February Openings and Closings: Welcome, KC's Cluck Kitchen; Goodbye, Ezekiel's Restaurant

Pita Jungle's new virtual kitchen is a wood-fire Mexican grill with a healthy-leaning menu.
Pita Jungle's new virtual kitchen is a wood-fire Mexican grill with a healthy-leaning menu. A Su Salud
This February, lost a beloved Black-owned eatery, Ezekiel's Restaurant. However, we welcomed several newcomers to the food scene in metro Phoenix, everything from a cream puff dessert place with Japanese roots to a local baker now making pizzas.

If you're looking for a checklist of new places to check out, people, this is it.


A Su Salud

4 East University Drive, Tempe

This is Pita Jungle’s new ghost kitchen. The concept is a wood-fire Mexican grill with a healthy-leaning menu, including burritos, bowls, salads, tacos, fajitas, kids’ meals, and desserts. A Su Salud food can be picked up at the Tempe PJ or delivered via DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub, and Postmates.

Beard Papa's

15147 North Scottsdale Road, Suite H-102, Scottsdale
Beard Papa's, an Osaka-based Japanese cream puff joint, has made its Arizona debut in Scottsdale. Get ready to dig into a wide variety of cream puffs, eclairs, and other desserts like the chocolate fondant.

Bourbon & Bones Chophouse | Bar

2150 East Williams Field Road, Gilbert

Bourbon & Bones Chophouse | Bar opened its second location in Gilbert. This spot clocks in at more than 6,750 square feet with a wine selection of over 1,500 bottles. Classic cocktails, as well as a large selection of whiskey and bourbon, are available in addition to the upscale surf and turf options.

Cream of the Crop

3000 East Ray Road, #103, Gilbert

Cream of the Crop has opened in Barnone at Agritopia. Some fun flavors include Mythical Coffee, strawberry champagne, and Agritopia Date — made with smoked hay and orange blossom, rice, and cinnamon.

click to enlarge The fifth location of Dog Haus opened in Tempe. - DOG HAUS
The fifth location of Dog Haus opened in Tempe.
Dog Haus

Dog Haus

430 North Scottsdale Road, Tempe

The fifth location of Dog Haus has opened in Tempe. Handcrafted sausages, burgers, and chicken are all for the taking (out).

Eatalio Pasta & Wine

2540 South Val Vista Drive, Gilbert
The fast-casual Italian restaurant, Eatalio Pasta & Wine, opened its second location in Gilbert. Check out the bruschetta board, the fig and pig pizza, and baked ziti.

Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen

Multiple Locations

Food Network chef Guy Fieri launched three Flavortown Kitchens, or delivery-only ghost kitchens, across the Valley. They operate out of the existing Buca di Beppo kitchens in Scottsdale (3828 North Scottsdale Road), Chandler (7111 West Ray Road), and Peoria (16091 North Arrowhead Fountains Center Drive). Highlights include bourbon brown sugar wings, cheesesteak egg rolls, and chocolate whiskey cake. More details here.

Herb 'N' Smoke BBQ

123 West Main Street, Mesa

Originally a food truck trailer originating in 2018, Herb 'N' Smoke opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in downtown Mesa. Expect the beloved brisket nachos, as well as smoked tofu and smoky burgers.

Hot Daisy Pizza

610 East Roosevelt Street, #145

Pastry chef Tammy Coe launched her restaurant, Hot Daisy Pizza, out of her existing Tammie Coe Cakes spot on Roosevelt Row. The new pizza spot offers traditional options like pepperoni pie, as well as some inventive ones like the Corny Baby-Elote Pie, either by-the-slice or by-the-pie.

click to enlarge The Bella from Il Bosco Pizza downtown. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The Bella from Il Bosco Pizza downtown.
Lauren Cusimano

Il Bosco Pizza

918 North Fifth Street

The second location of Il Bosco Pizza has opened on Roosevelt Row. Menu items include seasonal roasted vegetables with burrata, as well as Caprese and Caesar salad. There are more than 16 pizza options (we recommend the Bella) and gluten-free crust is available. The patio is also something to behold.

KC's Cluck Kitchen

1900 East Fifth Street, Tempe

A virtual restaurant led by a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and Black chef, aka KC, KC's Cluck Kitchen offers chicken sandwiches, wraps, and "cluck" slaw. Guests can order takeout or deliver, Tuesday through Sunday, from this new Tempe Food Court occupant.

Kwench Juice Cafe

1949 West Ray Road, #27, Chandler

If smoothies are on your mind, head to Kwench Juice Cafe. Originally based in Phoenix, this cafe moved to Chandler and has fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies starting at $6.

Mill's Modern Social

83 East Broadway Road, Tempe
Freezer's Ice House has rebranded and reopened as Mill's Modern Social (but the space is still a pool hall, nightclub, and sports bar). A new menu includes burgers, sandwiches, and flatbread pizzas. The bar has martinis, margaritas, mojitos, and mules.

Pita Jungle

5025 South Gilbert Road, #8, Chandler

Pita Jungle opened its 24th location in the Valley and another one in Chandler. Menu items include falafel, hummus, and pita wraps.

click to enlarge Salad and Go is not messing around in 2021. - SALAD AND GO
Salad and Go is not messing around in 2021.
Salad and Go

Salad and Go

5985 West Chandler Road, Chandler

3229 South 48th Street, Tempe

Salad and Go has opened its 26th and 27th locations in the Valley, one in Chandler and the other in Tempe. Patrons can purchase a large drink and a salad for less than $8. Both have drive-thrus.

Santanwiches and Salads

1534 East Ray Road, Gilbert

A new family-owned sandwich shop, Santanwiches and Salads has handhelds packed with cured, smoked, and sliced in-house meats. The shop is open for delivery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

The Silver Key Lounge

1837 West Guadalupe Road, #105/106, Mesa

Modeled after a 1920 speakeasy, The Silver Key Lounge has debuted in Mesa. But in addition to a selection of craft beers and wine on drafts, plus snacks, the new east Valley bar offers more than 600 board games.

Tocayo Organica

702 South Forest Street, #103, Tempe

Tocayo Organica, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant from California, opened its fourth location. The cuisine is friendly to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets. The restaurant also serves margaritas, wine, and beer.

Vero Chicago Pizza

1431 East Williams Field Road, Gilbert

BuddyZ Chicago Pizzeria has rebranded to Vero Chicago Pizza. Phoenicians will have a chance to try deep-dish pizza, salads, and sandwiches.

Yoli's Mexican Cocina

1900 East Fifth Street, Tempe

Yoli's Mexican Cocina, another virtual restaurant, opened at the Tempe Food Court offering takeout and delivery only. Choices include carne asada or chicken tacos, burros, and tortas.

click to enlarge Ezekiel's in Ahwatukee has closed. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Ezekiel's in Ahwatukee has closed.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
(For a running list of notable closings since March 2020, go here.)

Cotton & Copper

After two years in southern Tempe, co-owners Sean Traynor and Tamara Stanger made the decision to shut Cotton & Copper's doors. This acclaimed restaurant cited the pandemic for the closure. However, the co-owners are already in the process of opening a cafe, Shape Shifter, in the space.

Ezekiel's Restaurant

Ezekiel's co-owner and chef Brad Carr recently announced his retirement. The mom-and-pop soul food restaurant closed after eight years in the Ahwatukee Palms Shopping Center. We'll miss the fried chicken, barbecue ribs dinner, crab cakes, and sweet potato pie.
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Rudri Patel is a lawyer turned writer and editor. She is the co-editor of the online literary journal The Sunlight Press and on staff at Literary Mama.
Contact: Rudri Patel