’s always time to celebrate when a food truck finds a permanent location. Gilbert’s new GrindTime Coffee offers espressos, Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes — the usual — from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the northeast corner of McQueen and Warner roads.
Hash Kitchen Arcadia4315 East Indian School Road
Hash Kitchen’s fourth installment opened at 44th Street and Indian School Road after years of construction and anticipation from Arcadia residents. And before you even ask, yes, the latest location has its own 60-ingredient, build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The new 3,900-square-foot, 100-seat Hash Kitchen also offers a cocktail program run by mixologist Sheldon Wiley, and a menu overseen by executive chef Joey Maggiore. Brunch options include the pretzel eggs Benedict with beer-cheese hollandaise and the usual inventive hashes.
The Hot Chick4363 North 75th Street, Scottsdale
People can’t get enough of nostalgia, and the good people at The Hot Chick know this. The new game bar in Scottsdale's Entertainment District offers food and drink in the form of fried chicken on its food menu, cold beer, and cocktails. Looking like an episode of That ‘70s Show come to life, The Hot Chick offers arcade games, a large lounge area, and plenty of psychedelic murals for a group shot.
Knuckle Sandwiches1140 North Higley Road, Mesa
A family-owned sandwich shop has opened in a former Schlotzsky's at the southwest corner of Higley and Brown roads. Knuckle Sandwiches are made from scratch, using locally baked bread, with options like Dagwood, meatball, ham and cheese, corned beef, veggie, and more.
Kodo Sushi Sake2430 South Gilbert Road, #5, Chandler
The second location of Kodo Sushi Sake has opened in the former Otaku sushi spot in south Chandler. There will be colorful sushi and a wide array of Japanese beers. Kodo is owned by Juno Parker, who also owns Harumi Sushi and Pick N’ Roll.
Moku Hawaiian Grill4302 East Ray Road, #114
A new Hawaiian-themed lunch spot is always welcome in metropolitan Phoenix. Ahwatukee’s Moku Hawaiian Grill serves poke, kalua pork, and more in the former Papa Chevo’s Taco Shop spot at the northeast corner of Ray Road and East Ranch Circle.
Myke’s Pizza31 South Robson, #103, Mesa
Myke’s Pizza isn’t a new restaurant, but it is a new restaurant. That means the sidewalk operation has found a permanent roof — one that it shares with Cider Corps in downtown Mesa. There are five pizza styles for now (try the salami, have mercy), and all the cider you can pair with it. Myke’s is open Tuesday through Saturday nights.
OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen7300 North Via Paseo Del Sur, #102, Scottsdale
The Grove in McCormick welcomed OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen in late June at Hayden Road and McCormick Parkway. The 3,200-square-foot space features a large dining room, bar, expo kitchen, and 1,600-square-foot patio. Expect steamed buns, ramen, sushi, and veggies dishes like chicken-fried cauliflower on a menu driven by chef Paulo Im, as well as craft cocktails, beer, wine, and sake.
Porters Western Saloon3944 North Brown Avenue, Scottsdale
Scottsdale native Grey Halpin opened Porters Western Saloon in mid-June in what was Scottsdale's first post office. The 1929 structure was also known for years as Porters Western Wear — you know, that building with the horse on the balcony. Porters offers specialty cocktails, as well as beer, wine, and a full bar.
Spirit House8 South San Marcos Place, #106, Chandler
The 49-seat Spirit House is a new cocktail bar in downtown Chandler overseen by the people behind the neighboring SanTan Brewing Company. Expect the flagship spirit, Sacred Stave American Single Malt Whiskey, plus other whiskeys, gin, and other botanical spirits. There will also be charcuterie, bruschetta, salads, and tartines — or open-faced sandwiches — in what was once a gelato shop and storage space.
Tacos Chiwas2160 North Alma School Road, Chandler
Tacos Chiwas 2.0 is now open at the northwest corner of Alma School and Warner roads, housed in what was FrinGo’s Kitchen. Husband-and-wife team Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin will continue to serve tacos in the pollo, asada, lengua, and barbacoa varieties both in the original location at 20th Street and McDowell Road and this new spot in Chandler.
Zookz PHX3400 East Sky Harbor Boulevard
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has welcomed a new tenant to its Terminal 4 dining scene. Zookz Sandwiches, home to those fun, round breakfast and lunch sandwiches, has landed an airport location. Zookz PHX is located near gate B9.
As we learned in mid-June, Glass Half Full Hospitality bit the dust — and down with it went Camp Social. The campground-themed, National Park Service-nodding, 2017-established restaurant on what’s known as the Seventh Street dining corridor shuttered suddenly and plans to launch a second location in downtown Chandler sometime in 2019 are now non-existent.
Hatter and Hare
Camp Social neighbor and additional concept for Glass Half Full Hospitality, the Alice in Wonderland-themed Hatter and Hare closed this June. It operated in the former Joe’s Midnight Run spot.
Old Town Gringos
The last Glass Half Full Hospitality closing for June: Old Town Gringos closed up shop in Old Town Scottsdale.
This Chandler barbecue restaurant in the Santan Gateway South shopping center has closed after seven years of operation.
Following the closure of the Gilbert location last summer, the Slim Chickens in Chandler has also shuttered. This was the last location of the fast-food chicken restaurant in Arizona.
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This Middle Eastern restaurant and hookah bar closed after 13 years of operation at the northwest corner of Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard in Tempe.
Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.