Green chile pork enchiladas from Cocina Madrigal.EXPAND
Green chile pork enchiladas from Cocina Madrigal.
Chris Malloy

June 2018 Restaurant Openings and Closings

Eleven restaurants opened in metro Phoenix in June, throwing the dice as the summer heat spikes. New dining options include Vietnamese sandwiches, brick oven pizza, and boat-to-bowl poke. But at this time of year, as we head into the offseason, we often get restaurant closings. Unfortunately, eight Phoenix area restaurants served their last meal in June. Here's what happened last month.

The Rafter Room has a 27-foot ceiling.EXPAND
The Rafter Room has a 27-foot ceiling.
Chris Malloy

Rafter Room
715 South McClintock Drive, Tempe

A modern and sophisticated cocktail bar is now located on the second floor of Tempe’s Social Hall restaurant. Aged whiskey, tiki-style drinks, and classic cocktails are being serviced in this dimly lit and classy space. Latin-influenced entrees like green chile burgers, mahi mahi fish tacos, and huevos rancheros can be ordered from the restaurant below.

Cocina Madrigal
4044 South 16th Street

A Mexican restaurant with upscale touches has opened its doors in south Phoenix. Cocina Madrigal offers a wide-ranging menu that features traditional and modern elements. Entrees like mac and cheese, artichoke-stuffed chicken, and pasta dishes add some unexpected color to a core menu of Mexican dishes. At this core are a bunch of tacos as well as dishes like green chile enchiladas.

Flower Child
21001 North Tatum Boulevard, #16-1000

The fourth Arizona location of Flower Child is serving up healthy cuisine in Phoenix. Whole-grain wraps, hardy protein bowls and a variety of salads are all being prepared from scratch. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or paleo, you will find something to eat at this local standby.

Big Island Hawaiian BBQ
2919 South Market Street, Gilbert

Gilbert can now say aloha to Hawaiian barbecue. Tasty Polynesian- and Asian-influenced dishes like teriyaki chicken and sticky rice, barbecue short ribs, Hawaiian stir-fry noodles, and fried white jumbo shrimp are being served up at this fast-casual joint. Combo plates of barbecue and sides can be enjoyed in-house or taken to go.

A trio of Rafter Room cocktails.EXPAND
A trio of Rafter Room cocktails.
Chris Malloy

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
1930 East Williams Field Road, Gilbert

The newest Firebirds has landed in Gilbert. This Charlotte, North Carolina-based chain offers an upscale dining experience at a moderate price. Firebirds uses a wood-fired grill to do much of its cooking. Steak and seafood entrees and specialty cocktails and wine are served in a polished, casual atmosphere.

Tosinos Mexican Grill
263 East Warner Road, #105, Gilbert

Authentic central Mexican cuisine is now being served in Gilbert. Tosinos Mexican Grill’s second location has opened in the space once occupied by Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream. Hearty Mexican staples like carne asada street tacos and chiles rellenos can be order at the counter located beneath the backlit menu. Meals can be enjoyed in-house or to go.

Urbanh Café
2015 North Dobson Road, #9, Chandler

Southeast Asian flavors continue their spread through the Valley. This Vietnamese restaurant is specializing in pork belly banh mi sandwiches, boba teas, and smoothies. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be enjoyed in the casual dining area or taken to go.

Poke mania continues to sweep the Valley.EXPAND
Poke mania continues to sweep the Valley.
TDC AGENCY

LemonShark Poke
7325 East Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale

LemonShark Poke has sold 90 franchises in the last 11 months. One of them just opened in north Scottsdale. The California chain was founded by Tobi Miller, guitarist of the '90s band The Wallflowers. A number of bowls anchor the menu. These include a tuna bowl with spicy mayo, seaweed salad, and crispy garlic; a salmon bowl with corn, masago, and water chestnuts; and an albacore bowl with nuts, pineapple, habanero, and ponzu. You can also order appetizers and cooked dishes.

Humble Pie
2475 West Queen Creek, #5, Chandler

Wood-fired pizzas, mouthwatering burgers, and hearty sandwiches are just some of the menu items the Humble Pie franchise has built its reputation on. The newest location has opened in Chandler. This casual eatery has a full bar and cozy dining room. Guest can dine in or take a meal to go.

The Latin Kitchen AZ
540 West Broadway Road, #101, Mesa

True to its name, The Latin Kitchen specializes in Cuban- and Puerto Rican-inspired cuisine. BJ Hernandez, former owner of Scottsdale’s Havana Café, is bringing some of her favorite Caribbean dishes to downtown Mesa. This casual dine-in and takeout café is currently just opened for lunch but has plans to expand to a weekend dinner service in mid-July.

Koi Poke
4041 South Gilbert Road, #1, Chandler

Poke restaurants have been trending crazily in the Valley. Koi Poke is the latest to ride this wave of Hawaiian-style raw seafood eateries. Their newest Chandler location features fresh boat-to-bowl meals, a plethora of fresh traditional poke toppings, and eight flavorful sauces to choose from.

June Closings

French Grocery has closed.EXPAND
French Grocery has closed.
Stephanie Funk

French Grocery
French Grocery served French wine, croissants, and pasta dishes in the heart of Phoenix for the past five years. Last month, they officially said au revoir. A recent Facebook post from owners Erin and Kevin Lentz announced the restaurant and marketplace has closed.

La Sala Tequila Cantina (Chandler)
After a year and a half, this Mexican restaurant has closed. The good news for fans is that the building has reopened as Humble Pie, a gourmet pizzeria.

JP Pancake (Gilbert)
After nine years of business JP Pancake of Gilbert has flipped its last flapjack. A sign posted on the front door informed patrons that this American classic breakfast and lunch joint has closed for good.

Rocket Burger & Subs (Chandler)
Rocker Burgers & Subs has closed its Chandler Location. This eatery was known for its delicious hot dogs and burgers and its massive collection of craft sodas and root beers. The Phoenix location remains open.

Sauce Pizza and Wine (Chandler)
Known for their brick oven pizza and hip casual atmosphere, Sauce Pizza and wine was enjoyed by many. After 10 years of business, this location has shuttered. (But a new location has opened nearby.)

Mining Camp Restaurant (Apache Junction)
The historic Mining Camp Restaurant and Trading Post was known for its hearty comfort food and western décor. After a 56-year run, the Mining Camp Restaurant has officially closed their doors for good. A fire in July 2017 destroyed the restaurant. This month Mining Camp announced that it will not be reopening.

Ruby Tuesday (Gilbert)
This traditional American chain has closed its Gilbert location.

Iowa Café (Mesa)
After a 33-year run, this Midwest-themed diner has closed. The establishment was best known for scratch-made pies and Midwest comfort food. Iowa Café was more than a restaurant; it was a clubhouse for many in the Mesa community. After receiving an offer on the property, owner Pam Ohsman has decided to sell the building.

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