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September Restaurant Openings and Closings: Have You Tried Deez Buns?

Prep & Pastry
Greater Phoenix closed out the summer and kicked off the fall with a slew of new dining options — mostly in the east Valley. Chandler continues to grow with more wing, breakfast, and beer options, while Scottsdale saw nine new eateries open in one day at Great Wolf Lodge Arizona.

Here’s the breakdown of all the new restaurant openings and a few closings that happened in the Phoenix area in September 2019.


AZ Wings

1395 South Arizona Avenue, #3, Chandler

Chandler welcomed a new wing spot last month. The fantastic AZ Wings opened a location at the Santan Gateway South shopping plaza, so those near the intersection of the Loop 202 SanTan portion and State Route 87 can treat themselves to plump, dry-rub wings more often.

click to enlarge CHARLES BARTH
Charles Barth

Deez Buns

1158 West Washington Street, #105, Tempe

The owners of Mesa’s late-night Korean restaurant Drunken Tiger and the Filipino food pop-up Good Fortune Kitchen have teamed up to bring us Deez Buns. The northern Tempe restaurant offers pho, Korean fried chicken, bulgogi, and more in the form of burger-like handhelds with soft, steamed buns.

Eat Smart

1319 East Chandler Boulevard

A new breakfast spot has opened in a former Jack in the Box at Chandler Boulevard and Desert Foothills Parkway. Located in Ahwatukee, Eat Smart offers breakfast and lunch items like pancakes, sandwiches, and salads.

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona

9180 East Indian Bend Road, #7, Scottsdale

Okay, this is more like nine restaurant openings in one. The new Great Wolf Lodge Arizona is an 85,000-square-foot indoor water park and 350-suite hotel, and there will also be nine eateries on property — everything from upscale restaurants to ice cream shops. All dining will be overseen by Executive Chef Grant Baker. The biggest deal will be Barnwood — a full-service, upscale restaurant in a rustic setting. The menu lists a rotating selection of Southwestern-sourced and in-season ingredients, as well as craft cocktails and beer. Other on-site restaurants include Campfire Kitchen, Hungry as a Wolf, Buckets Incredible Craveables, and more.

Gosan Poke & Roll

2875 West Ray Road, #3, Chandler

Formerly Poke Bar, Gosan Poke & Roll offers build-your-own poke bowls and sushi at Ray and Price roads near the Loop 101 in Chandler.

Kalos Grill

1537 West Broadway Road, #104, Tempe

Described as Mediterranean American food with a twist of Chipotle style, the menu at Kalos Grill offers pita bowls, kabobs, shawarma, soups, salads, and baklava.

Mezquite's Café

444 East Chandler Boulevard, Chandler

New lunch spot alert in downtown Chandler. Mezquite's Café offers Southwestern-inspired sandwiches, salads, and street food at the intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Exeter Street (a little east of Arizona Avenue).

Mr. Brews Taphouse

2040 South Alma School Road, #1, Chandler

This Wisconsin-based chain made its Arizona debut in the former Chandler Gourmet Deli spot last month. Mr. Brews Taphouse offers burgers, craft and domestic beer, and sides at the intersection of Alma School and Germann roads.

Mr. Pancho Mexican Food

1040 East Main Street, Mesa

Owner and chef Angel López worked at the famed Restaurant Mexico on Mill Avenue in Tempe till its recent closure in August. Now, Lopez has opened Mr. Pancho Mexican Food in Mesa in the former Tacos el Chico spot. Fans of the classic Tempe eatery will find many of the same dishes at the new place.

click to enlarge PREP & PASTRY
Prep & Pastry

Prep & Pastry

7025 East Via Soleri Drive, Scottsdale

Prep & Pastry has opened its third location in the state, and first spot in greater Phoenix, to Scottsdale in the Broadstone Waterfront building. Diners can expect brunch, breakfast, and lunch items, as well as pastries, morning cocktails, and proximity to the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Ted’s Refreshments

404 South Mill Avenue, #101, Tempe

The former Blasted Barley Beer Company spot just off Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe is now home to Ted’s Refreshments. Owned by Julian Wright — also behind the nearby Pedal Haus Brewery — Ted’s is a Midwestern dive bar-themed nightlife spot with pool tables, pitchers, and a small menu of bar food.

Tikka Bistro

1250 East Apache Boulevard, #116, Tempe

From the owners of Curry & Scoop comes Tikka Bistro, an Indian eatery now operating in the former Tasty Kabob spot. Tikka Bistro offers curry, biryani, and vegetarian options, as well as a full bar.

Tomaso’s Italian Kitchen

23655 North Scottsdale Road, #120, Scottsdale

Tomaso’s When In Rome is no more, as the space has now reopened as Tomaso’s Italian Kitchen. Opened by the Maggiore Group, the reimagined Italian joint is a modern-casual rendition of the former Tomaso’s that has kept the best Tomaso’s dishes from the restaurant’s four-decade history.


3433 North 56th Street

Fans of the former Kitchen 56 restaurant for the structure alone will be excited to learn the building at 56th Street and Indian School Road is now Vecina. The new Arcadia eatery’s menu will list modern takes on Latin dishes like tacos, tostadas, ceviches, and aguachiles,

Yatai Ramen

1101 West University Drive, Tempe

Yet another ramen shop in Tempe (not that we’re complaining), Yatai Ramen is located in a ground-floor suite of the Fine Art Complex 1101 apartment building. Though a food truck for the past five years, the Japanese-born owner Mark Kondo decided to open the 20-seat eatery offering rice bowls, specialty ramen, and more.

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

Crisp Greens

Crisp Greens, the lunch spot known for salads, wraps, and sandwiches, has closed in downtown Chandler.

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

Well, sort of. As part of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown's renovation process, the hotel’s onsite restaurant, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, has closed. However, the space will reopen as a Spanish-influenced restaurant in early 2020. In the meantime, check out the Valley Overlook pop-up on the fourth floor or Cove Bar for drinks.

The Melting Pot

The Scottsdale location of The Melting Pot franchise has closed in the strip mall at Via de Ventura and Hayden Road. The fondue restaurant was in operation for more than 22 years.