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August Restaurant Openings and Closings: Hey Maple & Ash, Hurry Back Clever Koi

August Restaurant Openings and Closings: Hey Maple & Ash, Hurry Back Clever Koi
Fig Media
August 2019 gave an extremely warm welcome to some new Phoenix restaurants, including some anticipated spots like Maple & Ash in Scottsdale and the uptown location of Someburros. We also saw the sudden closure of Clever Koi's Gilbert location, as well as long-standing staples like Restaurant Mexico and Toh Zan Nagasaki Grill.

Without further introduction, here are all the restaurant openings and closings we saw last month.


Azusa Ramen

3128 South Mill Avenue, Tempe

Those on the hunt for traditional varieties of ramen can swing by the new Azusa Ramen at Southern and Mill avenues. The menu lists tonkotsu, miso, shio, and vegetarian ramen, as well as beer and wine.

Chicago’s Chicken Shack

1936 East University Drive, Tempe

Here’s something that could be a little taste of home for all you Chicago transplants. Chicago’s Chicken Shack has opened a Tempe location near University and McClintock drives. The small eatery specializes in Chicago-style fried chicken — meaning barbecue-soaked skins from drizzles of sauce across the entire plate.

Front Pourch Brewing

1611 West Whispering Wind Drive, #7

Another home brew operation turned physical brewery, Front Pourch Brewing is the latest beer joint in north Phoenix. Located at 19th Avenue and Happy Valley Road, Front Pourch Brewing offers craft beers with some food trucks standing by.

George’s Wildberries

745 West Baseline Road, Mesa

The old Beaver Choice spot is now George’s Wildberries in south Mesa. This breakfast and lunch spot is owned by George Petropoulos, formerly of Wild Berry Diner. The menu lists omelets, pancakes, waffles, burgers, sandwiches, and Greek dishes.

click to enlarge Welcome Maple & Ash. - DEREK RICHMOND
Welcome Maple & Ash.
Derek Richmond

Khazana Indian Bistro

8140 North Hayden Road, Suite H115, Scottsdale

A new family-run Indian buffet has opened in north Scottsdale in the former Tandoori Times Indian Bistro spot. Khazana Indian Bistro's menu offers rice dishes, specialty breads, vegetarian options, and more.

La Esquina Argentina

3960 East Broadway Road, Mesa

A new Argentinean restaurant has opened in east Mesa offering empanadas and regional sandwiches, steak, and chicken. La Esquina Argentina is located at Broadway Road between Greenfield Road and Val Vista Drive.

Lomi Poki

1840 East Warner Road, #118, Tempe

South Tempe has recently welcomed the second location of Lomi Poki. The new poke bowl restaurant (but FYI, no sushi) is located at McClintock Drive and Warner Road.

Mama Baer’s Scones, Jams & Treats

891 North Val Vista Drive, Gilbert

The former Gabriela’s Kitchen spot is now home to Mama Baer’s Scones, Jams & Treats, a bakery and storefront offering 20 flavors of jam. The new cafe at Val Vista Drive and Guadalupe Road also offers coffee, gluten-free items, and baked goods.

Maple & Ash

7135 East Camelback Road, #130, Scottsdale

One of the Scottsdale Waterfront’s newest eateries is Maple & Ash — a Chicago-based restaurant found in the former location of Wildfish Seafood Grille, and not to be confused with the college-adjacent Tempe neighborhood. This wood-fire heavy steakhouse offers a menu of upscale surf and turf dishes, as well as a global wine list — all driven by chef and Scottsdale resident Danny Grant.

click to enlarge PHX Beer Co. is a rebranded brewery and open now. - PHX BEER CO.
PHX Beer Co. is a rebranded brewery and open now.
PHX Beer Co.

Meño’s Place

1720 West Southern Avenue, Suite C5, Mesa

A new lunch spot near Mesa Community College has opened in the former Uncle Monkey’s Bar & Grill. Meño’s Place is a family-owned restaurant offering Mexico City street food in the form of huaraches, tortas, burritos, and tacos.

