4

January Restaurant Openings and Closings: Hello STK Steakhouse; Farewell Persian Garden Cafe

The Cottontail Lounge terrace offers guests plenty of space to mingle.EXPAND
The Cottontail Lounge terrace offers guests plenty of space to mingle.
Cottontail Lounge
^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

January kicked off 2021 with a culinary bang. From a new lounge at the W Hotel to fried chicken joints and kolache cafes, multiple eateries entered the Valley food scene. But of course, some standouts have also left the lineup. Here's a rundown.

OPENINGS

Barrio Queen

7640 West Bell Road, Glendale


Barrio Queen opened its seventh and largest location in Glendale. This west Valley restaurant has a large outdoor area, a private tequila room, and two bars.

Cottontail Lounge

7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale


The W in Scottsdale is debuting its new indoor-outdoor space, Cottontail Lounge, near the hotel's pool deck. Brunch and breakfast are served during the day and cocktails and light bites during the evening.

Copper 48

366 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert


Nico's Heirloom Kitchen has rebranded as Copper 48 in downtown Gilbert. The menu still has favorites like pasta and short-ribs, along with some new additions like cauliflower wings.

Desi Fusion

1130 West Grove Avenue, #111, Mesa


One of the latest Indian restaurants is on the southeast corner of Alma School Road and Southern Avenue in Mesa. Desi Fusion offers chaat, shawarma, and fusion-style menu items like fried rice and gobi Manchurian. This fast-casual joint also has pizzas, lassis, and desserts.

Here's how to get a Mother Earth Bowl from the digital-only Flower Child.EXPAND
Here's how to get a Mother Earth Bowl from the digital-only Flower Child.
Flower Child

Flower Child

149 South Farmer Avenue, Tempe


The first virtual Flower Child has opened in Tempe, running out of the kitchen at Culinary Dropout on the southeast corner of Farmer and First avenues. The health food-leaning menu items are available for takeout or delivery only.

Ghost Ranch

1006 East Warner Road, #102-103, Tempe


After a COVID-related closure, Ghost Ranch has reopened in southern Tempe after a six-month hiatus. All of the favorites are still on the menu including green chili stew and chicken chilaquiles.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

212 West Main Street, Mesa


Memphis-based Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken finally brought its hot and spicy goodness to town. Notable starters include fried green tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and potato salad. As for the fried chicken, we recommend the breast or thighs.

Kolache Cafe

4302 East Ray Road


Located in Ahwatukee, Kolache Cafe specializes in Czech and Texan pastries that are sweet or savory. Breakfast kolaches highlight eggs, sausage, and bacon, while sweet kolaches focus on fruits like apple, apricot, and blueberry.

Pie Express

1929 East Ray Road, #7, Chandler


A family-owned pizza and burger joint, Pie Express, made its debut in Chandler last month. For $6.50 you can build-your-own nine-inch pizza and add a medium drink. Other standout items like fries, burgers, and wings are also available.

The Porch

312 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert


The Porch opened its third location in Gilbert. Menu items include nachos, salads, and burgers. There are 16 beers on draft and several specialty cocktails.

Salad and Go opened its 25th location.EXPAND
Salad and Go opened its 25th location.
Salad and Go

Salad and Go

3333 West Peoria Avenue


Salad and Go opened its 25th location on the corner of 35th and Peoria avenues. Salad and drinks are less than $7 with an option of adding chicken or tofu. Organic cold brews or cucumber mint lemonade are available for $1. Another 20 locations are expected to open throughout the Valley in 2021.

STK Steakhouse

7134 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale


Modern steakhouse with a chic lounge and DJ? Yes, the New York-based STK Steakhouse has opened its doors on the Scottsdale Waterfront. Prices for steak are $48 for a 6-ounce filet or $152 for a 34-ounce tomahawk.

SugarJam Southern Kitchen

15111 North Hayden Road, #170 Scottsdale


First thing's first: SugarJam BakeShop & Bistro is now SugarJam Southern Kitchen. And with the rebrand comes a location change. Owner Dana Dumas moved her location on East Redfield Road to North Hayden in Scottsdale. Don't worry — there's still fried chicken and the SJ apple pie.

Thai Chili 2 Go

1495 North Higley Road, #108, Gilbert


Thai Chili 2 Go has added its 11th location to the Valley. Drunken noodles, panang curry, and pad Thai are available and patrons can, of course, choose the level of spice. 

Twin Peaks

2050 East Rio Salado Parkway


The national chain Twin Peaks had added its first location in Tempe. There are 32 beers on tap, typical bar food fare, and an expansive outdoor space with heaters and a fire pit.

Whataburger

12440 North Tatum Boulevard


Whataburger has opened a prototype kitchen in Arizona — the first of its kind in the state — using its new, expanded layout. Basically, it has more of a diner feel. Expect the same burgers, fries, and spicy ketchup for yourself, but know the employees now have more space to do their thing.

The 28-year-old Persian Garden Café closed in January.EXPAND
The 28-year-old Persian Garden Café closed in January.
New Times Archives

NOTABLE CLOSINGS
(For a running list of restaurant closures since March 2020, go here.)

5th Avenue Café

After 14 years, the jazzed-themed 5th Avenue Café has closed in the Coronado District.

Persian Garden Cafe

Located on the Southeast corner of Thomas Road and 15th Avenue, Persian Garden Cafe, owned by Ahmoud and Afsaneh Jaafari, has closed after 28 of business. Owners cite the COVID and rent increases for its closure.

Squid Ink Sushi Bar

After eight years of slinging sushi and sake, Squid Ink Sushi Bar has closed its downtown Phoenix location at CityScape. However, the Peoria location is still open.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.