Restaurant News

November Restaurant Openings and Closings: Say Hi to Slice Eat and Bye to Sherpa Kitchen

Absolutely Delightful is moving on up ... to a physical location.
Absolutely Delightful Honey
Absolutely Delightful is moving on up ... to a physical location.
Despite the obvious challenges (sadly noted in the closings section below), the Valley is not messing around when it comes to restaurant openings this fall.

We're seeing second (and third, and beyond) locations of certain local restaurants, Arizona firsts, and plenty of other spots — some serving very good chicken — opening up around town. Below, read all about 'em.

OPENINGS

Absolutely Delightful

2433 West Peoria Avenue, Building 17, #1300

Absolutely Delightful, our 2020 Best of Phoenix winner for best honey, opened its first brick-and-mortar location with a small retail section. So far, the local honey business, owned and operated by Eleanor Dziuk, has been selling honey via its website and at farmers' markets. But now, you can pick up a jar of the desert wildflower honey near the old Metrocenter.


Acai Waffle

425 South Mill Avenue, #108, Tempe

Acai Waffle, found right on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe, offers waffle-heavy desserts as well as smoothies and acai bowls. Vegan, gluten-free, and organic options are available.

Adalberto’s Mexican Food

3605 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler

The 1994-founded, family-owned Adalberto’s Mexican Food has opened a second location, this one near Chandler Fashion Center. The 24-hours restaurant offers tacos, burritos, breakfast items, and a drive-thru window.

Belle's Nashville Kitchen

7212 East Main Street, Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale has welcomed a roadhouse-style eatery and bar in the former Lulu Belle spot called Belle’s Nashville Kitchen. There’s (obviously) a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, as well as Honky Tonk Fries, salads, burgers, and pecan Goo Goo Cluster brownie bites.

click to enlarge Belly is now open. - AWE COLLECTIVE
Belly is now open.
AWE Collective

Belly

4971 North Seventh Avenue

The first project from Instrumental Hospitality Group is Belly — a two-story Southeast Asian kitchen and cocktail bar. The anticipated eatery is now open for takeout only — noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


Blanco Cocina + Cantina

123 East Washington Street

Block 23 in downtown Phoenix has recently welcomed the latest location of Blanco Cocina + Cantina. Fox Restaurant Concept and Mexican food restaurant is known for tacos, margaritas, and guacamole.

Cat’s Pajamas Bistro

10323 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

The former Razz's Restaurant & Catering space at Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard is now Cat's Pajamas Bistro. The new eatery offers sandwiches and burgers like the Rocky and Bullwinkle Burger, salads, soups, desserts, and a full bar.

click to enlarge Chin Up Donuts has gone brick-and-mortar. - WILDLINGS PHOTO CO.
Chin Up Donuts has gone brick-and-mortar.
Wildlings Photo Co.

Chin Up Donuts

7325 East Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, #103, Scottsdale

The female-owned Chin Up Donuts has opened its first physical location. The doughnut and coffee shop is located at The Promenade and offers signature doughnuts like Lavender Fields, Whoa Wasabi, and Whiskey Pigness.

Duplex

1845 East Broadway Road, #121, Tempe

The intersection at McClintock Drive and Broadway Road is becoming quite the dining destination in Tempe. In addition to Old Town Taste and others, there is now Duplex — a Hong Kong-style café serving drinks like salty lemon tea and whole coconut shake. There are also quick snacks like a pork ball, egg puffs, and more.

GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina

920 East University Drive, #204, Tempe

GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina has opened in Cornerstone Mall neighboring the Tempe Improv Comedy Club in a 4,650-square-foot space. The plant-based Mexican food restaurant offers dishes (inspired by Chef Rene Andrade of Ghost Ranch then prepared by Chef Clinton Lomayma) like Oaxacan Pizza, Pork Al Pastor Tacos, and Enchiladas De Calabacitas — all sans meat. There are also craft cocktails.

The Hudson Eatery & Bar

1601 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe

Housed in a 1965-built former real estate office, The Hudson Eatery & Bar has opened for patio dining and takeout in central Tempe. The neighborhood-style eatery offers wings, chicken sandwiches, dishes of yellow rice and protein, and a full bar.

Knuckle Sandwiches

325 West Elliot Road, #103, Tempe

The Mesa-based family-owned sandwich shop has opened a second location, this one in south Tempe in the former Jollof King spot. Knuckle Sandwiches include the Pastrami Rueben, Hot Stuff Chicken, and the Four-Layer Veggie.

Lure Fish House

8877 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Arizona got its first location of Lure Fish House, which is also the first one outside of California. Set at the Shops at Gainey Village, the upscale seafood restaurant offers starters like the Veracruz fish chowder, tequila lime shrimp pasta, Idaho trout, and specialties like the Cermaq Sustainable Salmon Bowl.

Matty G’s

3373 East Queen Creek Road, Gilbert

A fourth location of Matty G’s has opened, this one in southeast Gilbert. The menu for this sports bar-style joint includes specialty burgers like the Field of Dreams, signature dogs like Da Beats, and wraps like the Super Bowl Shuffle.

Monroe’s Hot Chicken

430 NorthChalss Scottsdale Road, Tempe

In addition to its ground-floor spot in the Historic Luhrs Tower, Monroe’s has opened a second location in Tempe at The Watermark retail complex. Founded by Larry White, the man behind Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles, the eatery is modeled after the Nashville-style hot chicken meals.

