Lizard Lounge

It wasn't so many years ago that the idea of opening a restaurant during the Valley's summer months was considered crazy. Nobody stayed in town then, preferring to flock to San Diego and cooler climes.

Then again, Spyros Scocos has never been known for his conventional thinking. Scocos, co-founder of the highly creative RoxSand restaurant at Biltmore Fashion Park, is opening Iguana Lounge in the blistering month of August.

Set on the former site of the old Greyhound Bus Station at Fifth Street and College in Tempe, Iguana Lounge promises to offer "eclectic, interesting, yet understandable and straightforward food." This, Scocos says, means sandwiches, salads, gourmet pizza, ribs, seafood and lots of vegetarian dishes. Desserts will come from RoxSand's award-winning Local Harvest Co. The chef is Sharone Cox, originally from the Bahamas.

The menu sounds like a lot to pack into a space that seats only 30 in the dining room (20 more can squeeze in on the patio, and another 15 at the bar). And there's a lot going on in the architecture, too. Statements include sealed concrete block walls and polished concrete floors, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, and a lighted, three-story frosted glass tower at the entrance. The look will be contemporary, but also reminiscent of the '60s and '70s eras, Scocos says.

Lane Excuse: Just months after it opened, Restaurant Arcadia is changing its name. The move comes after the owners of Arcadia Farms, a casual eatery in Scottsdale, filed a civil lawsuit against Restaurant Arcadia, claiming trademark infringement. The new name will be Valencia Lane, referring to the street that runs north-south next to the restaurant at 56th Street and Thomas.

Restaurant Arcadia owners are being tightlipped about why they agreed to change the name, even though partner Tom Kaufman registered the Restaurant Arcadia name before Arcadia Farms' owners filed their own trademark.

Sushi Saturation: How many sushi places can the tiny Scottsdale Road area between Thunderbird and Frank Lloyd Wright support? We've already got Sushi Brokers on the northeast corner of Scottsdale and FLW. There's a "coming soon" Sapporo sushi bar at Scottsdale and Acoma. Now, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant is scheduled to open in November in Kierland Commons at Scottsdale and Greenway. Plus, the fish are still flying nearby at longtime favorite Sushi on Shea, at Scottsdale and Shea, and at Haiku, at Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak.

If wishes are fishes, then all these restaurants will survive the competition. Maybe.

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Carey Sweet
Contact: Carey Sweet