Peacock Wine Bar

1525 North Gilbert Road, Suite C108, Gilbert

The north Gilbert intersection of Gilbert and Baseline roads is now the site of Peacock Wine Bar. The new spot offers a lengthy wine list, including wine flights, as well as craft beers and small plates (with the option to build your own charcuterie board).

PHX Beer Co.

8300 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale

The former Phoenix Ale Brewery at Washington and 32nd Street and Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen in Uptown have closed and reopened as PHX Beer Co. under new ownership. The 3,400-square-foot brewpub has opened at the Mercado del Lago in Scottsdale with a 1,500-square-foot dog-friendly patio.

Portillo’s Avondale

10331 West McDowell Road, Avondale

The Chicago-style fast casual restaurant opened its third location in Arizona, this time in Avondale. The 9,000-square-foot eatery offers hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and the Portillo’s Famous Chocolate Cake.

click to enlarge Someburros gets a Phoenix location. - SOMEBURROS
Someburros gets a Phoenix location.

Someburros Uptown

5115 North Seventh Street

The ninth location of Someburros opened in central Phoenix last month — it’s first outside of the east Valley. The family-owned, fast-casual Mexican eatery offers killer burros, rice, margaritas, and beer.

Tempura Takeover

2371 East Baseline Road, Gilbert

Ever had a Sloppy Lobsta Roll? If no, head to the new Tempura Takeover for Japanese tempura with a fast food spin like the Tokyo Shrimp Loaded Fries. The eatery is located in a former gas station in Gilbert.

The Buffalo Spot

2505 South Val Vista Drive, Gilbert

The former Bush’s Chicken spot in Gilbert is now home to the sixth Buffalo Spot in Arizona. The menu lists the well-known buffalo fries and the restaurant itself offers the first drive-thru for the California-based chain.

The Hidden House

159 West Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler

Downtown Chandler is growing crazy fast, with The Hidden House being one of the latest additions. Next to the SanTan Brewery, the 1939 bungalow turned bar and eatery was established by the same people behind The Brickyard Downtown. The 8,500-square-foot restaurant serves lunch, dinner, beer, and craft cocktails from a New American menu created by Chef Aaron Rickel.

The Parlay Kitchen & Cocktails

1245 South Price Road, #1, Chandler

The former Meridiem Kitchen & Lounge spot is now home to The Parlay Kitchen & Cocktails — located just south of the Loop 202 SanTan Freeway on Price Road. The gastropub serves upscale pub fare, beer, and wine in its naturally lit and modern dining room.

click to enlarge Clever Koi Gilbert is closed for the next three to six months. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Clever Koi Gilbert is closed for the next three to six months.
Lauren Cusimano

Burros & Bowls

Most of us probably didn’t get a chance to try the Hot Cheetos at Burros & Bowls. The fast-casual Mexican joint near downtown Mesa closed after less than three months.

Clever Koi Gilbert

Clever Koi’s location in Gilbert’s Heritage District closed after a kitchen fire on August 21. Owners say the Asian eatery and ramen shop likely won’t reopen for three to six months.


The cocktail bar in back of The Churchill, the 14,000-square-foot food court in downtown Phoenix, has closed. The Pobrecito space will be relaunched as So Far, So Good, another cocktail bar overseen by former Pobrecito general manager Sam Olguin.

click to enlarge Pobrecito no longer occupies the back of The Churchill. - CHRIS MALLOY
Pobrecito no longer occupies the back of The Churchill.
Chris Malloy

Restaurant Mexico

After 42 years, the long-standing Restaurant Mexico along Mill Avenue closed on August 15. Take a look at one of our last visits.

Toh Zan Nagasaki Grill

After 36 years, Toh Zan Nagasaki Grill in Mesa closed at the Dobson Road and Southern Avenue. The classic Japanese restaurant was owned by Yoshito and Yuko Eguchi.

Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.