NoRa Asian Fresh

818 West Broadway Road, #108, Tempe

The former Lemongrass Thai Cuisine spot in central Tempe is now home to the second location of the Peoria-based NoRa Asian Fresh. The menu lists ramen, sushi, and Asian starters.

click to enlarge Get ready to build-your-own pasta. - PASTA78
Get ready to build-your-own pasta.
Pasta78

Pasta78

2780 W Chandler Blvd Ste 6, Chandler

This fast-casual Italian eatery offers a build-your-own pasta concept — you choose the pasta, house-made sauce, protein, and toppings. Pasta78 also offers grab-and-go salads and desserts like cannoli and sfogliatella.

The Revelry

1065 North Dobson Road, Mesa

The Revelry is a food hall-style collection of vendors and entertainment options spanning a 64,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor space at Mesa Riverview. The food hall includes Crust Simply Italian, Calavera Tacos, Rev Brewing Co., and more.

Salt & Smoke Mesquite Seafood Grill

2475 West Queen Creek Road, #4 Chandler

The former Humble Pie spot at Dobson and Queen Creek roads is now Salt & Smoke Mesquite Seafood Grill. The new seafood restaurant is connected to its sister concept eatery, The Living Room, in southern Chandler and serves fish tacos, clam chowder, lobster potstickers, and more.

click to enlarge Upscale Italian, now via drive-thru. - NICK DUPLESSIS
Upscale Italian, now via drive-thru.
Nick DuPlessis

Slice Eat

7111 East Thomas Road, Scottsdale

The owner of Forno 301 has opened Slice Eat, a drive-thru concept serving upscale Italian fare. Menu items range from a single slice of wood-fired pizza to eggplant parmigiana to — look out, Dairy Queen — gelato.

SoJo’s Donuts

1305 West Guadalupe Road, Suite E3, Mesa

Southwest Mesa is home to a new vegan doughnut and pastry shop. SoJo’s Donuts offers specialty doughnuts like the Coconu-tural Born Chocolate and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Blue-Berry, plus breakfast sandwiches and coffee.

Someburros

5095 South Gilbert Road, Chandler

Someburros, the local family-owned chain of fast-casual Mexican food restaurants, has opened its 11th Valley location. The new spot is found in The Steelyard retail district in south Chandler.

Stoop Kid

901 North First Street
The reopening of The Churchill included a new kid, called Stoop Kid, in the former Commander Hamburger space. It’s a New York-style bagel and coffee shop operated by Phoenix restaurateur and barista Steven McMillen.

click to enlarge Five meads that just medaled at the Mazer Cup in Denver at Superstition Downtown. - CHRIS MALLOY
Five meads that just medaled at the Mazer Cup in Denver at Superstition Downtown.
Chris Malloy

Superstition Downtown

1110 East Washington Street

Superstition Meadery is based in Prescott and a local craft favorite. Now, co-owners Jeff and Jen Herbert have debuted the Phoenix location in the restored Jim Ong’s Market building at 11th and Washington streets. Superstition Downtown is a large indoor-outdoor restaurant and, already, a mead destination.

Twisted Sugar

884 West Warner Road, Suite B9, Gilbert
The Agritopia community in Gilbert has recently welcomed the second Arizona location (and the second Gilbert spot) of Twisted Sugar. The bakery offers specialty cookies, signature sodas concoctions, and various ice cream smoothies.

Two Hands Seoul Fresh Corn Dogs

1933 West Main Street, #6, Mesa

The first Arizona location of Two Hands Seoul Fresh Corn Dogs has opened next to H Mart in west Mesa. The menu lists something like extreme corn dogs, including the crispy rice dog, the Nashville-style spicy dog, and the sweet-and-savory injeolmi dog.

Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits

4921 East Ray Road, #103

The former Uncle Bears Brewery space in Ahwatukee is now Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits. Those bites would be wings, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, as well as starts like pretzels bites, garlic chips, and poutine fries. The brews and spirits would be wine, specialty cocktails, and local drafts like Cider Corp Pineapple Camuleflage, Huss Cactus Valley, and Uncle Bears’ Mandarin Wheat.

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade

24775 North Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade has opened its fifth Valley location, this one at Lake Pleasant. The upscale lemonade stand also serves smoothies and food items like acai bowls, gourmet toasts, and flatbread sandwiches.

click to enlarge Sherpa Kitchen is gone for good. - JACKIE MERCANDETTI PHOTO
Sherpa Kitchen is gone for good.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
CLOSINGS

Bicycle Nomad Café

The coffee and bike-themed café owned by Erick Cedeño has closed in downtown Phoenix. The Velo Bike Shop, the adjoining business, is relocating to Seventh Street in the Coronado District.

Bonus Round

Game over for Bonus Round in central Phoenix: The geek hangout and arcade bar on Camelback Road has closed after four years of serving up nerd-themed cocktails, cosplay events, and arcade action.

Sherpa Kitchen

The Valley’s first Nepalese restaurant opened and closed in 2020. Sherpa Kitchen, a Top 100 restaurant, closed thanks to COVID. Fans of Sherpa Kitchen most likely know the restaurant is a physical offspring of the popular dumpling food truck. It's sticking around: The Everest Momo food truck will continue to make appearances at farmers' markets and festivals (when those are back) throughout the Valley.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version. See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.