Restaurant News

December Openings and Closings Include an All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Steakhouse

Tacos Tijuana has opened their newest location in Mesa.
Tacos Tijuana has opened their newest location in Mesa. Shelby Moore
The Phoenix metro area is closing out the year with the opening of 19 new restaurants. New dining options include an all-you-can eat Brazilian steakhouse, a micro-brewery serving smoked barbecue, a bagel joint that features fresh-baked, New York-style bagels, and an Italian-influenced restaurant making handmade pasta dishes and sourcing vegetables and herbs from a local community garden.

Sadly, three restaurants will not make it into the New Year. The December casualties included Holy Crab, a seafood concept that closed after a mere seven-month run, and Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a neighborhood pizzeria and bar that shut its doors after 16 years of business.


Brooklyn V’s Pizza
2990 East Germann Road, Chandler

On the northwest corner of Gilbert and Germann, Brooklyn V’s Pizza has opened their third East Valley location. This family owned and operated pizzeria is using scratch-made dough and sauce in all their New York-style pies. The menu features a large variety of hand-tossed pizzas, calzones, pasta dishes, and other Italian staples.

Flix Brewhouse in Chandler allows you to dine beneath the big screen. - COURTESY OF FLIX BREWHOUSE
Flix Brewhouse in Chandler allows you to dine beneath the big screen.
Courtesy of Flix Brewhouse
Flix Brewhouse
1 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler

It's show time for the valley's latest movie theater restaurant concept. Flix Brewhouse of downtown Chandler is brewing beer on-site. They currently offer six different house brews that pair well with their full brunch, lunch, and dinner menu. Items like the steak avocado wrap, cheese and charcuterie board, bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos, and the smokehouse brisket fries are just some of the tasty plates beings served in their dining area or beneath the glow of the big screen.

Gyoza Bar
3641 East Baseline Road, #Q-100, Gilbert

Gyoza Bar of Gilbert has opened their doors in a space that once housed the JP Pancakes breakfast restaurant. This quaint sushi house is focusing on presentation and bold flavors. The menu features several handmade specialty rolls like the Crunchy Dragon Roll and the Mango Roll along with many of the standard sushi rolls. Other items include Hawaiian ahi poke, ramen, and dumplings. Gyoza Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Hyderabad House
4960 South Alma School Road, Chandler

This international Indian restaurant chain has opened their first Arizona location in southern Gilbert. A bottomless lunch and dinner buffet and a plethora of southern Indian influenced a la carte dishes can be enjoyed in their spacious dining room. Biryanis, a dish containing tender marinated meats or vegetables flavored with exotic spices and cooked with basmati rice, is just one of several house specialties.

Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill
4010 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler

This Utah-based fast-casual restaurant chain has opened their newest location in Chandler. Costa Vida features coastal Mexican-influenced cuisine. Costa Vida prides themselves on using high-quality, all-natural ingredients to create dishes like their loaded meat salads, roasted green chile chicken enchiladas, and chicken tortilla soup. Their sweet pork and shredded beef are slow cooked for several hours to create intense flavors.

Desert Monks Brewing
1094 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert

Five Intel coworkers have pooled their funds together to open Desert Monks Brewing in Gilbert. These avid homebrewers are currently pouring five house-brewed beers: a guava infused ale, a hoppy blond, a porter, a hefeweizen, and a kolsh. The 20 available tap handles leave plenty of space for guest beers. There is no kitchen, but food from a rotating schedule of food trucks can be enjoyed in the 1,800-square-foot taproom.

Genbu Waffles & Drinks
1350 South Longmore Street, #23, Mesa

A new Hong Kong street food-style dessert shop has opened in Mesa. Genbu Waffles & Drinks specializes in sweet, crispy egg waffles that come filled with artisanal ice cream. Their ice cream cones come topped with decadent items like Oreo cookies, toasted marshmallows, strawberries, chocolate drizzle, and an assortment of candies.

Fellow Osteria
1455 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Co-owners of Clever Koi and Across the Pond Nicholas Campisano and Joshua James have opened a new Italian restaurant in south Scottsdale. Fellow Osteria is serving affordable Italian cuisine in a stylish dining space seating 140 guests. Dishes like house-made Swiss chard ravioli, house-made tagliatelle, calamari fritti, and a selection of organic pizzas are created with fresh herbs and vegetables gathered from the adjacent community garden. The concept also features a craft cocktail bar.

780 West Elliot Road, #101, Tempe

Bonchon is a fast-casual chain that originated in South Korea. This franchise is best known for their Korean-style chicken wings. Items such as octopus dumplings, Asian sliders, and Korean tacos can be taken to go or enjoyed in their dining space. Bonchon also features a full bar.

Knead a Bagel and Coffee
3235 West Ray Road, Chandler

On the southwest corner of the 101 Price Freeway and Ray Road, a new neighborhood bagel shop has opened its doors. Knead a Bagel and Coffee is serving up over a dozen varieties of New York-style bagels baked fresh daily. Their plump, chewy bagels can be paired with 15 flavors of cream cheese. Breakfast sandwiches, wraps, and salads are also available.

Helluva Brewing Company
3950 West Ray Road, #5, Chandler

Chandler’s newest microbrewery has officially opened up shop. Helluva Brewing Company is located in a space once occupied by a Zipps Sports Grill on the northeast corner of McClintock Drive and Ray Road. Helluva is currently brewing up six original creations and offers a couple of other local drafts on tap. In addition to craft brews, Helluva provides a lunch and dinner menu that features several smoked barbecue entries. Items like baby back ribs, pulled pork, beef tri-tip, and grilled salmon filet are served in the spacious, brightly lit dining area.

Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse
825 North 54th Street, Chandler

This new Chandler restaurant occupies a space that once housed Nabers south of Ray Road, near Interstate 10. At this traditional Brazilian steakhouse, guests signal they are ready to start their culinary journey with a hockey puck-sized token placed on their table. When the token's green side is displayed, a parade of 12 to 14 different generously seasoned cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken is delivered to the table by a team of gauchos. Flipping the token to its red side will stop the onslaught of flame-broiled proteins. Artisan appetizers, sides, and Brazilian-influenced desserts are also available. The standard dining experience will run you about $40.

Varsity Tavern
501 South Mill Avenue, Tempe

Mill Ave’s newest sports bar and nightclub has opened its doors. Varsity Tavern offers guest an elevated lunch and dinner menu. In addition to bar food staples entrees like certified Angus New York strip steak, St. Louis barbecue pork ribs, and grilled salmon with citrus beurre blanc are being served. After dark, live music, guest DJs, and bottle service can be enjoyed in the completely renovated indoor-outdoor, 8,000-square-foot venue.

Tacos Tijuana
1754 South Greenfield Road, #101, Mesa

Tacos Tijuana has opened their newest location in Mesa. The small restaurant has staked claim to a building that was once occupied by Pita Pit on the southwest corner of Greenfield Road and the U.S. 60. Their simple menu consists of tacos filled with grilled carne or pork sliced off a hot rotating spit. House-made corn tortillas, quesadillas, and toasted corn tostadas come with your choice of meat and topped with guacamole, cilantro, cheese, and tomato sauce.

click to enlarge Chicken and fries and new Valley import PDQ. - PDQ
Chicken and fries and new Valley import PDQ.
8905 South Harl Avenue, Tempe

PDQ, which stands for “people dedicated to quality,” has opened their second Arizona location on the southwest corner of Warner Road and Priest Drive adjacent to The Tilted Kilt. This Florida-based fast food chain is best known for their crispy chicken tenders, and chicken nuggets served with your choices of eight dipping sauces. PDQ’s menu also includes salads, sandwiches, fries, tots, and cookies baked fresh daily.

The Louie
605 West Osborn Road, Phoenix

The Louie is a new Phoenix gay bar that welcomes all. This high-energy bar and restaurant is serving an assortment of burgers, sandwiches, soups, and chili. The kitchen is also plating entrees like the Patron Tequila Lime Chicken Breast and the New York strip steak for lunch and dinner. The Louie also features guest DJs and nightly drink specials.

Rapha Tea
1900 West Chandler Boulevard, #17, Chandler

The boba tea franchise Rapha Tea has opened its newest location in a strip mall on Chandler Boulevard. This counter service restaurant offers a variety of boba teas, coffees, and Vietnamese sandwiches. Drinks, meals, and board games can be enjoyed in the cozy dining space.

Fruta Healthy Eating
222 East Warner Road, #106, Chandler

Fruta Healthy Eating is now serving good-for-you superfood smoothies, acai, dragon fruit bowls, sandwiches, and salads on the corner of Arizona Avenue and Warner Road. Their menu varies regularly to ensure they feature the season’s ripest ingredients and produce, and that food is served at its freshness peak.

Find adorable hand pies at Squarz Bakery, now in Scottsdale. - FELICIA CAMPBELL
Find adorable hand pies at Squarz Bakery, now in Scottsdale.
Felicia Campbell
Squarz Bakery & Café
13802 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Squarz Bakery & Café’s new Scottsdale location offers gourmet, all-natural pies and cookies, meat pies, soups, salads, and hearty sides. Baked goods are made fresh daily and are available for delivery or dine-in. 

3156 North Recker Road, Mesa

This California native fast-food chain has opened its latest Valley location. This iconic fast food joint will be serving burgers, fries, and shakes at the Longbow Marketplace in Mesa. Anticipate long lines. 

JOJO Coffeehouse
3712 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

JOJO Coffeehouse is percolating in Scottsdale. This locally owned farm-to-table eatery and coffee bar is located in a newly built Second Street Hub building on Scottsdale Road. In addition to JOJO’s signature coffee roasts, the drink menu features organic teas, craft beers, wine, and sodas. Omelets, waffles, craft bruschetta, salads, and sandwiches are available on the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.

Ocean 44
4748 North Goldwater Boulevard, Scottsdale

The team behind Steak 44 and Dominick’s Steakhouse have delivered the same luxurious dining experience to Scottsdale. Ocean 44 is a high-end restaurant concept that focuses on fresh seafood and quality ingredients. The mostly a la carte menu features a full raw bar, whole Alaskan king crab cluster, Maryland-style crab cakes, New England lobster tail, and bone-in filet mignon. The inviting, 12,000-square-foot dining area exudes an upscale and exciting coastal vibe.

click to enlarge Jimmy T's Holy Crab has now closed in Chandler. - DORIAN BODDIE
Jimmy T's Holy Crab has now closed in Chandler.
Dorian Boddie

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom of Mesa was best known for their deep dish pizzas, large selection of craft beers, and Cheers-like atmosphere. After a 16-year run, this restaurant has permanently closed. A different franchisee will soon be opening a new Old Chicago location in Chandler.

Jimmy T’s Holy Crab
After short seven-month run, Jimmy T’s Holy Crab Cajun seafood restaurant and sports bar has closed their doors. This Angry Crab Shack-style restaurant had a sizable raw bar and a relatively pricey menu that featured a rotation of seafood specialties.

Café Ga Hyang
Café Ga Hyang was a mom-and-pop Korean eatery in Glendale. This cash-only restaurant was known for traditional dishes served in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Despite a seemingly successful relaunch in 2012, the restaurant has now permanently closed its doors.
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